For today’s interview please welcome Penny Berry from Lovehearts.
1. Firstly, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you are based, for example in which country and part of that country?
Hello, I am Penny Berry. I live in Banbury in Oxfordshire (UK) with my husband James and two little girls – Daisy & Sophie
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/crafts and business.
I am now a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum) and love making handmade items. I make a varied range, from wall hangings, chalk boards, door hangers, magnets and lots more. All my items have a ‘Heart’ shaped theme!
I am a collector of ‘Heart’ shaped things….and love the heart ranges from Emma Bridgewater.
3. What first interested you in your craft?
I can remember always drawing as a young teenager and showing an artistic flair at school. …I would say my Mum showed me how to sew and also taught at school…I always loved being creative. I loved my art lessons and cookery lessons the most at school.
4. Did you have any formal training or have you learnt by yourself as you have gone along?
I left school in 1986 and went straight to college to do an ‘Art & Design’ course for 2 years. I was taught various arty type lessons…pottery, drawing/painting and I especially enjoyed my ‘Fashion’ group, which is where I made various items of clothing and was shown how to use a sewing machine!
5. How did the idea for your business/website come about?
I have been creating my wreaths/wall hangings and selling them on a well known UK auction site for 2 years, probably selling one or two a month, making and selling as a little hobby. I noticed small business groups cropping up on Facebook and thought I could make my little business available on there. This is where ‘Lovehearts’ began.
6. How long now have you been established?
‘Lovehearts’ has been on Facebook since September 2010.
7. How do you find inspiration and where do you locate your materials?
I have a fab little fabric shop locally to me where I can source most of my items, but I also search the internet for a wider range of fabrics, buttons, ribbons etc. I am also very lucky to have a fantastic ‘Cath Kidston’ store near me and her crafts and her fabrics are another favourite of mine!!
A lot of the time I get a ‘lightbulb’ moment and think of something I would love to make, or I see things around me in magazines and shops and I also get inspiration that way….I really love pretty ‘shabby chic’ type things.
More part-time as my two daughters are only 4 and 2 and not at full time education yet, so in my day lokking after them I find time around them to get creative, source items I want and complete my orders.
9. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business/website.
I check my group ‘Lovehearts’ every morning for new enquiries. I will find patches of time to get creative during the day but more so in the evenings when my children are asleep!!
10. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business/website?
I really wished I had thought of my group sooner. I absolutely love my job being creative and working from home. I used to work for a company that sold chocolate and thought that was my best job ever, icing messages and being creative with chocolate models to gift wrapping service. It is so very ideal for me now. I’d say don’t hold back….go for it…it is so rewarding having so many customers tell me they love my items! And also sending me piccies of my items around their homes.
11. How do you sell your wares – through craft fairs etc or through your own website and or Etsy or other shops. Please let us have the links to these.
I only have my group on Facebook at the moment and I don’t think I am ready for larger coverage as yet as I probably wouldn’t manage it well with caring for my children fulltime also! Here is the link for my group:
Hopefully this year I will step into the world of craft fairs to sell my items.
12. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can learn more?
My Facebook Link:
Thank you so much for letting me tell you about me and my ‘Lovehearts’ xxx