It’s been a good while since we featured an article by a crafter. I don’t know about you, but I do love reading about other crafters, how they got started, what inspires them and keeps them motivated to continue creating, I find it really helps me keep motivated too.
I know it’s very hard to self promote yourselves especially when asked to write your own article, I would love to be able to travel the length and breadth of the country visiting and interviewing you all, however, unless circumstances ever change and we start to generate some income this isn’t really practical. So I thank every brave person who stands up and says I will do it, who puts their head above the parapet and writes about themselves and their business. You ALL should do it you know.
So I would like to thank and introduce you to Rachel the owner of My Craft House, who very kindly and bravely agreed to write this article and tell us a bit about herself and her business.
All stitched up: The life and times of a crafting mum.
My crafting days started way back when I was just a young girl, I watched as my Granddad painted and I loved to see my Grandma’s knitting. Despite it being the 80’s and the love of all things crafty not being at the height of fashion, I loved it. I remember the first time I picked up a set of knitting needles (which I still have!) and made my first attempts at making something, I was hooked, even though it was full of holes! My love of making grew with me and as a teenager I would make clothes, paint as well as knit. I took GCSE Textiles and Art & Design although I never envisaged an actual career that would use any of these skills. They were hobbies and that is what they remained until I had children.
I was 30 when my second son came into the world and I would say that it was at this point that I started to consider using my craft skills to try to make some money. It was the age-old situation of a mother at home wanting to help with the income, but also wanting to be at home with the children. I trawled the internet for ideas and soon realised that there were a lot of work at home scams out there. So I decided that the best way forward was to use my craft skills to my advantage. My first website was not at all successful, which left me disappointed, but it also helped me look at what I was doing more critically. After a couple of years, I returned to work part-time and started listing things I had made on Ebay. I had a mixed reaction to my creations, but
the personalised tote bags where a hit, in the process of making these, I inadvertently created a product. Iron on fabric shapes, letters and numbers, which I started to sell on Ebay, very successfully.
In August of 2011 I had to take time out as I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer which came as a shock to us all, after a couple of operations, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, love and support of my husband and children and a year on, I was back on my feet and ready to take the world on again. I knew I was getting better when I realised how much I was missing doing anything creative.
I did a fair bit of research to make sure what I had created was ok to sell. The end result is the very lovely Iron on shapes, letters and numbers. I use a combination of Sizzix cutters, a heat activated fabric adhesive and quality cotton fabric including Cath Kidston fabrics to create iron on embellishments that do not require sewing and are machine washable. The letters are particularly popular as they can be used to personalise all sorts of things from bunting to bags. From this My Craft House was born, the original website was replaced with a super shiny new website www.mycrafthouse.co.uk last year and has been gaining a dedicated customer base with many customers coming back time and time again.
As well as the iron on embellishments you will find felt and card die-cuts at My Craft House along with jewellery from a very talented local designer and some of my own creations too, but the backbone of my business is the Iron on embellishments.
It’s not been an easy process and I have been on a very steep learning curve and I still am. I’m always learning new things, not just crafty things either there is so much to learn about starting, building and maintaining a business too, as well as developing a website! It’s been a long road but worth it because I love what I do.
Thanks for reading.
Contact Details for Rachel:
Facebook: My Craft House
I hope you enjoyed reading Rachel’s article, please take a moment to leave a comment, it would be appreciated. Also if you feel inspired to write your own article and tell us about your business, then please get in touch. We can make it easier for you and send you some questions to help you write your article or you can do it like Rachel and tell us in all your own words. Contact us via our email address firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks.