Friday, 24 January 2014

Fabulous Fridays...The Interview ~ Crafty Clara

Our favourite day is here for once again and we are happy to present you another brand new interview; this time with Crafty Clara!

Time for a glass of wine, shabby chic sign

She specializes in sign creation and she is really good. Read her interview:

1. Speak a bit for yourself or introduce yourself. Besides crafting, what else do you love doing?

I am Clara, Crafty Clara. I make elegant handmade country crafts and unique gifts. I am based in Kent and despite having a very busy business I also have two daughters. Fortunately I have a very supportive husband so juggling every day life is a little easier! Besides coming up with new ideas for my products in my free time I like walking our dog and baking.

2. How did you start crafting and how long have you been doing it?

I first started making cards and family and friends said I should sell them. They were very simple and elegant and were very successful. However, the time it took to make a few cards I could make 20 chalkboards which was far more financially beneficial. Although people still say to me that they miss my cards my time is far better used making crafts from wood and a greater return! I have been running my business for over 10 years now.

3. What are the problems you faced as a crafter until now? Do you have an advice for someone that thinks to start or is new to crafting business?

The problem I have and am sure many do is that large stores will beat you down on price to stock your products as they can easily buy mass produced items from China which cost pence. You need to know exactly what your products costs to produce to the penny and know what you your profit margins are. Know your market and who you are aiming to sell to. Customers want value for money but you are also running a business so you need to find the balance. Don’t be put off by competition at crafts fairs or farmers markets, it’s all healthy, be proud of what you make.

4. What's your favourite crafting category? Do you have in mind to start crafting something else (besides your usual crafting category)?

I absolutely love what I do, so rewarding. Although my chalkboards and pegboards are practical yet lovely the shabby chic signs without a doubt are the biggest seller. They attract the most attention from customers and the ideas are limitless. I wouldn’t consider doing anything else, I will stick to what I know! The most satisfying line I love doing is anything for weddings. From table place settings, practical signs and personalised special signs that can be treasured forever.

5. What is your main source of inspiration? How do you propel your creativity?

My eldest daughter who is 15 does come up with some great quotes and phrases. The good ones I do make into signs but unfortunately she has started demanding commission for each one that sells! I try to come up with phrases that are inspirational, practical and humorous. Something for everyone.

6. Tell us about your crafting space. Do you have a favourite material and tool?

I use the work shop for sanding and drilling and everything else I do from home. If an order comes through I can make it and send it the same day as everything is set up at home. I love using gorgeous colour paints. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is wonderful. It is not cheap so I am very careful what I paint with it. 

Time for a glass of wine, shabby chic sign

7. So you crafting space transmutes to an online shop. How do you promote your e-shop, which social media you use?

Trial and error will determine which on line shops work and which don’t. If I don’t get any orders I check that they are listed in the right category and that the price is right for the sort of traffic for that site. I do have a company facebook page which keeps me up to date with other companies, news about events and it gives me an instant platform for my customers to see new products which is linked to my website.

8. How long after listing an item into your e-shop you had your first sale?

The fastest order I had was I listed an item and before the email came through to confirm the listing, one had already sold!

9. Where do you see your business in 10 years from now?

I would like to be in an endless list of shops but realistically on line is the most effective way to sell products. My dream would be a household name...wouldn’t anyone?! My husband does keep reminding me that I’m not Cath Kidston or Emma Bridgewater yet!

10. How did you find MISI? What else would you like to see being added to the site?

The site was recommended as one of the top 4 online shopping sites when I did my research. I have hundreds of views on my products on the site but hasn’t quite transformed into sales. I do think that the categories are restricted for what I do. If I type in signs in the search for example it doesn’t bring up any of my signs. If I was to look for gift ideas I never click through specific categories to get to the line that I want. I would like to have something for signs as mine can be in so many different categories!

Gone for a dog walk, shabby chic sign

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1 comment:

  1. I bought one of these for my sisters birthday and she loves it....