For today’s interview please welcome textile designer Kate Marsden from ‘Made By Mrs M‘.
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. My name is Kate Marsden and I’m based in the UK, right on the border of London and Surrey.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/design based business. Made By Mrs M is the name of my textile design business. I focus on fabric designs, selling the fabrics themselves and various products made from them, alongside cross stitch, ceramics and some stationery items. I also produce (what I like to call) fibre art under my own name (an example would be my knitted and crocheted diaries below).
3. How did the idea for your business come about? I studied Fashion and Textiles at college, many years ago, and always wanted to return to it. I took a number of short courses as an outlet for my creativity but Made By Mrs M only really came about after the birth of my son.
4. How long have you been established? I started tentatively nearly two years ago, but Made By Mrs M has only really been in it’s current form since last September.
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with great ideas? I try to keep my products simple and versatile. With regard to the designs of my fabrics, I’m inspired by the architecture and design of the 1950s, plus things I see when I’m out and about (mostly in London but also Sheffield which inspired my Park Hill design).
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? At the moment I work on a very part-time basis as I work in the City 4 days a week and have a 3 year old son!
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business. I don’t really have such a thing as a typical day as I have to fit Mrs M in around my day job and childcare. I tend to do a lot of work in the evenings and at weekends. Occasionally I’m lucky enough to have a day off work when my son is in nursery and I’ll use this time to schedule blogs, update my website and shop and spend some quality time in my studio working on new designs.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? Stick with it and don’t expect immediate success. If you have lots of time and money to throw at it, perhaps quick success is achievable but most people don’t have this luxury. Accept that it may take time to get noticed and just keep plugging away. It’s a difficult time at the moment and business is slow for a lot of people – it’s important to try not to get too disheartened!
9. As this is Art of Crafts I have to ask, do you enjoy any crafts yourself in your spare time? I’d so, please tell us more.
I do have very little spare time! I’m keen to improve my knitting – I use some knitting in my art works (mostly crochet though) but I’d love to be better at it and be able to make garments for myself. I’d also like to start making clothes again (I haven’t really done this since college) but I have a skirt sitting on the shelf in my studio which I’ve been waiting to get started on for over a year!
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?
Website – http://www.madebymrsm.co.uk
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/
Twitter – @kdmarsden
Folksy (will shortly be shipping outside the UK) – http://www.folksy.com/shops/
Society6 – http://www.society6.com/