Featured Crafter ~ Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness

29 Apr

Welcome to our Featured Article on Claire Mackaness of, Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness, who was voted as the winner of our recent St George’s Day mini Challenge, which was on our Facebook Page.  Claire makes a wonderful selection of handmade gift and home-wares and I hope you enjoy reading a bit more about the person behind the creations.


Hi, please tell us a bit about your background and your business?

Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness, Claire Mackaness, Brentwood, Essex.  Launched 2 years ago after my Mum bought me a sewing machine and I realised I wasn’t bad at making things!

Tell us about what you make and where you sell/exhibit your work?

I make a range of gifts and home-wares that I sell online via my website (, Folksy ( and Facebook (  I also sell at craft fairs and local events.  I work with vintage and vintage inspired materials and like anything kitsch!

Challenges are always having to stay on top of the competition and be one step ahead with your designs and what’s in trend.  Easier said than done when I also juggle being a mummy to 2 small children aged 10 months and 4.  I would love a shop one day where I could teach crafts and sell my work and people could come and drink tea on old vintage sofas.  Until the kids are old enough to fend for themselves though I don’t see this happening any time soon.  Having investment is another stumbler.  I could do with a cash injection for boring stuff like leaflets and advertising, but at the moment all my available cash goes on materials and I am relying on free media such as Twitter to promote myself.  And nice people like yourself of course who want to feature me on their blogs!

Tell us about some of your favourite or most challenging pieces and what inspired you to make them, is there a story behind each piece?

Please click the links to read the stories behind each picture.

Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Mainly other blogs, but I love Cath Kidston and a mooch round the boot sales.

What motivates you?

Keeping a roof over my head and food on my table and not having to work for someone else.

What piece of equipment could you not live without or which is your favourite and why?

It would have to be my sewing machine, I would be nothing without it.  My other favourite is the good old Glue gun it has saved me hours of hand sewing since I discovered it. There would certainly never have been a posh poppy without it!

What are your goals/plans for the future?  

Continue as I am but bringing in a little bit more money (please).  I’d like to build a regular class schedule and stock some more retail outlets with regular orders.

When you first started if you could have been given one piece of advice what would it have been and what advice would you pass on?

Don’t do sale or return.  I spent last year making things for shops that didn’t sell and then ended up selling it all off at cost to make my money back.

Where can we find you?  (Contact details etc)

Twitter @clairemackaness



18th April ~ St George's Day Challenge ~ Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness (WINNER)

Thank you Claire.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Featured Sellers


Tags: , , ,

One response to “Featured Crafter ~ Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness

  1. Yowe

    May 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Claire,

    I really enjoyed reading the stories behind some of your products, especially the poppies! The way they took off was incredible. I hope they are just as popular for you this year… I’ll certainly be looking you up nearer the time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

IreneIrving's Crafty Creative

Hand made creative capers, needle felt, fibres and mumbles ;)

Itchy Crochet

on love, life, and crochet

Life with Crafts

How to make the most of your crafty time.


Just another site


A fine site

Gembobs Inspiration

Gemmas Tutorials, Inventions, Ideas, Inspiration and Creations

Grab a coffee

I felt creative today ... -

UK Crochet Patterns

We seriously heart crochet and love to promote patterns in UK terms!


Our learning journey; rural life and Steiner education

Catatan dari Zion kota damai

Aku adalah anak Gembala

Baked By Mummy Iris

Behind the scenes! A space to document adventures as Wife, New Mummy and Owner of BAKED BY ME,

Crochet Eclectics

Exploring the world of crochet


Start Making Jewellery

Timetobeme's Blog

a mother/ housewifes jouney to find herself.

Ed Muirhead

New-fashioned folksongs


Rescue a Hidden Gem, Sprinkle a Little Magic, Relove and Treasure.

My Blanket Box

Crochet, crafting and creativity. Join me on my adventures x

Scavenger Annie

Sharing my adventures in alternative embroidery and vintage sewing whilst traversing the world of social media.


An artist's struggle to design, make and sell unique creations.


Speaking my mind and some arts and crafts

Purple RaRa

Stuff I've made


Shoebox2keepsake's Blog

creating custom-designed scrapbooks... just for you

Plums Are Also Round

...well kind of! The ramblings, findings and the little things in life that inspire and make me smile!

Little Me

A little craft bird with insomnia and glitter in her hair

Handmade By Mel Hearn

Made-to-measure curtains and bespoke fabric gifts


practical magic, pain management and joyful journeys

Mrs M Makes

Join me in my crafty adventures!

Crocknits's Blog

Designed,Handmade,Crochet & Knitted by CrocKnits



Offbeat Beads

Making and creating contemporary Jewellery and Crafts


Smile! You’re at the best site ever


From South Africa With Love

Handmade by Hannah

Day to day life, one crafting adventure at a time.

The sock garden

Cute & Crazy handmade creatures


The Fashion/Make up/Lifestyle Blog


confessions of a fabric obsessive

an archive of traditional and modern transylvanian crafts

Life isn't so much a puzzle as it is a plan

I live. I think. I write. I shoot. Unedited.

Ondine Blue Designs

The Blue Faerie's Adventures in jewellery making


All that sparkles and glitters-handmade with love...

Card Times

for handmade cards!

Crafting Glass

My Bohemian Life

Wood and Rope

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside ⚓


I run an online site selling embroidery machine designs.

%d bloggers like this: