For today’s interview please welcome Susan from LISU Wedding and Handmade Jewellery who is going to tell us more about the background to her business and how she find inspiration for her beautiful designs.
1. Welcome Susan. Firstly, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about where you are based, for example in which country and part of that country? Hi my name is Susan Hagen and I am based in Dumbarton, Scotland.
2. Please tell us a little about the nature of your creative business. I am a self taught jewellery maker and make jewellery by hand. I make jewellery for Weddings, special occasions and every day wear. I like to be unique in what I make and am always on the lookout for new and unusual beads, wire, leather and clasps. I sell exclusively online.
3. How did the idea for your business come about? I have always liked jewellery. I started making jewellery as a hobby, about ten years ago now and giving it to family and friends as presents. They were so impressed with it that they said I should try and sell it. I completed the online course with the London Jewellery School called “How To Run A Jewellery Business”, set up my website and it just went on from there.
4. How long now have you been established? Since I opened my website which was in April 2012, so it is two years and nearly nine months.
5. How do you decide what to make, and how do you come up with your beautiful designs? I like making different items and have quite a few books on jewellery making techniques. I also have quite a good stock of beads and findings, which I keep adding to. I recently completed an online course on wire wrapping which is where my wire wrapped pendants and wire wrapped rings came from.
I decide what I am going to make, for example a necklace or a bracelet. I then decide the colour it is going to be and then I look through my stock to see what I have and what other colours match. I just seem to get an idea of what I make in my head. I mostly buy my beads online and I have certain websites which I buy from regularly who send me emails with their new stock.
6. Do you undertake your business on a full-time basis or do you have other work/family commitments? My business is on a part-time basis as I also have a full time admin job.
7. Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business? I actually don’t have a typical day in running the business. I run the business around my day job. I do the business part of things at night or on the weekend. Once the jewellery is made, I photograph it and upload it to my website. All my items of jewellery are on my website.
I also have a Facebook shop which is connected to my website. I have an Etsy shop and I put all my newer items on there too but maybe not on the same day as uploading to the website, as all of this takes time. I try and put some of my new items on Pinterest and also tweet about my new items.
8. What advice would you give to others who are considering running a creative business? It’s a lot harder than you think. Whatever craft you are doing it will take up a lot of your time. But if you love what you are doing then it is half the battle. There are lots of craft businesses out there and you will have lots of competition, so you really need something to make you stand out from the others.
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 enjoy knitting and sewing. The last thing I knitted was over 18 months ago and it was a hooded cardigan for my granddaughter. I will knit her something else soon. As for the sewing I would love to make a dress or something but at the moment my sewing consists of hemming or repair work.
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 ?