Tea & Chat with Andiya
Hello! Great to have you here, the kettle’s just boiled – what would you like to drink?
Coffee please white no sugar !
So, tell us a bit about yourself and your business.
I’m a 58 year old mum of two lovely girls who love ‘making things’. My shop is Andiya and I make all sorts of fabric jewellery, whether its braided, crocheted, or knitted. I use cord, threads and wires sometimes adding beads and other decorations to hopefully create something people will love to wear.
What inspired you to start your creative business? How did it all begin?
When my girls were young and I didn’t want to go out to work and leave them, I started together with my sister, Nick, a make your own jewellery business. The idea was to arrange coffee mornings at various places and encourage people to ‘make their own’ by supplying cord beads fastenings and helping them along the way. We ended up going to school fetes and fayres where they were a great success with the children.
How has your business changed and developed since it started?
After a while the make your own idea had to be put on the back burner as we both needed to go back to work and earn regularly , this happened as our children started school. Years later... About 20 to be precise! My sister started learning how to sew and created some beautiful handbags. I decided that she should try to sell them and I would make some jewellery alongside. Our first online shop was called Andiya bags and beads, Andiya being made up from letters of our middle names, mine being diane and hers Anne... We added the y for effect!
After about a year Nick decided she didn’t like having to make things but preferred to keep it as a hobby, so gave up the shop. I wanted to continue, so did so, changing the name to Andiya crafts. I had only ever had a shop on Etsy and thought that I needed to branch out a bit so when I saw ‘Wow thank you’, decided to give it a go, shortening the name to Andiya.
I have since found my niche in making fabric jewellery. I first started braiding around a year ago, and really loved it. It was them I thought about specialising in braided, knitted, and crocheted goods. And that brings me to today .
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs and product range?
The ideas I use for braiding come from African, aboriginal tribal art. Most of my crocheted and knitted ideas are just things that spring to mind, usually when I’m nodding off! Some of them can sometimes be quite amusing, I’m still undecided if I should put the latter up for sale!
What are you working on at the moment? Anything new coming up in your on-line shop?
At the moment I am working on Bookmarks. I know this is totally different from jewellery, but I am using the same methods. I have so many ideas I struggle to know where to start, At the moment I have made floral, beaded and novelty ones. I shall just have to see where they take me.
So, where does all this takes place? What’s your workspace like?
I work from a very small room at home; this is where the finishing touches usually take place. It is very restricted for space and not always that tidy! My poor husband despairs. But it’s my space to create and I love it. The main parts of my work are usually created from the comfort of my living room.
What do you like most about running your own handmade business?
I really like being my own boss; I have been self-employed in my ‘day job’ for many years. I am in charge of what I do and how long I work and do not have to answer to anyone. Usually there are no start or finish hours but them I’m at home , I can work in my pyjamas if I wish .
What are your plans for your creative business for the future?
My main aim is to develop a small online business creating items that I simply love to make, with the intention of being able to retire from my day job ( I’m a freelance hairstylist) and earn enough from it to give me pocket money.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat to us!
*You can visit Andiya shop on WowThankYou here.*