Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Q&A with Crafty Miss Anne

What inspired you to start your business?  
I have been crafting since I was really little. I preferred crayons and coloured pencils to dolls! Craft is a relaxing hobby for me. It's a good way to unwind and is a great outlet for expressing my creativity. Since childhood, I have loved making something unique for family and friends and watching their delight as they open their gifts. It was only last year that I decided to take the next step and start selling my handmade items. 

What is your handmade business all about? 
My handmade business is all about creating unique handmade items that are of a practical nature (e.g. cards, jewellery, homewares, decorative items etc.). I like to keep the customer/recipient of my handmade items in mind when creating something and try to envisage how they would use my item. I would hate if someone bought/received something from me and then couldn't think of anything to do with it.

What do you enjoy most about your business? 
Running a hobby business has proven to be very rewarding. Besides the joy of knowing that someone out there loves your handmade items as much as you enjoyed making them, I have also really enjoyed the social aspects with running a hobby business. I have been able to engage directly with customers and form friendships with people who appreciate the hard work, creativity and dedication that goes into handmade items. I have received some lovely positive feedback from customers and have a lot of support from family and friends which has all encouraged me to keep making Crafty Miss Anne even better!

What is your favourite product to make? 
This is a very, very hard question. I honestly don't have an answer as I enjoy so many different types of crafts. I love creating handmade cards, jewellery, homewares, decorative pieces etc. but can't pick which of them I prefer to make!

How did you learn your craft? 
I am completely 100% self taught. I have improved my skills through experimenting, making lots of mistakes and practising until I have perfected a technique. I love just having a go at different sorts of craft techniques.

What handy hints do you have for people who are starting up a hand-made business? 
As I work full time, my business is only a part-time hobby one. This means that I often only get a couple of hours (on a good day!) to make anything. While it's extremely hard to manage a full time career with a hobby I'm passionate about, I enjoy every single minute of it! My tips for juggling a full time job and running a part-time hobby business are: 1. Manage your time effectively – this is something that I am still learning how to do, however it is vital that you find little ways to make the most out of your crafting time 2. Get organised – another thing that I am constantly striving towards. Ensure that your creative space is organised and that your craft stash is accessible and easy to find which is very important when you have limited time to create! 3. Engage with other sellers – there are lots of other sellers out there that can provide helpful advice and feedback. It’s always a good idea to bounce ideas of other like minded people and I’ve made quite a few friends through this experience. The “Hand-made.com.au sellers group” on Facebook is a fantastic forum for all aspects related to running a handmade business. Hand-made.com.au is a great way to start up your own business. Kristian and Alison are an extremely dedicated dynamic duo who provide a lot of help, support and advice to their sellers. They listen to their sellers and actively seek feedback on what we (as sellers) want to get out of the site.

What plans do you have for your business in the next year?
Over the next year, I would like to gain a lot more exposure for my handmade items and for my online store. I would like to try a variety of different online and face-to-face promotional strategies.

Visit Crafty Miss Anne on Hand-Made.com.au

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