2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft based website. Well I really wanted it to reflect the pride and heritage of our great nation and inject a little fun, really to reflect the fun and joy in felt-making. It was important that the website was instantly recognisable for all the right reasons and a place where people could easily navigate and be inspired.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? Gosh I would have to say quite by accident, I had been lucky enough to be taken on by a leading craft company which gave me the experience and confidence I needed to promote my skills. This company accredited me and trained me as one of their approved tutors/demonstrators. At the same time I discovered felt whilst searching to buy readymade 100% wool felt, with a view to creating things from it.
After many months of searching I couldn’t find any 100% ethically sourced wool felt to buy and so I looked at making it myself, I completely fell in love with it as it’s unlike any other textile I have worked with before. From there I explored felt at City and Guilds level for a year before literally falling into the business with the guidance and support of my tutor.
It all happened very quickly and I didn’t know exactly how or where it would take me, I just knew that felt was the medium for me.
5. How do you decide what to write about and feature, and how do you come up with your great ideas for blog posts? My mind is forever on the go as I think most creative minds are so it’s never hard to find a new topic to share, I draw from my personal interests such as my passion for vintage and historic buildings and places of interest.
I also have my mascot Princess Lily the Lamb who has been with me right from the start of my venture into Tigerlily Makes and Tigerlily Land. Quite often Lily comes out on our trips with us to these historic homes and visits her long lost ancestral homes, so this gives me a lot of material to work with. She is also a great conversation starter and people love to hear about her adventures.
My own heritage is steeped in history and has lead our family to be spread all over the country, so again this lends itself to a rich tapestry of culture and inspiration.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? Oh goodness my passion is my life and it is what I do full time and sometimes 7 days a week, however in the early days it was split between working for my craft company part time, my business, getting my son through secondary education and other family commitments including my much loved and very felted husband.
Now though my son is all grown up and working himself and this has freed up a lot of additional time for me to now concentrate on my passion full time.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business/website? Firstly I think you have to do your research the market thoroughly and make sure your product can compete effectively with what’s already out, in short make sure you find your USP (Unique Selling Points).
Before spending a fortune on branding and marketing give yourself to explore where you want to go with it and test your wonderful makes at local craft events and festivals to see what people buy and don’t buy as the case may be. Always be ready to try new things and adapt to a changing market and a struggling economy. But most importantly be YOU be ORIGINAL!
10. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can find out more ? Yes of course they can find me at www.facebook.com/
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