Today I would like to welcome Alice from Alice in Paperland. Alice is one of our featured members over at the Art of Crafts Directory and her store stocks all things paper.
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? The company is called Alice in Paperland which is named after me, Alice . I have two stores now in Sydney Australia, one in Sydney proper and the other about four hours away in a gorgeous beach side town called Port Macquarie.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft based business. We are a one stop papercraft store. We have scrapbooking, cardmaking and invitation supplies. It is a very dynamic place with so much happening including classes, workshops, shopping tours, fundraising activities, selling wholesale to home based businesses and business mentoring for those thinking of starting a business. A very busy place.
3. How did your business come about? I was a high school music teacher until I stumbled into this business by accident after going to a craft show. My friend talked me into it that day and I gave up teaching and opened a craft store. I was unhappy with teaching I guess and she saw potential in me to do this so literally 6 weeks later I opened my doors to customers. I had a fire burning inside me and I went with it. Here we are 10 years later. It was meant to be. I’ve never looked back.
With the name of the business, it was instantaneous. I was sitting on a huge pile of papers in my husband’s printing factory as that’s where my papers were going to come from, sorting and looking when one of the staff came over. I said goodness me, I feel like Alice in Paperland. It was a light bulb moment and I grabbed my bag and said I’ll be back in an hour. I quickly went and registered the name.
4. How long now have you been established? We celebrated our 10th anniversary this year with a huge party for our customers at both stores. We had cupcakes, balloons and lolly bags.That was back on April 1st.
5. How do you decide what to stock in your stores and are you ever surprised by items that become particularly popular? I have the last say in buying stock but I now have a creative team who keep me up to date with new stock. I also have talented teachers here who let me know of the latest releases. Customers also keep me informed. We work as a team, customers included.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? It is full time and I also teach flute in the afternoons and do business mentoring on the side. My children have all grown up and left home so I have more time on my hands.
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? Well, I wake up excited each day that I’m going to work as each day presents something new. New customers, new experiences. Banking and the normal day to day things happen but besides that, each day brings something brand new for me. I have made some amazing connections with people. People say to me all the time, I wish I had your job.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business? I would say if you have a dream, stay focused and don’t let any pessimists get in your way. The people who want you to succeed will not leave your side. Get the fundamentals under control e.g. bank accounts, tax forms etc so that you don’t get into trouble later on and then work, work, work with passion. I noticed that even though the setting up was exhausting, I never felt tired because I kept following my dream. My energy levels were through the roof.
9. As this is Art of Crafts I have to ask, do you enjoy any other crafts yourself in your spare time? If so, please tell us more. I don’t do scrapbooking or card making myself as I feel it blinkers me a bit with what other people may like. I love looking at artwork and know how it all comes together but don’t do it myself. I do un-crafty things in my spare time like pursuing my music and going out.
10. Finally, if people want to learn more about your business do you have a web address, Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can find out more ? Yes we have them all. The website address is www.aliceinpaperland.com.au the rest are as follows:
With many thanks to Alice for taking the time for this interview. If you would like find more creators of beautiful items and a range of craft suppliers or you would like to add a listing for your craft business, then head over to the Art of Crafts Directory.
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