Our Feature Crafter of this week is Wombling Way. She is amazing in creating embroidery - which she learned from her mother - and her favourite item is the handmade puppets. There are also some awesome looking bags that you should check out!
So, here's the interview:
1. How did you start crafting and how long have you been doing it?
My mother does a lot of art and crafts and was always making things with us and for us. She taught me how to embroider, how to make decorations from card and most importantly to want to try new things. So I have been crafting for as long as I can remember.
2. Do you recommend to a new crafter to have crafting as a main job?
It takes a lot of hard work to get crafting to pay as a main source of income, but there are people who do it. Treat it like any other job in the time you devote to it. I am working full time so my craft business is a part time job for me. I would say : follow your dream and go for it.
3. What is your favorite item in your shop?
The puppets! Each is different and they are such fun to make. They are cheeky, and cuddly, and full of character. I have made them for all my nephews and they have sent us little video stories with the puppets, it's a lovely way to communicate!
4. What tips would you give to anyone who thinks of starting his own crafting business?
Don't chase the money, do it because you love it. Make items that you enjoy and would buy yourself because it shines through in the product. Be very patient, overnight success is rare. Be persistent and promote yourself. This one is quite hard because there are so many ways to do this and there isn't one that is better than the others. Just keep putting your shop out there.
5. Can you give us some tips on how you promote your shop?
I have Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest pages so when I upload a new item to my misi shop I pin the images onto Pinterest. That automatically generates a tweet. I also put short posts about general crafting on my Facebook page that generate tweets, and write a blog (probably not as regularly as I should) which I publicise through Facebook and twitter.
Then there are the ways to promote on twitter itself. It seems most regions have a #hour that local businesses get involved in, so #northeasthour for me! Also #handmadehour on a Wednesday. These are great ways to get your shop noticed by loads of people because everyone is promoting each other.
Then there is the good old fashioned promotion - I tell people I meet and hand out business cards. I have also had a poster and t-shirt printed so I am recognisable when I do a craft fair.
6. Besides crafting, what else do you love doing?
I love baking though it's not great for the waistline, and cycling, in an attempt to counteract the effects of the baking. I'm also part of a puppet ministry team in our church which I love, and it means I get to play, a lot!
7. Tell us about your crafting space..
My home office doubles as my crafting space so my sewing machine goes on my desk at weekends. I definitely need more organised storage! I am thinking about how to revamp the room. When I'm card making all my paper craft kit is in the living room which is a bit messy but allows me to spread out.
8. What is the tool, you could not work without?
My sewing machine. Oh and my glue gun. Oh and my needles and pins, and scissors. Blimey, there are so many tools I use! Just remembered my craft knife and cutting mat for cutting foam! Okay, I will stop there. I won't mention the paper cutters, die machine, heat gun.........
9. How long after listing an item you had your first sale?
I think it was about a month between listing and the first sale.
10. What is your main source of inspiration?
I find inspiration in family, nature, places I have been, my faith, and other crafters. There are so many beautiful things and characters in the world I find inspiration can sideswipe you when you are least expecting it.
11. When do you feel more creative?
When I'm out and about cycling or walking, or when I'm on my own with loads of fabric spread all over the place.
12. Where do you see your business in 10 years from now?
Attending a lot of craft fairs and successfully selling online, but still a one man band!
13. What's your favourite crafting category? Do you have in mind to start crafting somethiing else (besides your usual crafting category)?
My items are mainly fabric gifts which covers a huge range of things so there is loads of scope for venturing into new areas. My card making is for personal use, and I'm too slow at knitting to make anything for anyone but me!
14. What are the main problems a crafter faces especially when he is in the beginning?
Getting noticed! It is hard to stand out from the crowd when there are so many fabulous crafters out there.
Promoting yourself - it doesn't always come naturally.
Keeping the belief alive - it is easy to start doubting yourself and your work when sales don't come flooding in.
15. How did you find MISI? What else would you like to see being added to the site?
When I decided to 'go online' I researched all the craft shop marketplaces comparing their pros and cons and thinking about how my work would fit in. Misi was the best fit for me. I would like a bit more flexibility with the categories on misi. For example, the puppets are great for puppet teams but I am limited to children's toys.
-Well be sure we will look into the categories issue ;)
Thank you for taking the time to answer your questions, it was a pleasure for us. We wish you many sales!
Visit Womblig Way.