Riverdale woman stitches together a business idea

By Matt Hooper

From her Riverdale apartment, Pasha Gibson carefully arranges three crocheted dolls on a blanket of the same stitch. The dolls are styled like little ducks with one wearing a purple dress, another in white, while the third sports a red jumper.

"This is actually an inspiration for a cartoon," Gibson said. "They're called 'Wacky Quackers.'"

The ducks are just the tip of Gibson's handcrafted iceberg. Since a very young age, Gibson, now 27, has occupied her hands.

"I used to, like, use old T-shirts, and make them into dolls of little girls," Gibson said. "Anything that I could pick up that I could use to make something out of, I would."

Gibson originally worked her hands so diligently to steady the tremors brought on by her cerebral palsy. The disease that causes her hands to shake and slight difficulty walking allowed Gibson to explore her more artistic side.

"The crocheting helps me to steady my system," she said.

Then, when she was 22, Gibson discovered she had more than a nerve-calming hobby on her hands.

"At first it started as a hobby, I did it just for relaxation," she said. "And then, as people saw them I realized they were really interested. They kept asking me to make them one, and they just kept calling and calling..."

"We had to convince her to get her own cell phone!" said her father, Marvin Assamad, from the kitchen.

Gibson said when she found people interested in buying her works, the idea for a possible home business came up.

"We were thinking about it, and we were consulting a business consultant, and he told us what we would have to do to get everything going, so we just continued on from there," she said.

Gibson said she hopes to one day take her home business to a national level with possible mass-production. But she wants to stay as involved as much as she can.

"We'll see if it'll come out just as good, or maybe better," she said.

After a moment's thought she added with a smile, "I don't think it could be better though."