Time to be honest…
I feel like a huge part of being someone that is in the public eye is honesty. Due to the fact that so many people see your content, you owe it to them to share the entire truth (and nothing but the truth haha).
Well, my big secret is that I was one of those people that really didn’t like Cricut before I even had one. I honestly don’t exactly know why, other than the fact that everyone else didn’t like them. And let’s be real here – that’s not a good enough reason to not like something.
I really do believe (now in my old age hahahahahah) that I have started to grow as a person and form my own opinions as opposed to just onboarding what other people think.
Cricut re-launches in South Africa
So of course, when I heard that Cricut was going to be launching in South Africa, I scoffed at the idea. They had previously been in the country a few years ago (I honestly don’t know the exact year), and I don’t think they had the correct approach/support that they needed, but it didn’t quite work out very well for them back then. While they were in the country they did generate quite a few fans of the brand that unfortunately were no longer able to get the support or tools that they needed when they stopped selling here. As you can imagine this left a few new die hard fans a little bit sad, and quite a few a little bit sour.
By the time I was approached by Cricut to become an ambassador, I was skeptical to say the least. Well, this is an honest account, so I was as skeptical as I was excited to have a big brand like Cricut reach out to me (I mean… I’m just a woman making videos, why would they want me to be part of their brand? Impostor syndrome much? I know, I’m working on it lol).
I had heard the stories of when the brand was previously in the country, and too many people had bad experiences and didn’t have many good things to say. And this is probably the largest reason as to why I didn’t like the brand. I had heard these stories, and believed all of them purely because I had no other way, or need, to challenge them up until this point.
Open your mind, open your heart.
I like to think of myself as someone who has a relatively open mind, and I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt until I have actually experienced the thing. Or I at least prefer to have first hand experience before I completely make up my mind – I feel it’s only fair, as everyone’s experiences are different, and I cannot speak to their mindset or mental health status when they had the experience.
From the beginning I was impressed and yet still remained on the fence about the brand. I wanted to make sure about quite a few things before properly making up my mind.
Were they going to be in the country for a while?
What was the quality of the machine like?
Was it actually as good as others are claiming it to be (those die hard fans)?
Was it really worth the higher cost price?
The start of something new…
Before getting my machine, I had thought to spend a ton of time doing a ton of research into the machines and watching unboxing videos, but I didn’t do this.
Now, lets be real here – this is probably partially due to the fact that running a YouTube channel and working full time takes up a LOT of time, but it was also partially due to me not really wanting to onboard any other preconceived notions or opinions that other YouTubers/content creators had about the brand.
When I received my machine I spent quite a lot of time trying to learn how everything works. Cricut Design Space frustrated me quite a bit as I was coming from a much more complex design heavy program, and Design Space was far more simplistic. I now had to figure out where everything was and how to get to the end result of what I wanted to make – I don’t really do well with change (I’m sure many can relate), though as frustrated as I was, I soldiered on.
Within a few projects, I could easily see why Design Space was laid out the way it was. It was user friendly, and did not have an overwhelming number of new features one would feel pressured to learn right away. Without the overcomplication of too many features, you could focus on simpler projects without any of the fuss. I quickly realised that by learning how some of the functions work, you are able to still achieve similar results to the more complex design programmes, sometimes even a little quicker (though unfortunately this is not often the rule).
I also started to understand why the brand was so popular across the globe. With the software being so much more simplistic it was far more accessible to many more people who may be intimidated by complex programs.
There are many other things about Design Space that I could go on about, but for the sake of keeping this post under a trillion words I might use that as a topic in a different blog post.
The heavy realisations
On to the actual machine… Now this is where things started to get interesting. Right from the offset I knew that this would be a different experience. It was also not the type of experience I was expecting. When I removed the machine from the box and felt the full weight of it (literally – she is CHONK), I knew I wasn’t going to be terrified to break the machine – it was manufactured differently. I’m not going to say “better” because even with the ‘stronger’ manufacturing with different materials comes increased costs – and that is for you to decide whether it is better or not.
And it was probably at this moment that my thoughts about the brand started to shift, as I had my own tangible experience to counteract what I had been led to believe all this time.
As many things in the world of Cricut are a little more simple, with fewer bells and whistles, I actually found this to be a bit more of an advantage than a disadvantage. This is of course only my opinion – as someone who doesn’t use the machine for large orders (or really in any commercial capacity to be completely honest), there were many things I didn’t miss.
The more I used the machine, the moreI began to really enjoy it, and it removed the doubts I had about what I had already heard and thought. It honestly has been a wonderful experience and although the machine and software aren’t perfect, I definitely feel that they aren’t the villain that they were previously made out to be.
I so very much look forward to growing even more as a part of the Cricut Family South Africa.
And I am incredibly grateful to be part of this family.