3 Benefits of a great peer group

by | Oct 19, 2022

I have been involved with our peer group for most of this year (2022) and have found so much value in having like minded people, I can relate to. Here are my top three benefits of a diverse peer group;

1 Brainstorm Trust – They are the best people to understand what you face in marketing and the art world, so running ideas off and with them is simply immeasurable. They may have already tried what you are thinking about solving and issue, and can advise how they went.

2 Connection – is key. Everyone needs connection, and connecting with others of the same interests and skills is imperative. Also being an artist can be a bit lonely at times, so having lovely friendships that you connect with are life saving.

3 Combined Skills – the best thing about having a group of people with similar interests is that we all have different skills, abilities and different life experiences. Plus we all look out for each other however we can. That may be recommendations on different approaches, it may be recommending who could complete something we need or it may just be an understanding nod. Knowing we are not the only ones facing the same issues is very reassuring.

We have all asked each other some questions and I will connect you to their pages so you can read their questions and answers as well.

Tammy de Zilva – Loopla Designs

Website https://www.loopla.com.au/blog

What made you decide to be an artist?

Since I was young I have always had creative hobbies. I took a course in design fundamentals many years ago and learnt about surface design which was something I hadn’t heard of before and excited me a lot! I further explored this in my spare time and after quitting my unfulfilling IT career I decided to follow my dreams and establish my own business specialising in surface design.

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

My best selling product is my tea towels. Whilst this product was established before I joined this peer group, the group has been so supportive of my journey and encouraged me when I have new market stalls or launch a new product.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

One of my goals is to release a fabric collection with Cloud 9 Fabrics

What made you decide to be an artist?

I’ve always been creative and have just kept on an arty path through school, university & working life

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

My best-selling item varies depending where it’s sold. At markets it’s tea towels but online it’s a shower curtain in a rainbow design that gets heavily promoted by both Redbubble & society6. Both of these were created before joining my peer group.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

Hopefully selling more designs under my KOOSHTI brand rather than POD (Print On Demand)


What made you decide to be an artist?

I never actually decided to be an artist it just happened – I was always drawing in school regardless of the lesson -one primary school teacher said to me now is not the time to be drawing you’ll be doing that as a career now focus on today’s lesson!!

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

I am not at the stage where I am creating products yet. After spending many years working for other companies I’m now focussing on creating designs purely for me and my ideal customer. The peer group has been very inspirational to me in seeing others actually doing what I want to do – in our group, I see the day-to-day issues that come up when running your own business and I love the fact everyone shares what they know to support each other.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

In five years’ time, I would like to have an established catalogue of designs that I license and also work in collaborations

Irene Tan – Missy Minzy


What made you decide to be an artist?

I have always loved drawing and creating from a very young age. The love for art has always been encouraged in my family.

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

I have a few best-selling items. There are my temporary tattoos, enamel pins, suncatchers and removable fabric wall decals. All were created before joining the peer group.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

I love to see Missy Minzy (my business name) attracting many more potential stockists stocking my products in their shops within Australia and around the world. Having more paid collaboration with dream clients for better brand awareness and portfolio.


Thank you for reading, please connect with me on social media or send me an email at benitatatters@gmail.com. I would love to hear about the benefits of your experiences with peer groups.

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding moments of peace and tranquility can seem like a distant dream. However, nestled in the gentle rhythm of yarn and hook lies a timeless practice that not only produces beautiful creations but also fosters relaxation and enhances mental well-being. Welcome to the world of crochet – a therapeutic journey for the mind and soul.

More Than Just a Hobby

Crochet, the art of creating fabric using a hook and yarn, has been cherished for generations as a beloved pastime. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, research indicates that engaging in crochet can have profound effects on mental health and overall well-being.

The study conducted by Barry University in 2011 highlighted the positive impacts of crochet on mental health, specifically in managing depression, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, it explored how crochet can be utilized as a coping mechanism during significant life transitions such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or serious illness.

 The Relaxation Response

One of the most significant benefits of crochet is its ability to induce the relaxation response. Similar to meditation, this physiological state is characterized by decreased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and reduced levels of stress hormones. The repetitive movements of crocheting, combined with its focused attention requirement, gently guide practitioners into a state of calmness and tranquility.

“I leant how to crochet because I have a child with an chronic medical condition. I spend so much time in hospital, at appointments and in emergency situations. It’s so calming to be productive when you are so useless otherwise. It helps me to not resent the time we spend dealing with illness if I can combine it with a hobby.” Respondent 2596 (Theme: Health)

Stress Reduction and Anxiety Management

In today’s fast-paced world, stress and anxiety have become everyday challenges for many. Fortunately, crochet offers a simple yet effective solution. Studies have shown that regularly engaging in activities like crochet can significantly reduce stress levels and alleviate symptoms of anxiety. The meditative nature of crochet allows individuals to escape the pressures of daily life, providing a soothing balm for the mind.

When questioned about their crochet habits, participants mentioned various locations: primarily at home (95.8%), followed by while waiting for appointments (50.8%), at the residences of family and friends (46.1%), in vehicles (41.1%), and on public transportation (25%). The versatility of crochet and its ability to start social conversations are highlighted by the following quotes.

“[…} the number of conversations that have been started by a stranger about the crochet project I’m working on in public never ceases to amaze me!” Respondent 1379 (Theme: Connection)

“While you are crocheting, in public like on the train, people like to talk to you, and it is really nice , much better than looking at the phone.” Respondent 1607 (Theme: Connection)

“It’s incredible how many people will come and ask you what you’re making, comment on the WIP [work in progress] and the colour/design. It’s great!! Who knew! Not me before trying.” Respondent 2860 (Theme: Conne

Enhancing Cognitive Function

Beyond its immediate calming effects, crochet also offers long-term benefits for cognitive function. Research suggests that activities like crochet stimulate the brain, promoting neuroplasticity and enhancing cognitive abilities such as problem-solving, concentration, and memory retention. By challenging the mind in a gentle and enjoyable manner, crochet serves as an excellent form of mental exercise.

Crocheters vs. Non-Crocheters

Numerous studies have investigated the correlation between engaging in creative activities like crochet and mental well-being. According to recent research, individuals who regularly practice crochet exhibit lower levels of stress, reduced symptoms of depression, and an overall higher sense of well-being compared to those who do not crochet. These findings highlight the therapeutic potential of crochet in promoting mental health and resilience.

Embracing the Healing Power of Crochet

In a world where self-care is increasingly prioritised, crochet stands out as a valuable tool for nurturing brain wellness. Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a curious beginner, the benefits of crochet are accessible to all. So, why not pick up a hook, select your favorite yarn, and embark on a journey of relaxation and self-discovery? Your mind and spirit will thank you for it.

Engaging in Crochet Groups

Only a minority of respondents (26.3%) participated in crochet groups (18). However, among these respondents, a notable proportion reported feeling less lonely through crochet (31.3%), and over one-third mentioned making new friends through this activity (39.2%). This implies that involvement in crochet can positively influence social connectedness, so supporting its integration into social prescribing programs. Social prescribing aims to assist individuals with diverse social, emotional, or practical needs, with many programs focusing on enhancing brain health and physical well-being. Potential beneficiaries of social prescribing schemes encompass individuals with mild or chronic brain health issues, those with complex needs, socially isolated individuals, and those with multiple long-term conditions who frequently utilise primary or secondary healthcare services.

An unexpected discovery was the sense of connection to both past and future generations, as highlighted by a couple of participants.

“[…] I come from a long line of women crocheters – great grandmother, Aboriginal grandmother, and mother…. and me! It unites us even though all of them have died. and I reflect back on items they made… I have a ball of blue silk yarn that was my great grandmothers… and occasionally I will chain a little of it to feel it run through my hand… I use her hand me down hook as well… I have a collection of hooks from them all. […]” Respondent 124 (Theme: Connection)

[…] It’s nice to do something my gran did (she taught me). Sort of like carrying on a tradition by making heirlooms for my kids, using a technique taught to me by their great grandmother. Nice feels :)” Respondent 1576 (Theme: Connection)


In conclusion, crochet is much more than just a creative hobby – it’s a powerful therapeutic practice with profound effects on brain health and well-being. From reducing stress and anxiety to enhancing cognitive function, the benefits of crochet are backed by research and embraced by countless individuals worldwide. So, let’s weave a tapestry of tranquility and embrace the healing power of crochet in our lives.