1) What is your business/craft?
I mainly do jewellery, but my crafts also include some home decor and some accessories.I use different media, so the processes involved in each type of craft are different.For my “normal”jewellery I mainly use wire-wrapping and stringing techniques with beading wire,metal wire and glass beads or semi precious stones.
For my polymer clay jewellery and home decor the process is totally different and lenghty.
It all starts with the row materials(clay) and patience.I use both the standard colours and my own blends.The clayis kneaded, rolled and then worked in different ways, depending on what you want to do.If you want to make a cane then you just keep on rolling, flattening and composing your design into a log (the cane).Then you build your item’s shape (a bead,a pendant,hair barrette or a sheet if you are covering something) and you decorate it with slices of your cane/sheet.You cure your item in the oven and then you sand it, polish it and glaze it.
2) What event, series of events, or situations allowed you to start your business and make money with your crafts?
After doing some beading and fimo to fill up the time I was spending alone at home I decided to give it a try and open my online shop. This is when I realised that I was totally addicted to making crafts, so that it was a natural development. And, just to be on the safe side, although I didn’t expect to make much money with it, I registered with the HR for peace of mind.the business was set up!
3) Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?
I take my inspiration from everything. Shapes, colours, other crafters’work or any tiny detail you can notice around.I rarely have a plan, I’m a messy crafter!Most of the time I fall for a shape or a colour and I start from there, trying until I find my way around it.
4) How does your culture, upbringing, and/or environment influence your designs/crafts?
I come from a country where attention to details is very important, So I guess this has somehow influenced me, madking me prefer simple designs with small details to give emphasys, rather then elaborated ones.My mum is a creative person too, and I guess this is my main influence.She thaught me to add your personal touch to things.
5) What are some of the ways you market and promote your business/Craft?
Lately I haven’t been promoting so much, as I’m focxused on revising my suppliers, stocking up supplies and the branding, so that I haven’t had much time to do anything else.NormSo far the most effective way to promote has been the word of mouth, I reckon. Most of my work is on custom orders, and these arrive to me through friends/friends of friends etc. Etsy tools have also been very useful, from the FB application to the simple (and debated) item re-listing and renewal. I’m planning to buy some ads (on FB or Google), but I have to fill up the shop again first!
6) Do you use myspace, facebook, flickr, ning, or other social networking sites? If yes or no, why?
I do use FB and Flickr..and UK Handmade, which I believe is a ning...?I’m not always so active lately for the reasons i explained above. fb really gets me lots of views..not sales, though.
7) Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other crafters selling or looking to start selling their crafts?
To be consistent. To set up a structure for your business before getting into it with no direction.
To set your goals, To be not so emotional about your business, but rather be clear, rational and open-minded. To observe things and people, from competitors to customers, and understand what your tools are. I’m only trying to do all this now and it is draining!Better a bit of planning ahead.And always remember that you are doing what you love, even in the lucky case you’ve transform it into a proper business.Under pressure it’s easy to forget that you love making that fiddly thing, much easier to look at it as something that now has to be done and possibly quickly. Wrong, as you’ll loose your touch, in my opinion.
8) Aside from running your business what are some of the fun things you like to do in life?
Well..lately I haven’t got much time left, as I’m employed full time and do my crafts in my “free”(!) moments... But,in a normal situation, I like to walk, going around with no destination, discovering hidden corners of London, taking pictures, visiting markets, and of course....having litres of coffee with my girlfriends!!!!
9) Visit the website www.petitechacal.com and the Blog
London Design Festival at JeDeCo - Currently on view at the gallery is a great display of jewellery designers work inspired by their countries of origin. The is a great variety on show with...