I have to admit I have an ulterior motive for presenting this interview. I get to pick the brain and receive some great advice from a successful and long admired crafty mumpreneur. I know how many other budding designers, crafters, sewers and artists there are out there who can benefit from and be inspired my Mums following their dreams to make a living out of their passions.
First up we have the talented Jennie from Posie Patchwork, enjoy the read.....
* What prompted you to start your business?
I was a new young mother in 1999, fresh out of Uni, with a husband away at war, so I started sewing more
seriously to stop myself from feeling lonely & I like having a project to work on. I started selling to family, friends, word of mouth, then went full time after having twins in 2001 & started a website. When my 4th child started preschool in 2007, I started a wholesale label too & attended markets on a more regular basis.
* What do you feel are the keys to a successful business?
Finding a strong niche which you have a passion for, know your demographic, be original, fresh & add your own twist on new designs. You have to know your style & be confident in your skills.
*What's next for your business?
Well as Army life has it, we're moving in December to Brisbane, the 4th different state & territory I've started my business over in. It's amazing how well supported you are locally & with good markets. I'm actually cutting back, as we venture into high school & more deployments coming up. 4 children have a lot of homework & sport for one parent to manage. I'd like to continue to do quarterly high end markets, perhaps start a small retail shop front, reduce & refine my range.
* What advice can you give other crafty women wanting to start their own
I highly recommend you have a clear & concise answer for when anyone asks "what do you do". If you um & ah you don't sound serious, professional or convinced yourself!! Be strong, say something like "I own a design studio where I produce handmade products made from an amazing range of fabrics from around the world" which really means you have a craft room at home, work around the children & order fabrics on the internet.
* Many people say "do what you love and the rest will fall into place". Do
you think this is true?
Depends if you want to be able to say you are in business or want to make money!! Handmade craft business is long hours, coming up with new styles & constantly trying to stay ahead of the growing competition. I still love what I do after a decade in this profession, but I was patient, let it grow slowly, work around the children from babies to primary school & managed to get involved with some great PR opportunities - magazines, markets, stores & customers who spread the word. My priority is my family, thus why I'm cutting back as they become teenagers & our family dynamic changes.
Thank you to Jenny for being my first interview victim!
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