Category Archives: The Craft Room

Kathie Fitzgerald’s Indispensable Guide To Crafting a Business

For an incredibly long time, I have wanted nothing more than to start my own business selling handcrafted products. Over the years I’ve dabbled in a number of crafts which I’ve enjoyed, holding on to the belief that one day, I’d be able to make a living from my passion.

Courtesy of ArtsyBee at pixabay.com

Sadly that day never arrived!

I’ve made products which were sold in the family business, and I’ve made things to give as gifts – which were always very gladly received, I’m pleased to say – but I’ve never taken that leap of faith into the great unknown and set up on my own.

Courtesy of pexels at pixabay.com

I’ve now decided, however, that now is the time. There’s absolutely nothing to stop me from giving it a go… Although it would help if I could make up my mind as to what I want to create and which craft I’d like to get more involved with.

Courtesy of Skyangel at pixabay.com

But while I may be fairly confident in my abilities as a crafter, it’s the business side of things that scares me a little. My dad and sister are the ones known for their business acumen in the family – me, not so much… Although I have despaired at some of the ridiculous antics of the candidates on The Apprentice!

However I’ve stumbled across a really useful book that I think is indispensable for anyone who wishes to start a craft-based business. It’s called Crafting a Business: Make Money Doing What You Love by Kathie Fitzgerald.

It’s not a new book but out of all the books that I’ve read that explains how to start a craft-based business, Crafting a Business, I find, is the most helpful and inspiring. The book is divided into two parts. The first part contains profiles for various female business owners as they outline how they got into their particular craft, started their business, built their brand etc. The fact that many of these talented women are self-taught, never attended a course, or had to overcome life’s trials and obstacles in order to get to where they are now, is nothing short of inspirational.

The second part of the book is what is called the Business Crafting Workshop which gives instructions as to how to structure a business plan, finance your business, develop and market your product etc. For those of us who don’t have  much practical business knowledge or experience, it’s a great starting point to help you get your business off the ground.

OK, I’m done with part one, now time to tackle part two!

Wish me luck!

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10 Things You’ll Understand If You’re A Craft Addict

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I’m so glad to include a craft section to this blog. I absolutely love crafts. I thrive on creativity and love unleashing my inner artist, allowing my imagination to run riot. Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at so many different types of crafts: jewellery making, soap making, paper crafts, confectionery, creating gift baskets, floristry… the list goes on. And I’ve enjoyed every single one. I am now going to try my hand at découpage, and yesterday I drove Mr. D. mad as I insisted on him taking me to the nearest craft store to pick up supplies.

courtesy of LeoNeoBoy at pixabay.com

courtesy of LeoNeoBoy at pixabay.com

There are a few places I consider to be my happy place – and the craft room is one of them. Nothing makes me happier than to be knee-deep in flowers, with gluey fingers, glitter in my hair, and pieces of fabric scattered about the place. And although it’s my virtual home that has acquired a craft room, I’m hoping it won’t be long before my real home acquires one too. Mr. D. take note!

Courtesy of ArtsyBee at pixabay.com

Courtesy of ArtsyBee at pixabay.com

And it seems that I’m not the only one. There’s a keen army of crafter’s out there that’s growing bigger by the day. Many TV shows that feature arts and crafts have made it ‘cool’ to get creative. But cool or not, it’s most definitely a fantastic way to unwind which is just what’s needed for today’s hectic way of life.

Courtesy of meim at pixabay.com

Courtesy of meim at pixabay.com

For those of you whose idea of a wild time is to find as many uses as possible for odd pieces of ribbon, the following will be easy for you to relate to:

1. JUNK? NO WAY!

I collect the ribbons from chocolate boxes, tissue paper from gifts,buttons and beads that have fallen off  clothes… many may regard these as waste that needs to be binned, but to me these are inspiration for a new craft project and these bits and bobs are bound to come in handy.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

To illustrate my point, I remember taking an order from a bride who wanted flower girl baskets but had left it a little too late. I had just one weekend to come up with two baskets in a rather unusual choice of colour.

So I dipped into my box of trusty oddments, and came up with tulle remnants, pieces of ribbon and a small bunch of silk flowers all in the desired colour. I had one happy customer and my sister never laughed at my box of junk again!

2. SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES

You’re too well-mannered to tell your friends what to buy you as a gift (unless they badger you of course!) but they know you so well that even though designer brands are in, they know that you would actually prefer to make the chocolates… Or candles… Or scarf… Or jewellery yourself. So what’s the gift of choice for the girl (or guy) who likes putting their hands to creative good use? Sessions at a craft workshop of course!

 Courtesy of pexels at pixabay.com

Courtesy of pexels at pixabay.com

There are workshops and classes available for a variety of different crafts which last from one day for something quick and simple to several sessions which run for a period of several weeks or even months if you really want to get stuck in. It’s a really unique and thoughtful gift – just perfect for your craft mad friend.

3. HERE’S ONE I MADE EARLIER

Likewise when you need to get a gift for your friend, you’re more likely to reach for your craft box rather than your device to scour the online shopping sites. You know that there’s nothing more unique than a handpainted teapot, screen printed T-shirt, beaded scarf, or studded leather wristband you’ve created yourself.

of Couleur at pixabay.com

Courtesy of Couleur at pixabay.com

One of our most stunning wedding gifts is a glass vase that was etched with a gorgeous jasmine design, complete with our names and the date of our wedding. It’s beyond beautiful, extremely personal and deeply treasured. It reminds us of our friends every time we see it.

4. FIX UP, LOOK SHARP!

Your favourite T-shirt has a rip in it? No problem -you simply stitch it up, add some embellishments and it’s as good as new. Wooden coffee table literally on it’s last legs? Once it’s been repaired, gets revamped with a brand new coat of paint in a bold colour, it looks better than ever before.

Curtesy of karennagato at pixabay.com

Curtesy of karennagato at pixabay.com

Nothing ever gets thrown out because you enjoy transforming it into a work of art.

5. YOU KNOW WHERE IT’S AT!

There isn’t a craft store you haven’t heard of, a craft book or magazine you haven’t read, or a craft site you don’t know about.

When I first got into crafting, I used to sit at the computer for hours, finding craft sites and purchasing all kinds of wonderful items from them. A ‘quick browse’ around local craft stores would see me leaving with a big bag of goodies.

Courtesy of skeeze at pixabay.com

Courtesy of skeeze at pixabay.com

On our last visit to Edinburgh for a week long break, Mr. D and I came across a very quaint, little craft shop and of course, I couldn’t resist going in. We left empty-handed.

NOT!

6. YOU HAVE THE BASIC KNOW-HOW

Courtesy of Skyangel at pixabay.com

Courtesy of Skyangel at pixabay.com

You’re able to identify a variety of crafting tools and explain what they’re used for. You know how to convert measurements with ease. You know your antique rose from your blush pink, and you can talk floristry techniques for hours.

7. WHEN OTHERS SEE AN EMPTY JAM JAR READY FOR RECYCLING…

of HealthKindness at pixabay.com

of HealthKindness at pixabay.com

…you see a container for a new batch of marmalade, jams, or chutneys you plan to give as gifts; a drinking glass for your homemade brew; a new candle holder in need to decoration; a storage jar for your craft bits and bobs; vessel for your new snow globe…

… That is how you think like a crafter!

8. MAGAZINES ARE THE NEW CARPET!

Courtesy of kconcha at pixabay.com

Courtesy of kconcha at pixabay.com

You can barely see  the flooring in your house because it’s completely covered with this months craft magazines which you love flicking through for inspiration for new craft projects  and to find out what’s new in the world of crafts.

9. WHY STOP AT ONE CRAFT???

Courtesy of webqueen at pixabay.com

Courtesy of webqueen at pixabay.com

My friends and family know about my passion for floristry but I like to mix it up every now and again by indulging in other crafts. I have another friend who’s known for her fabulous candles and cross stitching; my former floristry tutor can also add balloon art and jam making to her creative bow; my father-in-law, while known for his amazing wood sculptures has also created art from glass and leather, and many of my former floristry classmates are fantastic when it comes to baking, sugar craft, fruit carving, sewing, table decorations and favour making.

Talk about a talented bunch!

10. YOU’RE A HAPPY LITTLE CRAFTER!

Someone once told me that being a florist suited me to the ground because I was such a happy person. Well I don’t know about that – I have my moments just like everyone else – but it’s true that crafts really do bring out the best in me and I’m happiest when I’m getting stuck into one of my projects.

I know a lot of other crafters feel the same. There’s nothing quite like designing and creating something beautiful yourself. And if it’s admired by others, so much the better. And if you can actually make a living out of selling your crafts, then you’ve really hit the jackpot.

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This probably explains why the three years I spent at flower school were among some of the best years of my life. Not only did I learn so much but I was among like-minded people who loved getting creative and using their imagination – and boy did we have a laugh! There was the odd row but mostly – we laughed!

 

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