MUNCIE, Ind. — Lydia Greene is no stranger to hard work.
“I started working when I was around 12 years old,” said Greene. “I started babysitting and then pet-sitting, and then I started making rice bags. I have a spine condition, so I used to use them all the time, and I started making those.”
Greene, who is finishing up her sophomore year at Ball State University, is studying business marketing and minoring in digital media.
While she did receive a scholarship, Greene says there were plenty of expenses she had to figure out how to pay on her own.
“I just don’t want to be in debt,” she began, “I pay $2,500 a semester, plus books, plus technology fees and everything combined.”
“On top of school, I didn’t have time for a full-time job. I’m a full-time student first,” she added.
Putting her business mentality to work, she started learning how to make chunky blankets online about three years ago.
“I actually found a video on YouTube, and I was like ‘Oh my gosh, that looks kind of fun,'” she said. “I made one, didn’t even end up keeping it, but I thought maybe these would be a good adventure to start a business.”
She put some feelers out on Facebook on her own but admits it was a little slow to catch on.
However, after posting about her blankets in a Muncie-based trade-sell Facebook group, business skyrocketed.
“It went locally viral,” said Greene. “People went crazy over them!”
So far, Greene says she’s made and sold more than 300 blankets, shipped to more than 40 states and has been able to pay off five semesters of school from her sales. Looking ahead, she also has next year completely paid off.
Recently, she made a business Facebook page to keep up with the growing demand.
“I have never had this much interaction,” said Greene. “I’ve never had this many orders. I’ve never had this much support for a single business that I have run. This is definitely the top.”
“I definitely did not expect to be able to be paying off my schooling in the way that I am.” she added, “I did get lucky and get a scholarship, but a lot of money I still have to pay for schooling, books and eventually rent.”
To keep business running, Greene travels to craft stores all over the state of Indiana looking for yarn. She offers five blanket sizes in 15 different colors.
Depending on the size, she says she’ll usually make two blankets a day. If it’s her largest size, which is a king, it’s a day’s worth of work.
As business continues to grow, Greene says she never imagined her venture would get this far. However, she’s excited that people are responding and supporting her goal of graduating debt-free.
She’s also using her success as a reminder to those who may want to consider their own outlets in order to follow their dreams.
“Don’t be afraid to do what you love to do. Find what you love to do and make something out of that,” she said.
“Don’t be afraid to jump off the diving board,” she added. “Don’t be afraid to go in head first into what you love. If it doesn’t succeed, it’s as simple as that, but you can’t be afraid of your failure.”
To order a blanket from Lydia, you can visit the Chunky Blankets by Lydia Facebook page. Just send a message to order or inquire.