For today’s interview, please welcome Helena from Microbio.
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? I live very close to Lisbon, Portugal
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/design based business. Microbio is a project born out of creative longing, a love of colour and a passion for crafting! My name is Helena, I am a portuguese craft maker and yes – I am addicted to craftmaking! I started early as a little girl making stuff for my little dolls, then clothes for myself from Burda magazine patterns which was tricky. By that time I could only find them in German language so I had to figure out the instructions because I can’t speak german at all… I was taught by my grandmother using an old Singer machine and this is how I found out my passion for fabric.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? I hold a degree in international relations (political branch). Though I don’t regret my choice of studies I soon found out that a whole life confined to an “office box” was not quite for me… I had a few full time jobs, met some nice people too, but “colour” was definitely always missing from my life. I really don’t need a colourless life in an “office box”, so to keep my craftsanity it was while I was working full time that I decided to brand my craft work. “Microbio” sounded perfect to me as it implies the spread of good things as mine are benign, cute and made with much love. I even started a blog and discovered I love making bags – all sorts of bags!
4. How long now have you been established? Since May 2011
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your great ideas? Like I said, “colour” is my inspiration – I cannot say where/ why/when I come up with an idea but ideas always come up in batches and with patterns included, haha!
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? Well, I am doing it full time now and hope to keep it that way – it would be a good sign 🙂
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? From the moment I wake I’m always in search for colour…to see colourful buttons, fabrics, blogs…then I have breakfast which follows by making lots of colourful things, bags mostly. I tweet, I handle my emails and I don’t have a fixed timetable …or weekends. There are also admin times and “run to post office” times of course (and laundry, cleaning…) but these are too boring 😉
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? I think its too early for me to give good advice to others but I would say – put all the energy and love you have got into your makes – make stuff you would wear yourself – believe and make others believe you have the item they need – have the best customer support -and make yourself always visible.
9. As this is Art of Crafts I have to ask, do you enjoy any crafts yourself in your spare time? If so, please tell us more. I mostly enjoy craft books in my spare time! I prefer those books able to take me to “enchanted” places, woodlands, fairytales. Examples: “[easyazon-link asin=”2700604342″ locale=”us”]La trousse à couture[/easyazon-link]” by Léa Stansal, “[easyazon-link asin=”1440314403″ locale=”us”]Everything Alice[/easyazon-link]” – book of makes by Baldrey, Leech are great, inspiring books.
10. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a web address, Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can find out more ?
My shop: microbio.dawanda.com
I blog here: microbio-noar.dawanda.com
Facebook: Helena Microbionoar (say you saw me at Arts of Crafts)