Yesterday I visited a vacant property that would be beyond perfect for a modern craft supply and workshop venue. It couldn’t have a cafe so that part of the planning would have to go on the back burner for now but other than that it is everything I could have dreamed of and more.
So suddenly it’s gone from a pipe dream to a very real possibility. There is much to think about though. It’s a massive commitment, beyond anything I have ever done before. Assuming I got as far as opening the doors, could I make it work? I like to think I’m an engaging person who is good at what I do but would the rest of the world agree? Could I keep getting the customers through the door? Would my health hold enough to make it work? I cant afford to get ill again.
Before that though I need to work out what it will cost me to get the doors open. It’s a nightmare, there are so many considerations. I’ve never been the best at the practical, common sense side of stuff, I’m more of a dreamer. I’m finding it difficult to get quotes for things like insurance and card terminals without actually having a premises or indeed a business at this point. Companies won’t even give me access to their trade prices without access to a premises so calculating stock costs is all guess work. It doesn’t help that I have a severe phobia of phones that I’m only just starting to get over so calling people up out of the blue is really beyond me.
I want to have a focus on British made products by independent designers. I’m thinking gorgeous hand dyed yarns, beautifully tempting haberdashery and unique fabrics. If anyone produces these and is looking for a new stockist, please give me a shout, make my job a little bit easier!
My heart says to just go for it. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to really go somewhere, I’d be foolish to pass up on that. I could make it work, somehow because it is what I really want to do.
This week I have completed my first ever commissioned project. A friend had seen this memo board at Next and wanted something similar but unique. This is what I came up with:
The cupcake fabric is by Clarke and Clarke and the coordinating ribbon is from Hobbycraft. I’m really pleased with how it came out and I know she is too. Not only that, I managed to complete it for approximately the same price as the Next one so you get a unique designer piece for a similar price to something mass produced on the High Street.
If I was ever under the illusion that being self employed was going to be easy, I’ve well and truly shattered it this week. I’ve been running around like an absolute loon trying to sort things out and keep on top of it all. I traded at a really poorly attended craft fair over the weekend which knocked my confidence. I so desperately want this to work! I was tempted to pretend it didn’t happen and not record it so that my accounts look better but that wouldn’t please HMRC now would it?
Other than that, I’ve had a bit of a home photo studio going so that I can get set up selling online. I would love to own one of those fancy home photo studios you see advertised but I think I’d better make some money before I spend it. Instead I made do with a photo cube, an old style 100w bulb, a piece of felt, a tripod and my trusty dSLR.
Overall I’m delighted with the results.
The jewellery has turned out beautifully despite my other half complaining that the back wasn’t in focus. My protestations about depth of field did not receive an impressed response!
As for some of the cushions:
I’m more than a little surprised things turned out as well as they did, maybe I’m missing a career as a product photographer 😉
I’m in the process of uploading everything to Etsy. If anyone’s interested my shop can be found at www.etsy.com/shop/AnaCrafts . Hopefully it’ll start to take off but in the mean time I’ll stick to obsessively checking my shop stats!