What made you start?
I was off work for quite a while a couple of years back suffering from depression and anxiety and most days it was almost impossible for me to even leave my own home. I was so bored though! I got fed up with tv very quickly but found I lacked the concentration to read so I was at a bit of a loose end.
I still had lots of card blanks left over from the thank you cards I had made after our wedding so I started pottering about with them. I showed what I had done to a few friends as well as using some of them and people started saying I should sell them straight away as they're not your run of the mill greeting cards and there might be a gap in 'the market'. I was already a huge fan of Etsy having bought several items for my wedding there so I googled 'UK equivalent of Etsy' and came up with Folksy.
I love 'setting things up' so had a shop very quickly and got my first sale, to my delight and horror, that week!
What made you choose the craft you did?
I've always made my own stationery since I was little. Coming from a small island in the Inner Hebrides with no one to play with but my little sister I put an advert in my favourite magazine for penpals. I got over 50 replies and dutifully replied to all of them, many of whom remained in correspondence well into my teens! That's a lot of writing paper though so I started to make my own! I would have liked to be able to create beautiful, delicate, classy stationery but what came out was a bit offbeat and always always silly! I guess you need to stick to what you're good at!
Do you consider yourself/the business a success? Why is that?
I do. Ok I'm not selling enough to make a living but I have regular sales and that's good enough for me! I started doing this when I was at a very low ebb, I pretty much hated everything about myself and thought I had no descernable 'talents' but I proved myself wrong without even meaning to! I've had 178 sales on Folksy to date and a few sales on Etsy and Zibbet although I don't really keep those shops up. I have my own website too which I get the odd sale from. That makes me so happy!
The thing I love the most though is my blog which has a small regular readership and has earned me a role as columnist for Folksy's own blog (Kapowder Room Secrets http://blog.folksy.com/category/crafts-and-craft-genres/craft-genres-the-kapowder-room-secrets). I really feel like a part of a 'community' on Folksy and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Ahhh.
What do you want your business to grow into?
This is a very good question. I am currently between jobs and Mr Kapow has just been made redundant so if there was ever a time to try and make a go of things it would be now! He's a talented artist and I reckon there's something we can do full time. Watch this space!
In the meantime though my dream is to be involved in the crafting world on a full-time writing basis, I have a real passion for writing but lack the confidence to push myself.
Is this what you thought you would be doing when you left school, What were your dreams?
Funnily enough, my dream was to be a journalist or writer in some capacity but I've never been one for 'ambition' so to speak. Yes I make opportunities for myself and take them when they happen along but I'm quite happy just tootling along too. I love my home life and have always known I wanted a family so I guess crafting is a good start on the road to working from home!
Do you prefer handmade or high street? What are you favourite shops?
Handmade, I hate hate hate the high street. I go out shopping there and everything looks the same, particularly the people. Sometimes I'll buy a dress or something from New Look or Primark and then realise down the line that it was a moment of madness where I was trying to be someone I really am not. I mostly only ever wear dresses which is in a way due to my height (5"11) and an 'above the knee' is a bit indecent from the high street so I do most of my clothes shopping in charity and vintage shops where I find stuff that better suits my style.
If I'm buying a gift or jewellery etc I try to always make it handmade though, my favourite shops on folksy are Silk Purse, Sow's Ear, and Little Wren Pottery.
If money was no object, What item would you buy "just because you can"?
Definitely a house! We're renters and have had some pretty bad luck in the last couple of years with having to move out of places we were really attached to!
If that's too practical then I would love to have the money to buy something I fancied from every single shop on Folksy! Howzat!?
Whats your "secret vice"?
Popcorn. Oh how I love popcorn! Oh and red lipstick, I'd have one from every brand if I could!
One thing you wouldn't tell your parents?
Nothing! I've always told my parents everything, and I mean everything! I need to learn now though that sometimes I should keep some stuff to myself, especially now that I'm a grown up. I need to learn enigmacism!
And finally, Whats you idea of a perfect Sunday?
A sunny day out in the garden with a radio and some weeding followed by a wee glass of wine with Mr K. Oh and popcorn.