Smashing Chintz - 'I have used my hands ...' - [image: UK Handmade - Smashing Chintz][image: UK Handmade - Smashing Chintz][image: UK Handmade - Smashing Chintz][image: UK Handmade - Smashing Chintz][ima...
Friday, March 19, 2010
1. What is your business/craft and give a summary of your handmade process.
I create handmade costume jewellery, greeting cards and other handcrafted keepsakes and gifts.
I use all manner of items to create my 'wishes', from found, reclaimed items to brand new bought raw crafting products. This allows me to offer unique pieces that are either one of a kind or are in small quantities.
I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember and have dabbled in many different crafts over the years, honestly I can’t think of a type of craft that doesn’t interest me and this can leave me feeling like time is running out, as I would love to try my hand at everything. My main stays have always been paper based crafts and more recently over the last 8+ years creating jewellery, in last 6 months I have become truly fascinated with creating wearable art and so plan to explore this avenue more in depth.
2. What event, series of events, or situations allowed you to start your business and make money with your crafts?
I am recently new to the world of selling my creations, only started Oct, 09. I have always been told by family and friends that I should turn my then hobby into a business but I finally decided to bite the bullet last year when I found myself finally a stay at home mom with a lot more time on my hands.
So I decided to put my time to good use and started creating items from my craft stock cupboard, I was accumulating items with no real plans on what to do with the finished products and so decided to open a little blogshop to flog my wares so to speak.
3. Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
I get inspired by many different sources;
Magazines, tutorials, other crafters and designers all sometimes lead me in another direction or help me to challenge the way I would normally do things, allowing me to put my own spin on an idea.
Nature and the natural world also greatly influence the materials I use, the colours I lean to and some of my design ideas.
But most times I simply sit in front of my work table and just let my ideas come freely. I rarely draw out my designs before hand. I am though planning to create various mood boards to help me find inspiration for when I am having a crafters block moment.
4. How does your culture, upbringing, and/or environment influence your designs/crafts?
My father was an architect and my mom was an accomplished seamstress while I was growing up, I was also very lucky to have a couple relatives whose careers were art related, this along with a very supportive extended family lead me to enjoy and pursue my creative side as a youngster.
The adults from my childhood always seem to praise the individuality and uniqueness of the kids in their charge, which constantly gives me, even now, the confidence to think and create outside the box so to speak.
5. What are some of the ways you market and promote your business/Craft?
Like I said before I am new to this and so I am still finding my way in self promotion of my brand so to speak. Currently I use the following:
Blogging and all that it entails.
Free ad type websites.
Face to face self promotion such as business cards, etc.
And this year I also plan to do a few local craft shows, school bazaars, jewellery parties, etc.
6. Do you use myspace, facebook, flickr, ning, or other social networking sites? If yes or no, why?
You can find me on Flickr, Twitter and UK Handmade ning forum. I had initially been on lots of others but found I was spending more time networking rather than creating. I am still trying to find the right balance.
Flickr - I use to show case some of my work mainly when I join groups with other creators concentrating on a specific creative topic/ medium.
Twitter - I use mainly to advertise when I add new items to my shops and to advertise me shop overall. I also use this site to let others know when I have updated my blogs and as time go on I will also use it to inform others of shows, bazaars, etc I can be found at.
UK Handmade ning based forum - is a great place for me to network with other UK based creators, its where I can share and get feedback on my ideas and make new friends with others who have similar interests.
7. Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other crafters selling or looking to start selling their crafts?
Like I said before I just started my business on a whim but when I have ran businesses before I found and experienced a steady upward growth quicker when I laid a good foundation before launching the business.
I had no experience selling online when I started and though I am learning a lot every day, I would have done better to research what it entailed before jumping in. there certainly would have been less mistakes and better uses of my time if I had followed this fundamental rule of business.
Thankfully it hasn’t cost me any loss of money the way I did it but I‘m sure it has affected some of my earning potential.
8. Aside from running your business what are some of the fun things you like to do in life?
Gardening is a big love of mine; it’s another thing I have been doing for as long as I can remember.
I also enjoy being a stay at home mom and home schooling my youngest at the moment.
Reading, long countryside walks/ bike rides (with/ without my family), dancing and hanging out with girlfriends are some of the other things I enjoy doing.
9. Please add any links here:
My store name is Kella’s Creative Wishes and…
My Blogshop is for UK shoppers: http://kellascreativewishes.blogspot.com/
I also have a store for international customers: http://kellascreativewishes.storenvy.com/
My blogs are:
http://mebutalittlebitmoreindepth.blogspot.com/ Where I blog about family life and my crafting projects.
http://kellasvegeplotandothermusings.blogspot.com/ Where I blog about my gardening exploits and growing my own food for my family.
Other places to find me are on:
UK Handmade forum.