Post Twelve: Stockists and Galleries

Business plan, Life, Thoughts

I am trying to find little independent shops and galleries around the UK to stock my handmade and lovingly crafted embroidery hoops. I have enquired at a few shops about stocking my items but I haven’t had any luck as of yet. I am quite a scaredy cat wen it comes to promoting and getting my work out there…. so I need to work on that.

I have been reading online articles and blogs about how to get your work into stores. I initially wanted to introduce myself online and create a relationship with retailers that way… however it seems best way of doing it is to go into the store of your choosing and show them your products. If you want to read more here is a blog post on the telegraph by Jeremy Carson, founder of 100bodycare.

I think it is all about being confident in your own product and hoping that other people see this too…

I will keep you updated on what progress I make with getting my work into shops.

nat x

Post Eleven: Folksy

Sewing, Thoughts

Recently I decided to start a Folksy Page which will have all of my pieces up for sale. I chose to  upload my pieces to Folksy as it was straight forward and easy to set up a page. I also liked the fact that it is British and Craft orientated and so I fit right in. Most of my work is inspired recently has been inspired by British animals and wildlife.  Which you can see from my products if you check them out on Folksy or on my shop page on my website.Medium hedgehog I have been favourited by 1 person in the first week of having my store open on there so that’s promising. Hopefully I will get a few sales from there but I am not expecting a land slide of orders. It would be amazing to get a few orders through before christmas though.

I will let you know how it goes.

Peace out

Post Ten: What is inspiring me

Life

I really love instagram as a form of microblog and I love it when I find pieces of work that I have seen on insta in real life. The other day my boyfriend and I were walking through Nottingham when we decided to visit this absolutely gorgeous shop in Hockley. I mean you would kinda walk straight past it if you didn’t realise it was a shop. It’s a lovely huge door and a small window with a wooden sign over it saying, Debbie Bryan.

I would love to have my work featured in her shop some day.

When we were in there I recognised an artist’s work who I follow on Instagram. Katie Almond is her name and she makes the most enchanting pieces of ceramics. Her jugs are quirky and not at all perfectly thrown on a wheel which makes each piece slightly different and unique.

Check out her facebook page here 

Post Nine: Orders in!

Sewing

Hello everyone, so I have finally opened my website and I have had a flurry of orders because of it. This cosmo crab freehand embroideryweek I worked on a Turquoise and Purple Crab for a lovely lady. Hopefully it arrives sometime today… It is always quite scary sending something off through snail mail. What if it gets lost or stolen! I am sure it will be fine but I still get pretty nervous.
Yesterday I worked on something completely different; an owl! I was a little bit skeptical of how it was working out at first… but the end result is something I am really proud of. I used some fabric that my friend had originally given to me to make her a dress but I never got around to it and I didn’t get her measurements ha! I will get to it soon enough. I then layered the fabric with some of my own brown spotted fabric. I didn’t draw onto the fabric this time as I was using quite light threads so it would show up. I need one of those cool dissolving pens that wear off… Even though I didn’t use anything to outline the detail I think it came out quite nicely.owl embroidery freehand map

I also have another order but its not due until Christmas. This one is also a special one off and will tell you what it is after it has been given as a present. So… it won’t be until January when you will be able to see it. Ha!

I am always open to doing something new. If you are wanting something commissioned for you then it is £50 for a 12″ hoop, £33 for a 8″ hoop, £15 for a 4″ hoop.

Post eight: moving house, finding memories, inspiration 

Life

ok so it’s nearly moving day and I’m excited, nervous and tired.

I have been packing up my room and found my old memory box under my bed. There wasn’t much in there except a few birthday cards and my old dancing medals (which I took about an hour sorting out and looking at and being nostalgic over).

I have lived at my old house for my entire life, except for a few years when I was at university but still I’d go back for the holidays and stuff. It’s crazy.

The house we are moving to is my grandparents house and it’s beautiful. It’s big, it’s bright and there is a huge garden so I’m pretty excited. It’s only about 10 minutes walk from my studio and like 30 minutes walk to my boyfriends so it’s a much better location but I still don’t know if I’m going to be able to shake this feeling of nostalgia.

Anyway, I really need to finish off packing the rest of my room! See you! x

Post Seven: When I am not sewing…

Life, Sewing

…I am reading or watching netflix… (which is my new obsession! Have you seen Orange is the new Black? ohBooks em gee absolute genius).

Where I am in Nottingham, there are like a billion charity shops and there is one that I particularly that like to go to. Why is it so good? Because they have the best selection books.

Back in Febuary I had a little mini breakdown as I hadn’t read anything in about 3 months due to quitting my job, being busy with the event I was organising and feeling guilty whenever I did something for myself which didn’t involve emails or fabric. So I went down there, thinking that it is time I took myself out of reality and I spent £10 on books.

Normally I am pretty good at devouring books but I have only managed to get through one so far; Red House by Mark Haddon. I love the way this guy writes, he keeps you on edge and envelopes you in the characters train of thought which sometimes makes you a feel little uneasy. Imagine if you had the ability to read peoples thoughts… Anyway, I only have a few more pages left so I think I am going to go and find a comfy corner and a cup of tea!

Bye for now!

Post Six: Starting a life long quilt

Life, Sewing

I have been thinking for ages that I want to create a big beautiful modern crazy quilt that will last forever and be so beautiful it will be passed through the generations… then I remember how much time it takes and back out. Now I think I am finally going to start it. Why not hey, I have the time! I could do a little bit everyday after I have finished my work so that I am still sewing and creating and motivating myself to get better at sewing. Now all I need to do is think of a design and start making templates and saving scraps and and and…

Post Five: Something different

Sewing

So it was my friends birthday the other day and I decided to make her a little framed flower as a present. I was inspired by the Liberty Book of Home Sewing which I found on a shelf at my boyfriend’s parents house. In there it talked about how a long time ago people would cut out the flowers from worn out Flower_frameBatiked indian fabric and sew them onto newer fabric; giving it a new lease of life. Now, I don’t have any old worn out indian fabric but I did find some nice patterned fabric in my scraps, so I up-cycled them. I used a cream thread to complement the background and highlight certain areas on the flower. Next time  I might use a couple different colours to bring out the definition in the leaves and petals.

I hadn’t really thought of doing this before and it was super easy and came out really nicely. I am impressed.

Post four: Progress report, business plans, Instagram

Business plan, Sewing, Social Media

Hello there dearie!

Last week I received my new sewing machine and it is a beast of a thing. After a lot of deliberation and having to review my budget several times I decided to go for a Bernina 1008 with free extension table and embroidery foot. Definitely worth spending a big chunk of my savings on.
With my new sewing machine in tow, this week I have completed (well I might add a few more bits to it, maybe even glow in the dark thread!) my first large scale commission and I absolutely adore it. As you may know I am sort of obsessed with sea creatures at the moment (it seems a lot of people are actually if WIP_jellyfishInstagram is anything to go by) and this piece is of a Pelagia Noctiluca jellyfish. I need to work out the best way to stretch it over a frame and finish it off so that it can hang in my Dad’s office but other than that I am super happy with the finished article, I will put some pictures up in my gallery soon.

Planning, Planning, Planning. So it looks like I am on my way to completing my business plan to present to the Princes Trust Panel in June, which I am nervous and also excited about. Gives me like 4 weeks to show them some finished pieces. Ahhh! I am thinking that I will show them my designs and then make some plain white mock ups of the accessories I plan to make with them to take with me. Just because I am too scared that I will butcher my originals… and I kinda want them to hang on my wall in my studio… (how selfish)

Since I started Instagram like 4 weeks ago I have gained 76 followers, which I think is pretty good really. I am still a bit unsure as to how to promote myself on there… but I will get there in the end! If you have instagram you can check out my behind the scenes action shots on there.

 

Post three: Instagram, Pinterest, Mollie Makes

Social Media

Woah! So I started my instagram account on 21st April 2015 and I have had loads of followers so far! It has been really encouraging.
So many talented artists and illustrators have liked my pictures and I can hardly believe they like my work! haha! Anyway, if you also have Instagram you could check out my pictures and give me a follow if you like.

Also recently I have added a board to my personal Pinterest page for the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2015. I have entered the Youth award which is for 18 to 25 year olds who haven’t yet established a business (which is me, right!? I only turn 24 in June so I’m still a youth!) and if you win there is an awesome prize of:

  • Mentoring from Lisa Comfort at Sew Over It, London or via a Skype chat
  • a day of learning at the Etsy UK office in London.
  • PLUS a super-exclusive gift box of Instagram swag – worth £200!

Recently I got a notification to say that Mollie Makes is following my board (squeeee) so at least I now know I entered the competition correctly, hey!
The finalists of the awards are invited to a day in London in June and in 2014 it looked like loads of fun even if you didn’t win anything!

This is the first thing I have entered my work in so far and even though I probably won’t get into the final it is a really great experience for me to get my work out there.