When it comes to running a craft business most people generally focus on a particular craft, for some is art, others sewing, knitting, jewellery making, carpentry, the list goes on and generally with that craft they have embedded their own style, influences and nuances. I guess the broader term for that would be branding but it is generally what they become known for, that being their style. For some of us though we are a jack of all trades and a master of none, well that’s not technically true, we become pretty good at most things but my problem at the moment is the lack of direction and style and I am trying to work on that. I guess I have so many crafts under my belt, I don’t know which one to choose, whilst having so many crafts under your belt can be a good thing, it can also be quite daunting and focusing on one project can be quite hard because you then have an idea and want to start on something else and to be honest since becoming self employed I have struggled with the whole time management , do one thing at a time scenario. I am getting much better and more focused on this.
So where did it all begin?
I guess when I was younger my crafts were writing and art. I would spend hours drawing or writing stories and this was when I was at my most content getting lost in my own little world. I still am at the age of 37, an avid daydreamer and constantly getting lost in my one ideas, thoughts and imagination. I have no plans on changing this. In my early twenties I kind of fell out the habit of both these forms and enrolled at evening classes to do creative writing and art classes to try and kick start my habit again but life has a way of distracting you and good habits are way easier to break than bad habits. However, now I’ve managed to get my craft room/studio into some order, I have dug out the art supplies and put them on display as a daily reminder to myself of the promise to start painting again this year. I would say without a doubt art is my first love, I maybe a little rusty with my drawing skills but I really want to incorporate my own artwork into my designs in my future work and I have a tonne of blank canvases to fill up.
Next I got into paper crafts, mainly card making. My first Christmas cards looked like a five year old made them, it’s something I’ve kept up over the years mainly because I liked giving handmade cards but I’ve just lost the mojo on this one and am giving this one up, I used to enjoy it but it seems an awful lot of work for something that is most likely to end up in the recycling bin because it’s only good once.
I started sewing quite young, for my GCSE home Economics I made doll clothes for a project, when I was 23 I visited my family in Mauritius for a few months, my aunt who is seamstress by trade let me use her sewing machines to make some clothes and my passion for sewing was reignited. I came home, asked for money for my birthday to help buy a sewing machine and started making my own clothes. It’s been nearly fifteen years now and I still love sewing as much as I did back then. Naturally some of my clothes were a little wonky back then but with time and practice I’ve gotten a lot better and confidant in my sewing skills. You can catch up on my past sewing escapades here
Knitting and embroidery is pretty much the same story, I learnt when I was a kid and dabbled over the years making stuff for people but this year I decided to up my stitching game and am learning to expand my skills by learning new techniques and reach advance level. I’m working towards being able to draft my own patterns! I have a lot to learn about knitting especially different yarn types, I’m pretty much loving Aran at the moment. So much do I love this skill, I have a project in the works for later in the year but more on that in Part 2.
I like to collect old and vintage books on crafts, 60s and 70s ones are my favourites.
The Wild Card!
I never planned on making jewellery as much as I do at the moment, I’ve dabbled here and there, mainly to make stuff for myself or to fix broken pieces I bought. Recently I found myself the recipient of a rather generous donation from a friend who is moving country, so I’ve been experimenting to see if I like it or not. Whilst I enjoy it, it’s not something I want to do all the time, I kind of like keeping it at hobby level if that makes sense or at least at minimum until I can actually put more of the design work in myself.
In a way I think my style is that I do have a lots of interchangeable skills, which means I can provide a wide variety of stock in different styles and maybe that’s not a bad thing but it makes picking a direction hard. As they say the craft life chose me, I didn’t chose the craft life! I love crafting, I love that I’m filled with the desire to make and create all the time, to live and breathe what I love doing and I’m so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to make my dream a reality but now is the time to focus on future plans and what I really want to do and for that you’ll have to tune into part 2.