For today’s interview please welcome Pennie from Tache Crafts to tell us all about her greeting card start-up.
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 Pennie Bryant. I am a designer and co-founder of an arts & crafts startup, Tache Crafts. Our company is based in the sunny seaside town of Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/design based business. My partner Frank and I specialise in handmade illustrated greeting cards, using high quality recycled materials. Although we focus primarily on greeting cards, we intend to expand our business into other areas in the near future.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? For my birthday last year Frank surprised me with a card that he had designed and created himself from scratch. It was an intricate cutout design (like many of the cards you’ll find in our collection) of two funny looking cats with one of the cats handing the other a heart-shaped balloon. The cutouts were mounted onto a cream card with a mini envelope inside holding two tickets for a show in London! He had also designed a custom patterned envelope, which was closed with a seal – also like the ones you will see in our collection today. I absolutely loved the card and I hadn’t received anything like it before – which was eventually the inspiration for our business today.
As for the name Tache, we have a beautiful little British Short Hair cat called Tache (she has a cute little moustache), so we took inspiration from her for our brand name – plus, we love moustaches!
4. How long now have you been established? We started Tache Crafts at the end of November 2013, so less than two months at the time of writing this! Although we are still very much in our infancy, we have a lot of ambition and dedication, so we hope that this time next year we will have achieved a lot.
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your great ideas? We take most of our inspiration from our love of animals. As you might have noticed, the vast majority of our designs are based around animals illustrated in a cute or humorous style. We love to create cards that are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the recipient, as for us, that is one of the best things about giving or receiving a card. We only create cards that we would like to receive ourselves.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? I work on Tache Crafts full-time myself, and Frank has a full-time job as a web designer which only allows him to work evenings and weekends. Our goal is to eventually both work full time on Tache Crafts.
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? We organise absolutely everything business related through Trello – it’s a life saver! If you haven’t heard of it check it out, I don’t think we could have stayed on top of everything without it. All of our ideas and “to-do’s” go onto Trello and we work through them daily in priority order. Typically, I will spend half of my time designing and creating new cards and the rest is split between printing, cutting and assembling orders, sending off samples and making contact with retailers. Frank is in charge of the photography and the majority of the web and digital side of things.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? Although we are too new at this stage to give any real advice, we can say that you need be prepared for a lot of hard work. Being fully dedicated and passionate about what you’re doing is very important, but most important of all, enjoy what you’re doing… and drink plenty of tea!
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. Apart from both of us regularly making cards for friends and family, we don’t have much of a background in handmade crafts – but we have both always been passionate about all things creative.
We have both been creative all of our lives leading up to this point – Frank studied graphic designs at university, and he’s been creating graphics in Photoshop since his early teens. I studied fashion design at university and I have had a passion for drawing my whole life.
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 ? If you would like to see more of our cards, you can find our current collection at, www.tachecrafts.co.uk/collection, and you can check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tachecrafts. Happy crafting!