I think that finding a business, as i have, and developing it organically is far more rewarding and enjoyable than working for anyone else, or even just running a business with small margins, heavy bills etc. To have an online store that you pay for as you use, and even then only a small amount, is far preferable. There are no massive bills waiting to scare me to death, and the payments are instant and secure, so no manual invoicing, chasing for money or any of the other time consuming aspects of a business.
I love it.
I used to be a dental nurse, and missed the sound of the drill, yes really, and so i bought a Dremel and make my own noise.
I home educate my two girls, Rachel and Jade, and they help me collect glass in return.
I don't like clowns, they scare me.
I love cats...
What got you started crafting?
A walk on a beach, finding sea glass without knowing what it was, then falling in love with it and deciding i could use my Dremel and make simple but elegant jewellery. I tried selling a few pieces, then the demand grew, so i opened an Etsy store, and Folksy, then my partner started selling photos of sea glass on Zazzle, Deviant Art, and elsewhere. My daughter developed and interest in photography, and now she sells on BobbityMoggity on Folksy, and even my daughter has a range of posters featuring herself, of course, in her many disguises. (Cutables if you want to find them on google, in fact search for Cutables Posters to get the best result. )
So now we're full time crafters, educators, and live life simply without a car, mortgage or debt.
What is your source of inspiration?
Nature, pure and simple. I couldn't improve on what nature has done in the last 150 years of sea tumbling.
What have you made recently?
My inspiration comes directly from the sea glass itself. Imperfectly formed, there's usually an obvious place to drill, whether it be a flaw, dimple, hole or bubble. This makes the drilling easier and the outcome is usually better than i could envisaged. Then it's a simple matter of matching a chain, cord lanyard or whatever works best with the piece to finish it off and turn it into a charm or piece of jewellery. I recently made a pendant, the blue one in the photos, whose shape lent itself to drilling across it's obvious orientation, but instead of adding a jump ring to make it possible to suspend from a cord with the blue facing the front, i realised i could thread the cord directly, and the outcome would be something really different, white on one side, blue on the other, with all the layers visible. A stunning piece.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
Mostly on Etsy, by far, then Folksy, and this year we're organising our own craft fairs so we can sell without the hassle of commercial fairs, and the presence of stalls selling non craft items. We have made good links in Seaham and have a base to meet, Dawdon Community Centre, which is perfect, it has meeting rooms, a hall and full facilities including WiFi. What more could we ask for?
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Because i can. Basically i could order beads from China, thread them and sell necklaces, bracelets and more, but the pleasure in doing this would soon wear off. TO actually go and find raw materials that the sea has thrown back after being on the bottom of the sea for 100 or more years, then find the best use for them as a bead, a collectors piece or something else. Then there's the relationship you develop with the customer, getting to know their likes and dislikes. If your client knows you have unique pieces, then you don't fear competition, and in sea glass, so many pieces are unique.