Ask Me Anything 2015: The Answers

It’s time for me to answer your questions for my Ask Me Anything series! Thanks to those of you who took time to leave a question and for being kind 🙂 Here we go…..

Gill asked “what’s your favourite thing to make? Also, how do you pose for photos and look so natural?!”

That’s a tough question! I do love to crochet and making garments is always really satisfying. However, I love making the personalised Scrabble Inspired Wall Art pieces for my customers as each one has a story or meaning attached. I recently made one for a groom to give to his bride and it touched me how romantic he was!

Valentines-Scrabble-Wall-Art-Love-Forever-Claireabellemakes

Oh and I definitely don’t look natural all the time. Here’s a dodgy outtake from my photoshoot!

Claireabellemakes-Outtakes

Jo asked “Is Cambridge a good place to be a crochet fanatic? For example, is there a network of crafters, lots of good supplies, places to sell crocheted items? I’m moving back to Cambridge myself next year and would love to hear your view.”

Hi Jo! How exciting you are moving back to Cambridge!! If you are a crochet fanatic I would recommend visiting our local yarn stores Sew Creative and The Sheep Shop. Our John Lewis department store also has a good supply of yarn. Ravelry is a great place to find craft groups and there are a few dotted around the city, often held in cafes or pubs. Most people who sell crocheted items actually sell online, but I would recommend talking to the LYS for more advice on this!

Crochet-Ripple-Blanket

Jill said “I’d love to know more about your journey towards becoming a small business owner. How did you start? What has been your biggest challenge? How do you have the confidence to put yourself out there?! Any advice for someone wanting to start their own etsy store?”

My business has grown quite organically and having worked a day job alongside, I have had the financial security to take some risks which has helped. I began writing this blog in 2012 and shortly after I opened my store and then began freelance writing and hosting craft parties.  I love learning so just read blogs, books, articles and took classes along the way. One of the biggest challenges has been finding a balance between work life and home/social life. I find it really tough to have a day off now! My confidence has grown over the years and largely because people have interacted with my blog or purchased a product I’ve made. Everything takes time.

If you’re interested in starting an Etsy store I would recommend doing your research first and spending time on photography as it is so important for getting your items noticed. A good place to start is with the Etsy seller handbook. If you use this link to open your store, you will get 40 free listings.

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Lucinda asked “what was your favourite product you’ve developed and sold and why? Where is your favourite Cambridge place and the most important question must be why is Tammy so cute?”

I think it has to be the bicycle bracelets. I feel like they represent Cambridge for me and to see them sell so massively during the Tour De France last year, was so great!

Orange-Bicycle-BraceletMy favourite place in Cambridge is the river! I am lucky enough to live close to the riverside and I always feel like it is a space to breathe. Plus, I love punting in the summer as the vibe on the river is so fun. Don’t tell anyone, but it took me 6 years to learn how to punt.

Punting-Cambridge

Glad you enjoy Tammy pics on the blog. I have to say, this one that Lucy took on our photoshoot is my favourite!

Claireabellemakes-Persian-Cat-Tammy

Alice asked “If crafting was illegal what lengths would you go to that would ensure you could continue?” and “What was the last really vivid dream you had?”.

Wow that first question is tough!! I think I would just craft in my own home behind closed doors! I guess it if was illegal it would be difficult to find supplies, so I reckon I would make my own supplies such as cutting up old clothes for fabric and unravelling old jumpers to get yarn. I would probably have secret craft parties in my house too. Don’t tell!

Hmm the last vivid dream I had…..I can’t even remember! Oh yes! I recently took up roller skating and I dreamt I was AMAZING at it. When I woke up I was super disappointed as I realised it wasn’t true and I’d have to keep practising.

Craft-Lay-Make-It-Sewcial

Pippa asked “I want to learn how to make my own cards as you have inspired me – how would you recommend I start?”

So glad to have inspired you! Definitely experiment and find other card makers that inspire you (I recommend the Sizzix blog and not just because I write for them!). A lot of the cards I make have a simplistic style, so play around with supplies and ideas until you find your style and most importantly, just have fun with it! Mixed media cards are often fun too, so maybe try to combine different materials such as images, fabric, paper etc? Please do share anything you create with me, I’d love to see!

Home-Sweet-Home-Scrabble-Card

Well that was fun! Thanks so much to everyone who asked a question and let’s just hope that crafting never becomes illegal…….I can’t even imagine it!

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