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For today’s interview please welcome Esther of Esther Coombs.


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?
Hi I’m Esther of Esther Coombs an up-cycling and illustration studio based in Hampshire in the UK.


2.       Please tell us a little about the nature of your craft/crafts and business.

I produce high end boutique up-cycled home wears and illustration, I endeavor to produce, illustrated and drawn on, functional, up-cycled and beautiful items for your home.


3.       What first interested you in your craft?

I have always doodled and drawn, I cant not do it, the visual is so important to me, and as time went on I have become more and more interested in environmental issues and how to do my bit to keep items out of landfill… when I stumbled upon recycling, and understanding then up-cycling many years ago, it seemed a perfect fit and so my drawn on ceramics range bloomed 🙂


4.       Did you have any formal training or have you learnt by yourself as you have gone along?

I trained at Middlesex University in north London taking a BA in applied arts and it was a great grounding in visual research and good understanding of a range of materials. Apart from that, several different jobs over a course of years, until I got back to my art work have also stood me in  good stead. Working in retail, galleries and a museum have all played vital roles.


5.       How did the idea for your business/website come about?

The particular drawn on ceramics range was growing on me for along time but when a friend said she wanted help making a cake stand for her friends Grannie inspired wedding, a stand to house iced buns with old crockery, it all fell together and the idea was born.


6.       How long now have you been established?

I established for tax reasons in aug 2007, as soon as you start doing any odd bits of commissioned work here in the UK you have to register as self employed, but I started working part time on my business in April 2008, then I finally went full time on my own work about a year ago (its been scary but wonderful to devote my time to my own business!)


7.       How do you find inspiration and where do you locate your materials?

Inspiration all over, especially in the urban and architectural surrounding of big cities. As for materials charity shops, boot fairs, and all over the place!


8.       Do you undertake your business/website on a full-time basis or are you also working whilst you get it up and running?

See answer to question 6 🙂


9.       Tell us a little about your typical day and what is involved in running the business/website?

I’m a one man band with a little help from my mum and work experience help when I can get it , 🙂 So I do pretty much everything and anything, there is so much to think about , drawing, admin, marketing, the web, selling, shows etc..

My days vary enormously, generally they start at about 7 or 8 (normally 8… I’m not a brilliant one for getting up early) and off to the studio at the end of the garden for my rather varied days work, involving emails, china drawing, emails, planning, organising, and some packing up of orders for the parcel force man, normally my day winds up at a bout 8 or 9 when I come back to the house for some dinner with my new husband, (just a month and a half into married life, all good so far!)


10.   What advice would you give to others who are considering running a craft based business/website?

Start small and work hard pretty much anything is possible..


11.   How do you sell your wares – through craft fairs etc or through your own website and or Etsy or other shops. Please let us have the links to these.

Craft fairs, exhibitions, online through notonthehighstreet.com and etsy.com
https://www.esthercoombs.etsy.com


12.   Finally, if people want to learn more about your business/website do you have a Facebook page or Twitter profile where they can learn more?

web = www.esthercoombs.com (about to re-launch at the end of august)
twitter = esthercoombs
blog = https://esthercoombs.blogspot.com/

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