Tell us about yourself?
I’m Paula, I live in Yorkshire with my husband Richard and we have two teenage daughters and a dog. As far back as I can remember I have enjoyed making things, hand stitching clothes for my Sindy doll and later clothes for me when I got my first sewing machine. I knitted cardigans for my daughters when they were born and made my own curtains and home furnishings. I love to work with paper and card, fabric, pretty beads, buttons and threads. I am a typical Virgo and strive for perfection!
What is your business and what prompted you to follow this path?
I make a wide range of cards and invitations for all occasions but concentrate on bespoke orders in particular, invitations for Weddings, Engagements, and Christenings. I started off making cards for relaxation and as a means to buying more crafting supplies, but the number of requests I have had has encouraged my desire to turn my hobby into a business.
Describe your product range
Cards and invitations and mini wall art. I enjoy hand sewing so most of my designs at the moment incorporate stitching with tiny beads and sequins, making each card slightly different and individual.
Where do you make your products (home, studio etc)?
At our non-smoking home. I love my dedicated Ikea shelving unit with sliding glass doors where I keep all my supplies and work in progress. I have a crafting table next to it for use in cold weather and head for the conservatory on warm sunny days, though I do like to sit in there when the rain is pounding on the roof.
How is business?
Just starting out professionally and I’m looking forward to more orders and new challenges!
How do you promote your work? Is it purely online, or do you attend shows/exhibitions, stock stores/galleries…?
Most of my sales are through word of mouth, requests from my husband’s colleagues (he should be on commission!) but I also attend craft fairs and sell online. I am currently making enquiries into selling in independent stores. I promote my work through online sites too.
Have you had any famous customers? If yes, can you tell us more?
No…but I’m not fussy, I’ll make for anyone.
Where would you like your business to be 5 years from now?
Shuddering at the thought of being nearly 50, I would love the business to be successful enough that I can do it full time, maybe selling from my own work studio/shop.
What has been your business highlight so far?
I love to get feedback about the work I have done. The first wedding package I did last year, I was so nervous, but the bride and groom (our friends) were delighted with them as was I when I got one of the invitations through the post. Also the thrill of seeing guests using the Order of Service in the church.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone looking to set up a business similar to your own?
There is so much competition you have to offer something unique with excellent customer service.
Just for fun …
Tell us a joke (keep it clean) to make us smile
Just as a surgeon was finishing up an operation the patient wakes up, sits up and demands to know what is going on. “I’m about to close,” the surgeon says. The patient grabs his hand and says, “Oh, no you’re not! I’ll close my own incision.” The doctor hands him the needle and says, “Suture self.”
Best book you’ve ever read, and why?
No one favourite book; back in 1986 my husband (then boyfriend) lent me Pet Semetary by Stephen King and I’ve enjoyed being scared by his books since then.
Favourite song of all time?
Probably Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths, because it was the soundtrack to the Art Gallery scene in one of my all time favourite films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and of course more recently featured in a Christmas TV advert.
Pets – cat or dog?
Dog, we waited 2 years before deciding we could give a dog the time and attention it would need and got Tilly, our Border Terrier 4 years ago. Best decision we made.
Holiday – trekking in Himalayas or shopping in Dubai?
Trekking in the Himalayas, I love being outdoors though I would need to get fitter for trekking, much more strenuous than my usual exercise of swimming and dog walking.
PS pinkliliboo’s products can be viewed in their online store.