{Five Minutes With} Jade McGarvie ~ TweedFiend

blackandwhitebowtie- tweed  fiend - Beak Up Crafts

Hello and welcome to the FINAL EVER {Five Minutes With} feature (at least for now!)

I’ve decided to give this series of interviews a break over the summer as even though they have been really popular, I felt it was time for a change and to try and do something a bit different. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all of the small creative businesses that I’ve featured and if you want to have a look at the archives you can do that here.

For the final interview I would like to introduce you to Jade McGarvie who runs TweedFiend. Jade is based in Newcastle in the north east of England and makes clothing and accessories out of wool and tweed. I own one of her tweed bow brooches and I love it. It’s traditional but contemporary all at the same time. You can see what I mean by looking at the gorgeous black and white bow tie at the top of this post.

Jade is in the middle of some exciting changes to her business so I caught up with her to find out all about them and discover exactly how she got started on her tweedy journey.

Jade McGarvie - Beak Up Crafts

Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for your business and can you tell us what it’s all about please?

I have always loved fabrics. I’m a very tactile person, and natural materials have such an amazing feel. I ordered a bundle of tweed remnants to use for crafting and as soon as I held them I fell in love. I started by adding tweed trim to my knitted items, like the man scarf. One day my brother asked me to make him a tweed bow tie and it just took off from there. TweedFiend is all about a modern take on country style and letting the beautiful fabric take centre stage. It’s time to bring back the dapper gent!

How long did it take for you to design/create your product range?

I’m constantly designing new products, but it takes me a while to go from an idea to something that I’m proud to have in my shop. I like to give the customer options so that every order feels tailored to them.

I’ve been working hard over the past six months developing an exclusive range of home furnishings for the interior design company Dalton Design. I’m so excited for the launch next month. The Tweeds we’ve chosen for the range are stunning country classics. Look out for sneak peeks under the hashtag #tweedfiendDD on Instagram and be sure to like both our Facebook pages  – here and here – so you don’t miss the first look at the finished products.

tweed on  a chair - Beak Up Crafts

How do you manage your time with the business? Do you work on it full or part-time and what are your plans for this for the future?

I had a baby in August and that has been a learning curve in time management. I make use of naptimes and my evenings are usually tweed-filled. Although its always on my mind, currently TweedFiend is part time and I still have my regular 9-5. I would love for the business do well enough that I can stay at home with Robin and call this my main job.

baby tweed - Beak Up Crafts

What is it you love most about the materials you work with?

Wool takes on colour so beautifully. The colours are so vibrant, yet earthy. I also love the rich heritage of tweed, and that the mills I work with still weave using traditional techniques.

Tweed might not be the easiest fabric to work with, its not well behaved like cotton, but the texture and character are so worth it.

originaltweedbowtie - Beak Up Crafts

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

As I made the jump to turn a craft into a business, I found the amount of work required aside from actually designing and making was a bit of a shock. I’m still trying to get a better balance when it comes to managing my business and all of the non creative jobs.

There are positives though, like the community I’ve found through Etsy and social media, particularly Instagram. There is such a wealth of support and positivity out there. I never could have anticipated the feeling of pride that I’m part of a group of such motivated and inspiring people. This started out as a hobby and now I’m confident in calling myself a small business owner.

man scarf - tweed fiend - Beak Up Crafts

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

Despite having a background in fashion, I definitely underestimated the need to prepare products well in advance. For example, we will start designing the winter range for Dalton Design in August so that its ready to launch before Christmas. I love doing weddings, its so special to have had a part in someone’s big day. I wish I had realised that the run up to wedding season really starts as soon as the new year does, it takes a lot of forethought and organisation.

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

There’s 10% off in my Etsy shop specially for your lovely readers using the code BEAKUP.


Jade’s Quickfire Questions:

Matte or High Shine – Matte

Summer or Winter – Winter

Ice tea or Ice lolly – Ice lolly

Jam or Marmalade – Marmalade (with bits!)

Steak or Chips – Steak

Beach or City Break – Beach

Sun or Moon – Moon

Flowers or Foliage – Foliage

Netflix or DVD – Netflix

Instagram or Pinterest – aaaargh! I can’t choose!


I love Jade’s tweed creations and I hope you do too. I can’t wait to see her new range of home furnishings either.

For all of the links to her social media pages and shop, please have a look below.

I hope you enjoyed this interview and the {Five Minutes With} feature. It may return later in the year (or maybe not, depending on what ideas I have!) but for now it’s time to say goodbye.

MEANWHILE… If you’re a small creative/handmade business owner and would like to collaborate with me in some way then please drop me a line at [email protected] and we can talk ideas.

Lots of tweedy love,

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TweedFiend’s links:

{Five Minutes With} Fizzi-Jayne Makes

Let your dreams sail away card and envelope

Today I’m talking to crafty lady and fellow blogger Fiona, aka fizzi-jayne, about what inspires her, her craft business and what her ambitions are.

I really hope you like this interview which is going to be the penultimate one in my {Five Minutes With} series. I love helping to spread the word about small, creative businesses, but I’ve decided to give this feature a bit of a break and go in a slightly different direction.

But anyway, enough of that for now! Here’s Fiona to tell you more about her crafts along with some great time management tips for all you budding small business owners.

fizzi-jayne selfie

Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for Fizzi-Jayne Makes and how long have you been in business please?

Hi! It’s great to be here on your blog, thank you for having me Kate.

I was working for a retailer in Marketing and although I enjoyed it, I was looking at Excel spreadsheets more than I liked. My journey started by making Christmas cards for friends and family which then went on to birthdays and other celebrations. From the encouragement I received and the enjoyment I got from doing this fizzi~jayne makes…. was born in September 2012. I started selling my handmade cards but now I also make home décor and seasonal decorations.

If you are wondering where the name comes from, Fizz was my nickname at school, Jayne is my middle name and I make pretty things!

The aim of fizzi~jayne is to create products that make people smile and feel positive. My inspiration comes from my love of the beach, uplifting quotes, pretty fonts and yummy food. I also have an obsession with buttons and I get very excited about Christmas!

Eat cake birthday card

What is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I have been creative for as long as I can remember, it started with my Mum teaching me to knit and sew at a young age. I went on to study at Art College and specialised in Fashion at University. I joined the rat race and spent 11 years working in Buying and Marketing roles for various retailers, I started to craft as a hobby to keep the creative spark alive.

At first fizzi~jayne makes…. was a way to earn extra money to pay for craft supplies but I wanted to be able to earn a living from something that I am passionate about. So with my marketing expertise, my retail experience and passion for craft, I took the plunge in October 2013 to be a small business owner. I have been fizzi~jayne full time ever since!

Chocolate doesn't ask questions chocolate understands

What does an average day look like for you?

The day can’t start properly until I have coffee! Whilst having my morning coffee I will check emails, schedule social media posts and respond to any comments on my blog or social sites. I love reading comments and getting to know my customers and followers.

If I’ve planned to do a run (I’ve recently been training for a 10km which I completed in May) I’ll do that in the morning to get it out of the way otherwise I’ll talk myself out of it during the day.

The rest of the day depends on what orders and craft fairs I have coming up but you will find me in my craft den (our spare room) with my music on. My priority is making and packing up orders for my lovely customers and then I make/develop new products for craft fairs and my online shops.

fizzijayne craft stall

If I have any orders to post that day I’ll pop to the post office in the afternoon. It gives me some fresh air and I can pop to the coffee shop next door, yes more coffee! It’s around this time I need to top up my caffeine levels.

At the end of the day I will check and respond to emails I’ve had during the day as well as any comments made on my social media sites and blog.

I tend to work on my blog and do any admin in the evenings and weekends. I have been known to work quite late so I don’t stick to a traditional 9-5. The advantage of working from home is I can work the hours when I am at my most productive.

Beach hut peg hooks

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I am lucky that I get to do what I love everyday which is awesome but we can all have days where we need inspiration or it seems our get up and go has up and left.

Every so often I do try and get out of the craft den to be inspired. This can just be a change of scenery by working on my blog in a coffee shop or going to a gallery. I am lucky that I can get into London easily and visit one of the many exhibitions going on. I also like to meet up with fellow crafters/small business owners at events and I have made friends that I meet up for a cuppa and a chat on a regular basis.

I also have my goals on the wall next to my workspace which is useful to focus my mind and tasks.

tea and coffee coasters

How do you split your time effectively between designing/making and doing admin/finances and do you have any time management tips?

This has been a challenge and I can’t say I have always got it right but I do like to plan. I love a list! I plan for the week and I have my top three tasks for each day. I know there are loads of Apps that can help to be organised but I love my trusty Filofax and pen and paper.

I do have a weekly planner on an Excel spreadsheet to plan blog posts along with any product launches and craft fairs planned.

With all the aspects of running a business, a blog and the amount of product ideas I have, in order to prioritise I have clear goals for the year and if they don’t help support these goals they go on a “nice to do list”. With everything else I fit into the following….

  • Urgent and important tasks – Must do first
  • Not urgent but important tasks – by focussing on these tasks they don’t become urgent, reducing last minute panics!
  • Neither urgent nor important – Do I really need to do it or should it go on the “nice to do list”?

I wrote a blog post about my tips on time management on my blog here.

live love laugh 3 hearts wall hanging

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes, I’d love to give your readers a 10% discount at www.fizzijaynemakes.com. To redeem enter the code BEAKUP10 at checkout.

You can also sign up to my monthly newsletter for future news, events and discounts by clicking this link.

Thank you for having me on your blog Kate, I hope you have enjoyed finding out more about fizzi~jayne!


Fiona’s Quickfire questions:

Cats or Dogs – Dogs

Instagram or Facebook –I like them both for different reasons but my favourite is Instagram.

Spring or Summer – Spring

Friday night or Sunday morning – Friday night

Killer heels or Flats – Flats

City break or Beach holiday – Beach

Book or Film –Book

Cake or Crisps – Cake, no crisps, no cake especially if it is chocolate cake!

Wool or Wood – Another toughie, as I work with both, so I have to say I love them both equally

Fruit or Veg – Fruit


How lovely is Fiona or should I call her fizzi-jayne?! I love her time management tips too along with her lovely handmade cards – think I will try to streamline my time a bit more effectively!

Lots of creativity and inspiration,

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If you would like to find out more or follow Fiona on social media, then here are the all important links:

{Five Minutes With} ThatAgnes

Adore Delano, RuPaul's Drag Race - ThatAgnes - Beak Up Crafts

Today I’m talking to a designer-maker who has a passion for vintage fabrics and drag! Meet ThatAgnes, a graphic designer with an obsession with all things old-fashioned. If you can imagine something could be on the set of Bless This House, chances are she will love it!

Agnes adores vintage material and has collected it since she was a child. With a keen eye for design and very strident opinions over what looks good, Agnes makes sure that she only use fabrics of the highest quality and doesn’t use vintage for the sake of vintage.

So enough of the intro, let’s dive in and find out a bit more about what makes Agnes tick, along with how she set up her business.


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for your business and can you tell us what it’s all about please?

I’ve always had an obsession with vintage fabric, having collected it from family members, charity shops and eBay since I was a child. My opinions on what looks good have always been very forthright, so I would only get the best patterns I could find. My big bugbear is shops who sell vintage for the sake of it, regardless of whether its a good example of what the era had to offer.

graphic cushion - ThatAgnes

I’ve always been creative, but lacked the know-how, and I never really knew what to do with my suitcases of fabric. Two years ago my husband finally grew exasperated with the piles of old curtains lying around our flat, so bought me a Bernina sewing machine and an Intro to Sewing course at Sew Over It, which is luckily 5 minutes round the corner. From there, a daily crafting habit was born! After filling our house with cushions and bunting, I decided to give a market stall a go.

Realising that vintage chintz is not everyone’s cup of tea, I also used some cute and graphic animal prints I had found in local stores – flamingos, dogs and rabbits – which sold really well. I had so many requests for cats, but I couldn’t find any fabric that I liked (have I mentioned I’m a design snob?). I remembered that my day job has been as a graphic designer for eight years, and if I want a job doing, its worth doing yourself! As well as a design snob I’m also a horrid control freak, which is why everything, from the bags themselves to the labels I attach to them, is made by me at home in Brixton.

ThatAgnes cat bag

How long did it take for you to design/create your range of products?

Its been a work in progress since last summer. I’m always trying new methods and styles, so even though I’ve only been doing this since August 2014, my products have evolved and changed dramatically. And when I decide to try something on a whim, I act on it straight away. So my Bergie and Bumbles cat bags were researched, designed, printed (by Woven Monkey in Derby) and made within three weeks back in January.

My own moggies, Bergerac and Columbo (awesome names! – ed), have been my very patient models and inspiration, so I’ve named it after them! I channeled my love of old haberdasheries and mid-century ephemera, emulating the repetitive offset printing style of the 50s and 60s, and I’ve used those drawings on all of my packaging so its become a signature style.

RuPaul Drag Race fabric

I’ve also launched a very different type of fabric, influenced by another of my sidelines – illustrations of contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ve been drawing my favourite queens whenever I have had the time, which I also sell to some very passionate fans on Etsy. Its a crazy, technicolor explosion of eyes and lips that happened by accident when I was mucking around in Photoshop, but I’m very proud of it as I’ve been able to combine two of my biggest loves – drag and sewing!

How do you manage your time with the business? Do you work on it full or part-time and what are your plans for this for the future?

I’ve worked in book publishing as a designer since 2007. I quit my job to work for the window-dressing department at Fortnum and Mason for a couple of months, but I wasn’t a fan of retail and I missed the worthiness of books.  So now I’m a freelance graphic designer, specialising in print; I typeset books, do photo repro, design posters and brochures and leaflets; basically, anything you can hold in your hand!

Its great because if my Etsy or stall have a quiet month, there’s always a book that needs to be put to page or vice versa. And some days I’m in the mood for illustrating, some for books, some for sewing, and this allows me to pick and choose what I’m going to spend my days doing!

ru paul drag race

What is it you love most about having a creative job?

I used to work for an art publisher, which sounded perfect for me, but it was basically moving paper from one store to another; about as frustrating and uninspiring as you can get. I’ve found a way to incorporate the things that I am passionate about – essentially, the way things look – into my everyday life. This means I have something that I have made with my own hands at the end of each day. I finally feel that all my formative years collecting magazine pages, knitting patterns, old film posters and packaging have finally had a point! And even better, it has helped me meet other people with a love of all things vintage or fabulous drag queens, frequently both!

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

How hard it is. Having seen other people do it online, its easy to think that you write about something on Twitter and you instantly get a few hundred sales. Its difficult to get the balance right between letting people know about you and your product and not making everyone utterly exasperated with your waffling. Its the same as on a market stall; some days you’ll practically sell out, others you’ll be lucky to make your pitch rental back. Its really difficult to tell what type of day its going to be, and can be very disheartening sometimes.

Close up of at material - ThatAgnes

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

Oh, that’s hard. I’m not sure I’d do anything dramatically differently simply because I think its all a learning experience. I’d perhaps be slightly better at selling myself; I get terribly embarrassed and British when it comes to bigging myself up and hate making a nuisance of myself. I fear I may have missed out on a few opportunities because of it. Increased shamelessness is the plan for summer 2015!

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes! Use BEAKUP15 for 15% off anything in my Etsy store, which is valid till 2nd September (which also happens to be my birthday).

You can also find me @thatagnes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and find my products in my Etsy Store.


Agnes’ Quickfire Questions:

Matte or High Shine – Matte

Summer or Winter – Summer

Ice Tea or Ice Lolly – Ice lolly

Jam or Marmalade – Marmalade

Steak or Chips – Chips

Beach or City Break – City Break

Sun or Moon – Sun

Flowers or Foliage – Flowers

Netflix or DVD – Netflix

Instagram or Pinterest – Instagram


I love Agnes’ drag race prints. They really make a statement!

I hope you have enjoyed this feature. It will be back again in a couple of weeks to showcase another talented designer-maker, so see you then! (Although please do pop by in the meantime!)

Lots of vintage fabric love,

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{Five Minutes With} Liz Mosley ~ Graphic Designer

Liz Mosley - black and white typography prints - Samee Lapham

Hello! I’m back with another inspirational dose of business advice from a very talented graphic designer. Oh and there’s lots of pretty paper to lust over if you’re a complete stationery addict like me AND a fantastic 20% discount off everything in her shop. Liz is also running a giveaway on her blog, but more on that soon.

Liz Mosley is a graphic designer who lives in London and currently works as an in-house graphic designer four days a week. She spends the rest of her time working on her own freelance business and running her Etsy shop and blog. Liz is a self-confessed stationery lover and her shop is filled with a beautiful range of cards and prints – check it out! – but she’s also working on some new notebooks which she hopes to add to her shop soon.

If you’re a fan of brush lettering and typographic prints then you will fall in love with Liz’s work like I did. But as with all start up and small creative businesses there’s always an interesting story to how it all started, so I’ll hand over to Liz who will tell you her story.

Liz Mosley - Shine - Samee Lapham

Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for your business and can you tell us what it’s all about please?

Well it wasn’t really a light bulb idea but more an extension of what I was already doing. I trained and now work as a graphic designer and while I love doing work for different clients, I also really enjoy designing things for myself. I have a pretty deep love for stationery and so when I was thinking about starting a shop and designing products that I love, I guess cards and prints seemed like a logical option. My business originally started as a side project/hobby and is slowly growing. One day I would love to be able to work on it full time.

How long did it take for you to design/create your product range or is it constantly evolving?

It is constantly evolving. I started off with a few prints, a few cards and some envelopes made out of maps. There is a much bigger range of cards now and its growing all the time. At the moment I am regularly adding new things to the shop usually every week. In the not too distant future I am planning to add some notebooks and more tote bags too.

Liz Mosley at work - Samee Lapham

How do you manage your time with the business? Do you work on it full or part-time and what are your plans for this for the future?

Managing my time is pretty important because I work four days a week as an in-house graphic designer and then use the fifth day, evenings and weekends to work on the shop but also freelance projects. I generally love being busy and also love what I do so it seems to be working pretty well at the moment. In the future I would like more time to work on the shop as I just enjoy working on all aspects of it so much. Because of all of the different things that I am juggling I have to be pretty organised. I have got pretty good at making the most of little pockets of time throughout the day whether writing a blog post on my commute or catching up with some emails in my lunch hour.

ADVENTURE print by LIz Mosley

What inspires your designs?

I really like finding inspiration from nature and things that I see on my travels (even if these are not to anywhere far flung – it could just be a walk around the local park) I have been doing a lot of walking recently and just having the space to daydream and mull over ideas without any pressure is usually when my best ideas come.  I love reading blogs and getting inspired by other illustrators and designers but sometimes I try and limit myself on how much I consume. For me personally the balance of consuming and creating can be a tricky one to get right. The internet makes it so easy these days to find lots of beautiful and inspiring things but it can get overwhelming. I am trying to make sure that the time I spend making and working on my own designs outweighs the amount of time I spend looking at other peoples work. The internet is such an incredible resource as long as it is used wisely! Another source of inspiration are creative friends. I love chatting about ideas with them and bouncing things back and forth.

This gets me really excited and helps me to make connections and come up with ideas that I otherwise wouldn’t. One other favourite inspiration of mine is Instagram. I love following creative people from all over the world and seeing the world through their eyes. It is amazing the different things that different people spot and choose to focus on.

Liz Mosley - Thank you cards - Samee Lapham

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

I think what has surprised me is how fulfilling I find it. I get a total buzz when orders come in and I love packaging orders and trying to make sure my customer service is top notch. I think sometimes I am really impatient and want things to move and happen faster than they do/can so I am learning to enjoy the journey and the process of growing organically even when it’s not necessarily at the pace that I would like.

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

I think I would have encouraged myself to start a lot sooner. I spent quite a while knowing I wanted to set up my own shop but only doing it half heartedly or not giving it the time it needed and then getting frustrated.

Change is exciting - LIz Mosley

I had to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect to get started and that actually growing a business and developing your work is a journey and actually the journey is part of the fun. It took me a while to realise that and now I am learning to embrace and enjoy the journey but I think for a long time wanting to be perfect and maybe envying other people who seemed to be doing what I wanted to do so well held me back. So yeah if I could go back I would give myself a kick up the backside and tell myself to WORK HARD AND GET STARTED! ha.

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes! I would love to offer 20% off the shop to your readers which will be valid until the end of July using the code BEAKUPCRAFTS20. I’m also running a giveaway on my blog at the moment, which you can enter here. Thanks so much for interviewing me Kate!

Lis Mosley Cards - Beak Up Crafts


Liz’ Quickfire Questions:

Paper or Fabric > Paper

Pizza or Burgers > Burgers (TOUGH ONE!)

Breakfast or Dinner > Breakfast

Sunshine or Snowscape > Sunshine

Twitter or Facebook > Twitter

Stars or Sun > Stars

Magazines or Books > Books

Matte or High Shine > Matte

Friday night or Saturday morning > Friday night

Tea or Coffee > Neither, bleurgh


Thanks so much to Liz for answering my questions and featuring on my blog today. I love her advice that your business doesn’t have to be perfect to start. It reminds me of the phrase “perfectionism is procrastination” – so if you’re wanting to launch an Etsy shop, don’t overthink it too much and get started!

Five Minutes With will be back again in a fortnight with another lovely and very talented designer-maker, this time with a fabric rather than paper focus.

If you would like to feature with your creative business then please drop me a line at [email protected]

Lots of stationery love,

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Photography by Samee Lapham and Liz Mosley

Links: 

 

{Five Minutes With} Bryoney Fawn

Bryoney Fawn cut paper art

Today I have a really lovely feature on British craft designer-maker Bryoney Fawn, who creates stunning cut paper artworks and sculptures.

After studying Textile Craft at the University of Huddersfield, where she graduated with first class honours, Bryoney set up Bryoney Fawn to distribute her art to galleries and individuals and to produce commissioned works for installations and events.

I hope you enjoy reading about her work and processes and seeing the beautiful pieces of art that she creates. There’s also a discount for readers of my blog too in her lovely online shop!

Bryoney Fawn at work


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for your business and can you tell us what it’s all about please?

Hi Kate, its great to be here! I have always wanted to do what I loved for a living, and after completing a placement year during my Textile Crafts degree, where I went to work with other designer makers such as Hannah Nunn and Emma Louise Wilson, I gained an excellent insight into the craft industry and knew it was something I wanted to be involved in once I graduated.

I have always been inspired by exploring the world around me, and have repeatedly come back to using flowers and nature as influences in my work. I love exploring with materials and learnt how to use the laser cutter whilst at University and I just loved how much you could do with it. For one of my projects, I laser cut some of my drawings and loved the organic lines and pieces which I got from this. I had pinned some of these cut lines onto the board in my studio and everyone was commenting how great it looked, so I continued to develop this technique and also experiment with using different papers, colours and stitches.

Framed hearts - Bryoney Fawn

How long did it take for you to design/create your product range/pieces of work?

After graduating University I took some time off to explore the south of France for a month. It was such an amazing experience to go travelling on my own and talk to all different people from all over the world and all walks of life. I think that after the stress and pressure of finishing my degree, it was a much needed break, and my ideas developed and formed whilst I was over there. I made sure to take time to explore the landscapes and other craft areas such as Le Panier in Marseille which is full of inspiring shops and people, and this really brought home how much I wanted to make my own pieces.

It was then a matter of sourcing materials, and developing some prototypes which I showed to my friends and it all seemed to happen quite quickly from there really! I signed up some craft fairs and within a few months I was in business!

How do you manage your time? Do you work on it full or part-time and what are your plans for this for the future?

I currently have a part-time job alongside my own business so it is a dedication to get everything done and on time. I have TO DO lists everywhere and a very full diary with all my deadlines and important dates in. I’m very lucky to have an amazing fiancé who helps me out with little jobs, and keeps me level headed when I need it most!

World map - Bryoney Fawn

I was also lucky enough to showcase my work at the British Craft Trade Fair this year, it was such an amazing experience to be part of a prestigious show like this within my first year of business and the response from visitors to the show was great.

It was a busy period as I also moved house just after the fair so everything seemed to be happening at once, but now I cant wait for what the future holds.

What is it you love most about the materials you work with?

I have always been drawn to using paper in my work. It is such a diverse material and has so many applications. I love the way it can be used to play with light and shadow, as it can be translucent, opaque, colourful or colourless and this is something I am continually looking at within my work. I am always exploring new ways of using paper with the laser cutter, and layering pieces together to get new interesting effects in my pieces.

Cream Daisies - Bryoney Fawn

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

I think it will have to be the support of everyone around me. Whether I know them know well or just a little everyone has been taking an interest in what I do, and wishing me the best of luck. When starting up, I had to rely on a lot of different people to help me out and it was great to see how everyone chipped in! It makes me feel so humble that I have such great people in my life and also gives me the confidence to continue to pursue my dreams.

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

Trust your instincts. I had a bad experience with having my work up at a local cafe. When I walked in to put my work up it didn’t feel quite right and then some of my pieces got damaged in the time they were displayed there. So I would say that if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it! Your work is very valuable to you and if other people don’t understand that then don’t trust them with it!

Midnight world map - Bryoney Fawn

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes of course. Head on over to shop.bryoneyfawn.com and enter BEAKUP10 at the check out for a 10% discount. You can also sign up to my newsletter for future news events and discounts by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/9qm2r


Bryoney’s Quickfire Questions:

Matte or High Shine: Matte

Summer or Winter: Summer

Ice tea or Ice lolly: Ice Lolly

Jam or Marmalade: Marmalade

Steak or Chips: Chips

Beach or City Break: City Break (I love exploring new towns and cultures!)

Sun or Moon: Sun

Flowers or Foliage: Ooh thats a tough one, Flowers!

Netflix or DVD: DVD

Instagram or Pinterest: Another toughie! I love sharing my images on Instagram, but for inspiration it would have to be Pinterest!


I’m absolutely blown away by how delicate and beautiful Bryoney’s work is, especially the flowers which are so, so pretty.

If you would like to find out more about Bryoney and her work, then here are the all important links:

Lots of paper art love,

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{Five Minutes With} Dizzy Miss James

Dizzy miss James Fox

Hello! It’s time for another meet and greet with another very lovely and talented designer-maker. This week I’m chatting to Victoria James of Dizzy Miss James about her bold and beautiful designs and homewares. If you like what you see, make sure you read on to the end as there’s a very special discount code for Beak up Crafts readers!

Dizzy Miss James Panda cushions


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for Dizzy Miss James and how long have you been in business please? 

Hi Kate! There’s a story behind the name. A few years ago my life took a challenging and unusual turn when I became ill with a balance disorder called uncompensated Labryinthits. This meant I felt severe dizziness and unbalance all of the time and struggled to focus on everyday tasks I previously took for granted. Unfortunately I had to give up my job and put on hold my aspirations of being an artist to concentrate on my health.

I was in recovery for many years and during this time I started sewing and made brooches from old jeans and shirts. I gave them to family members as gifts, whatever the occasion, I found it helped with my condition and I just couldn’t stop making. I began to turn my character sketches into fabric brooches and embroidery hoop art. Before I knew it I was surrounded by my creations and had run out of space! I decided to start selling them online and Dizzy Miss James was born!

(Read more about my experience with living with a chronic illness here.)

Dizzy Miss James rabbit cushionWhat is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I have a background in printed textiles and surface decoration. In 2008 I was studying for a degree in Fine Art but unfortunately I was unable to finish due to illness.  I first began making as a hobby while I was undergoing treatment.  I finally plucked up the courage to try selling online and opened my little Etsy store.  My business then started to grow and last year with help and business mentoring from Pinetree I started working full time as a designer and have never looked back!

What does an average day look like for you?

My typical day usually begins with a cup of tea, breakfast, pinning lovelies on Pinterest and replying to emails. I then pack up my orders. I love making my packages look pretty before sending them on their way. I then have a spot of lunch and browse and update my social media sites. The rest of my day may consist of designing, making, researching, blogging, admin and stocktaking. And of course cake there is always cake!

Dizzy Miss James panda tote bag

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

I am inspired by nature and many of my designs are often based on the beautiful wildlife of my home county of Northumberland. I have a love of Scandinavian and mid-century design which you can see the influence in my work and throughout my home. Bold, colour and shapes is what I’m all about.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work.  With my condition I spent many years unable to do any work and relying heavily on others.  Now I thrive on creativity and the daily tasks needed to run my business.  I find I have the opposite problem I find it hard to know when to stop or slow down.  I think it is very important to schedule time off to recuperate when running your own business.

How do you split your time effectively between designing/making and doing admin/finances and do you have any time management tips?

Good time management is essential.  I am a big fan of lists, planning each day out into manageable bite size pieces.

I know it’s not everyone’s favourite  part of running a business but try and keep your book keeping up to date, that way you avoid having to do lots of admin all in one go.  There are a lot of great accounting clouds available out there like QuickFile. You can connect the cloud to your business and PayPal accounts so it automatically uploads your transactions, this really helps!

Dizzy Miss James Badger cushion

Set time aside to work on designing new products, making sure you have no distractions. It’s always easy to get lost in things like social media and before you know it you’ve lost a couple of hours. We all do it!

When it comes to the making streamline the process as much as possible. Once the initial prototype is refined try to make in batches, using templates for ease and consistency. Making things to order can be hard work especially if you get a larger order. It’s always good to have made up products ready to ship.

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

I’ve got a 20% discount code* for your readers just enter code  BEAKUPCRAFTS on checkout at www.dizzymissjames.co.uk

*Valid until end of July 2015


Victoria’s Quickfire questions

Cats or Dogs – Dogs
Instagram or Facebook – Instagram
Spring or Summer – Spring
Friday night or Sunday morning – Friday night
Killer heels or Flats – Flats
City break or Beach holiday – City break
Book or Film – Film
Cake or Crisps – Cake
Wool or Wood – Wool
Fruit or Veg – Veg


I love Victoria’s designs and I think her story is really inspiring. I hope you enjoyed reading this feature and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Lots of creative business love,

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{Five Minutes With} Vicky Brown ~ This is Lullaby

This is Lullaby stripey shoes - Beak Up Crafts

Hello and here’s to a brand new week! I’m back with another interview with a very lovely and talented designer-maker. This week I’m chatting to Vicky Brown, who is the creative force behind This is Lullaby, baby clothing with vintage personality.

Vicky is 33, married and lives in Stockport. As well as making beautiful clothes for little ones, Vicky loves sunshine, tulips, nutella by the spoonful and retro design.

Vicky Brown - This is Lullaby - Beak Up Crafts

I love her brand of handmade children’s clothes and I hope you do too! But less of me and more of Vicky (oh and keep your eyes peeled for an extra special discount in her Etsy shop).


Hello Vicky, thanks for featuring on my blog. First things first, how did you come up with the idea for This is Lullaby and how long have you been in business please?

I’ve been on this journey for nearly three years now. My daughter, Lucie, was born in May 2011, and I took up sewing again in my maternity leave, following a long break due to a hectic career in financial services. After seeing what I’d done, friends persuaded me to make things for them and I then start selling at a few local craft fairs. I didn’t ‘get serious’ and see this as a business until about a year after I started. It has happily evolved into a great business as I’ve developed new products, ways of marketing, and a brand identity.

What is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I run it flexibly, working from home whenever I can. Lucie hasn’t started school full time yet so she has a few days in nursery school when I do most of the actual sewing or product photography, and then I’m on the laptop in the evenings doing admin, or cutting out my pattern pieces in front of the TV. I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing room and it helps to be able to leave work behind in there sometimes!

This is Lullaby blue dress - Beak Up Crafts

I’m self taught, but my mum had a big influence I guess, teaching me a lot of sewing skills when I was young. I’ve learnt through practice and experimentation. I can do what I do really well, but there are lots of different sewing techniques I really want to get to grips with. Oh for spare days of the week to do so!

What does an average day look like for you?

It starts off with the school run, dragging a sleepy girl out of bed and trying not to be late.  It’s only a short walk so it can be a nice way to wake up, except the infamous Manchester weather sometimes makes it hard going.

I’ll then power down to some sewing, fuelled by a few cups of tea.  Usually, I’ve have pre-cut all my pattern pieces the night before, and I have an aim of what orders I want to complete that day.  My work is 90% made to order, so I never know what I’ll make from week to week and what people have selected from my Etsy shop.  As I work from home, I need to be disciplined not to do things like the washing during work time too.

This is Lullaby floral shorts - Beak Up Crafts

I sew pretty constantly all morning until around 2pm, when I will package up my orders.  I buy my postage online from royailmail.com and print it off at home, so I can drop the majority of my orders into the post box.  It’s really, really handy and a big time saver compare with the post office.

After that its pick up time… A few family hours before dinner and putting Lucie to bed.  Often in the evening I’ll catch up on emails and queries, updating my Etsy shop, editing photos, sourcing fabrics online, social media… all the miscellaneous things really.  We usually then stay up far too late watching box sets. Currently it’s Nashville.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

A big part of the This is Lullaby ethos is my use of vintage textiles and repurposed fabrics.  This might be a flower power pillowcase from the 1970s or an old tweed suit.  Beautiful fabrics inspire me to create and upcycle.  I love choosing which fabrics will work brilliantly for a particular garment.

This is Lullaby floral bibs - Beak Up Crafts

I currently have a range of 10 items although each is available in different fabric options.  I’m often inspired to update designs (or develop them) after speaking with customers, requests for custom orders, or personalisation.  These often turn out beautifully and my experience has taught me that if someone is asking you for it, it’s likely lots more people will be interested too. Being willing to learn from my customers is quite insightful.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I think it’s important to connect in with other designer-makers regularly, as it can be isolating working all by yourself.  In terms of social media, I have found the best support and connections on Instagram.

This is Lullaby - Beak Up Crafts

For Etsy sellers I recommend involvement in a local team. The Etsy Manchester team which I’m part of is wonderful.  There have been training events and socials, as well as mentoring opportunities.  I do find that educating others and sharing my own knowledge and skills is great motivation to keep going and to succeed as well. Of course, I have days when I’d rather hide under a duvet but I guess that’s where having made to order items helps.  I always have a deadline to meet!

This is Lullaby waistcoat - Beak Up Crafts

How do you split your time effectively between designing/making and doing admin/finances and do you have any time management tips?

My only tip is that when you are really up against it, throw your phone into another room so you can’t take up all those precious minutes on ‘just checking’ social media and stats.  Sometimes it’s the best solution.

Do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes, I’m happy to offer 15% off anything in my Etsy shop.  To claim, just enter BEAKUPCRAFTS in the coupon code box at checkout, www.thisislullaby.etsy.com


Vicky’s Quickfire questions:

In or Out – In
Beach or Countryside – Countryside.  I’m a Dorset girl originally
Spring or Summer – Spring, it’s the fulfilment of months of hopes for warmth and life
Cake or Crisps – Cake. But not too much icing please
Fabric or Wool – Fabric, duh!
City break or Beach holiday – Beach holiday (in my dreams currently)
TV or Radio – Radio
Orange or Black – Orange
Wool or Wood – Wood
Plants or Flowers – Flowers, especially tulips


Vicky’s creations are so lovely, don’t you think? I would love to learn how to sew and to make clothes and I’ve got to say on a personal level that this interview has given me a shedload of inspiration.

Here are the all important links to her shop, Instagram and Facebook pages:

I hope you enjoyed this feature which will return in a couple of weeks. If you would like to feature with your creative business then please drop me a line at [email protected]

Lots of creative business love,

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{Five Minutes With} Just Joss

Just Joss scarf - Beak Up Crafts

Today I’m back with another nosey into the life and inspiration of another talented designer in my fortnightly feature. In the hotseat this week is Joss Maccoll, the creative force behind Just Joss Designs.

Joss retrained to become a textile designer and now does the job full-time – proof that if you want something enough and work hard you can get there and bag your dream job.

But less from me and more from Joss, who will tell you all about her business and how she got to where she is today.

Joss Macoll - Just Joss - Beak Up Crafts


Hello! First things first I would love to know how you came up with the idea for Just Joss Designs and what steps did you take from the ideas stage to launching your business?

The idea for Just Joss Designs came whilst exhibiting my final degree show at New Designers. I exhibited 30 different designs on four different types of fabric including silk, Irish upholstery linen, wallpaper and voile. I was inundated with requests asking if my designs could be made into women’s clothing. I was even approached by a mother of a bride asking if I could make her a dress in a particular design. Small ideas started to form and as soon as I graduated I knew I wanted to work for myself so I began researching print companies.

I had over 40 designs ready from my final project so I used the most popular designs. I wanted to use a high end material and as silk is so luxurious it was an obvious choice. The designs were printed and arrived in September 2014, I officially launched my Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages In November 2014.

Just Joss scarves - Beak Up Crafts

At the moment I offer bespoke accessories for women of all ages that are looking for high quality silk accessories at an affordable price. At this point in time I am concentrating on scarves and kimonos as they suit my designs the most.

What is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I have had an artistic flair since a young age. With a love for all things creative I decided to quit my full time job at a local primary school and took a full time Art and Design course in a local collage. The course covered all areas of Art and Design but I fell in love with Textiles. I then progressed onto a University Textiles course as a mature student and studied Textiles for Fashion and Interiors. This course allowed you to choose if you preferred to become a designer or maker. I chose the design route concentrating on surface pattern design, but it has to be said I am also a keen maker at heart. Being a ‘maker’ has also enabled me to hand make the scarves and kimonos myself keeping the costs low. I also have great affection for creating patterns, drawing, manipulating designs and being creative. This is indeed my full time job that I thoroughly enjoy.

Blossom scarf - Just Joss - Beak Up Crafts

What does an average day look like for you?

That’s what I love about being my own boss, no two days are the same. From having a phone call from a new customer giving feedback on a scarf they just have purchased from one of the local gift shops I currently stock, to having an order from a bride  asking for scarves as gifts for her bridesmaids. I love how busy I can be creating orders for customers. I also really enjoy the challenges customers give me if they ask for a special request. Nothing makes my day more than a client giving me complimentary feedback.

Where do you find your inspiration and what themes are there in your work?

First and foremost I love colour, bold and bright colour as well as the less obvious pastel shades. I use a pantone colour swatch chart and it was definitely one of my best investments. Obviously floral is a huge inspiration, the natural colours in them are simply exquisite. What I really enjoy doing when I design is using photography in my work. Taking photographs on local parks using these pictures as a design starting point and manipulating them in Photoshop, making the original photograph recognisable but having that added extra of something else to it. One of my best selling designs had originally come from a photograph of a cherry blossom tree in a local park taken last spring.

Blossom scarf - Just Joss - Beak Up Crafts

My favourite item I have made is a silk kimono with a small poppy design on. The designs came from a small hand drawn doodle of poppies in a field and progressed to this stunning mirrored repeat pattern. The main colour is navy with pops of mint green and peach and it is one of my favourite designs. The fact that it has then been handmade in to an oversized Kimono really shows off the design.

What are your plans for the future with and what targets have you set yourself?

I am just about to order more fabric as I have almost sold out of my original silk. The new order involves a lighter silk and chiffon fabrics for the next designs. I would like to sell my designs ready made in other local shops. I would also like to do more interior based products. I hope to develop my range further to have a bigger homeware section, I have started making throw cushions but I would like to progress to lampshades and wall hangings. Eventually I would like to offer a wallpaper range to suit my market.

Just Joss silk kimono - Beak Up Crafts

A target I have set myself to accomplish over the next two years is to open up a local gift shop that show cases my range but also helps promote local artists, crafters and designers.

Do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

I would like to offer anyone reading this £5 off any order over £40 with code 5-OFF. This can be used on my Etsy store or quoted to me if approached on Facebook or Instagram.


Joss’ Quickfire questions:

Tea or Coffee – Coffee

High fashion or High street – High Street

Spring or Summer – Spring

Tropical or Snow – Tropical

Main course or Dessert – Dessert

Silver or Gold – Silver

Book or Film – Can I choose both ! Hehe

Easter or May Day – Easter

Wool or Cashmere – Cashmere

Flowers or Foliage – Definitely Flowers


I hope you enjoyed this feature and Joss’ story of how she made the switch from the classroom to a full-time textile artist and designer. I think it’s really inspiring and I’m so pleased to have been able to showcase her work on my blog.

If you would like to check out her shop you can find the links you need here:

Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JustJoss

Facebook: http://facebook.com/JustJossdesigns

This feature will be back in a couple of weeks with another talented small creative business owner. If you would like to be featured in the future, please drop me a line at [email protected]

Lots of pretty silk flower love,

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{Five Minutes With} Ima Pico ~ Visual Artist and Designer

Ima Pico bangles - Beak Up Crafts

Hello everyone! I’m back to shine the spotlight on another super-talented designer maker in this week’s {Five Minutes With} feature.

I really love putting together these posts and helping to showcase the work of inspirational women who have set up their own creative businesses. I was absolutely blown away by the response from a picture I posted on Instagram asking if anyone would like to get involved and the lovely Ima Picó is the first of those who got in touch to be featured.

Ima is a Spanish visual artist and maker based in Manchester who designs and works with beautiful silk scarves and accessories and I’m thrilled to feature her today. I hope you enjoy reading the feature!

Ima Pico - Beak Up Crafts


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for Designed By Ima Pico and how long have you been in business please?

I have been a practising artist for many years before starting my own little company but I always loved product design. During an art residency in the textile department at MMU in Manchester I came across with textile printing and I had this idea of producing a range of products using some of the elements and images from my artistic projects. This is how I started printing some of my art images on silk.

As soon as I produced my first range of products I offered some local crafts shops to stock my scarves and silk accessories and was lucky enough to get accepted in some of them. After a few years of selling at brick and mortar shops and participating in crafts fairs and other similar events I decided to open my Etsy shop last summer.

Ima Pico fallen leaves scarf - Beak Up Crafts

What is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I run my business full time, combining art and product design. I have a background in Fine Arts and over the years I have produced big murals and large-scale wall paintings that made use of digital images from manipulated photographs printed on adhesive vinyl. I was better known for my mural installations until I started to produce limited editions of objects with a strong visual connection with my artworks. Now my product range has expanded and apart from the initial graffiti and urban prints I added nature inspired images to my collections.

Ima Pico - Visual Artist - Beak Up Crafts

What does an average day look like for you?

I get up quite early and my day starts out with nice breakfast, checking my e-mail, a long walk and if I have any orders from the crafts shops or Etsy, drop them off at the post office. Depending of the time of the year I am busy with different projects, around winter and summer I have to concentrate for some weeks creating the designs of a new collection of scarves. When I receive the fabric, I am busy sewing and making new jewelry or overlocking scarves, but basically during the first part of the morning I work with my computer leaving the manual work or the photographic work for later. I usually finish work around 7 to prepare a nice Mediterranean dinner for my family and sometimes after that I keep working until late. Having my own studio space at home, a good size room at the front of the house, sometimes makes it hard to separate your work and home life.

Ima Pico pillows - Beak Up Crafts

What is your design process and where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration in everyday life, nature and art and I love above all experimenting with colours. To get colour mixing right is not easy but I love trying new combinations. I’ve always loved bright shades, but I tend to wear a monochromatic palette, so one of the things I decided when I started my collections was to create bold and bright designs to add this special colourful touch and to provide this little extra glow to an otherwise plain outfit.

Ima Pico purple necklace - Beak Up Crafts

How do you split your time effectively between designing/making and doing admin/finances and do you have any time management tips?

I am not the most organized person in the world and I prefer to spend as much time as possible on making and creating, but it is important to watch your costs so you need to keep record of what you spend and the sales you make. When I need to get things done, I try to be focused, make a list a to-do list and stick to it, so I would say that I try to allocate more or less the same amount of time for promoting my crafts business and administration as I spend designing new patterns and making my handmade silk accessories.

Ima Pico scarves - Beak Up Crafts

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Yes, I have a discount code that I would love to share with your readers, 20% discount in all my products with code BUYHANDMADE20


Ima’s Quickfire questions:

Hot or Cold – Hot

Pinterest or Instagram – Instagram

Spring or Summer – Spring

Cake or Crisps – Cake

Killer heels or Flats -Flats

Books or Magazines – Books

Handmade or High Street – Handmade

Ice Cream or Ice Lolly – Ice Cream

TV or Radio – Radio

Fruit or Veg – Fruit


How vibrant and inspiring are Ima’s designs? I love the colours and patterns and found it so interesting learning about her visual art.

If you would like to visit Ima’s shop you can do so by heading here and she’s also got a website which showcases her visual art which you can find at www.imapico.com. Oh and her Twitter is @ima_pico if you would like to go and give her a follow.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another feature on a talented designer-maker. Hope to see you then!

Lots of vibrant love,

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{Five Minutes With} Emma Pearson ~ Linen and Fred

Linen and Fred floral embroidery - Beak Up Crafts

I’ve got another lovely interview today with designer-maker and textile artist Emma Pearson who owns and runs Linen and Fred.

Emma lives in Bedfordshire with her husband and four-year-old-daughter and creates beautiful embroidered textile art using ribbon embroidery and stumpwork techniques. She also creates custom embroidery on request and has a service called ‘My Beautiful Bouquet’ which recreates your wedding bouquet using silk ribbon embroidery and handmade fabric flowers.

I’m sure you’ll agree that Emma’s work is absolutely gorgeous and as soon as I saw it I wanted to find out more!

Emma Pearson - Linen and Fred  - Beak Up Crafts

Here’s Emma to tell you more about her processes and how she launched her lovely creative business (oh and if you read to the end there’s even an exclusive discount!)


Hi Emma, thanks for talking to me today! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for Linen and Fred and what steps did you take from the ideas stage to launching your business? Also if you could please tell me how you came up with the name for the business that would be great!

Hi Kate! Thanks for featuring me! Linen and Fred has been around for a few years in different forms (and names). Before officially launching it last January, I dabbled in doll making, but no matter what I made, I had the urge to decorate, embroider and embellish it. So I decided that embroidery in its simplest form was the best thing place to start. I am much more at home slow-stitching than using a sewing machine.

I started making brooches from home-dyed fabrics and used vintage fabrics in my work, but as I progressed I just want to move it from two dimentional to 3D embroidery. I have a real desire to create life-like textile art.  I made the move over to silk ribbon embroidery with some stump work which is much more suited to raised and three dimensional embroidery and started working on bigger designs in the wreath style which runs through most of my work now.

Linen and Fred floral embroidery - Beak Up Crafts

The name Linen and Fred was really just a play on the word ‘thread’ and something that popped into my head. It is simply the only two things I need to create and if I have these two things then I am happy!

Do you do the business full or part-time? If you work on it part-time, how do you balance it with your other responsibilities and keep organised? If full-time, how did you get to the point where it became your full-time job?

I currently work on my embroidery and design seven days a week, but it is not yet a ‘full-time’ job, despite thinking about it 24/7. After my daughter was born in 2010 I went back to work for three years but I am now in the fortunate position to be able to juggle childcare and homemaking with running my small business from home and working part time for my husband’s design company. I organize my day so that I can fit it all in, and so that I still have time to work on orders and create and develop new ideas.

Linen and Fred parrots embroidery - Beak Up Crafts

What has surprised you the most about running your own creative business?

The progression from where I was, to where I am now creatively. I started with the intention of making some money to support my family and I now have a real appetite and desire to be the best that I can be within the embroidery field. I feel that over the last year I have learnt a lot about pricing and supply and demand, what will and won’t sell. I regularly use the internet to research other makers, using their art, pricing, techniques and marketing to somewhat inspire my work and business ethics. I always want to learn more and improve my skills.

What are the favourite products that you make and where do you find your inspiration?

My favourite ones would be any that include berries. I make mine from scratch using black and red seed beads, which are individually sewn onto a felt ball to create a 3D effect. I hope to use these as a running theme throughout my future designs.

Linen and Fred floral embroidery - Beak Up Crafts

My inspiration comes from a lot of places, but mainly from my favourite embroidery textile and embroidery artists. Di Van Niekerk’s beautiful ribbon embroidery, Monika Kinner-Whalen for her beautiful Canadian landscapes and Sally Mavor for her simply stunning 3D stumpwork. I have also recently discovered the mixed media work of Natalia Margulis.

If you were to launch your business again tomorrow, what (if anything) would you do differently? Is there one piece of advice you would give to yourself back then that you wish you had known?

Last year was so important to me creatively as I worked through different mediums to get to where I am now. If I could launch my business again tomorrow I would simply start again with more self-confidence and self-belief. It is very easy to measure yourself up against other people and value your work less because they simply charge more than you or appear to be more busy or more in demand. Chances are you simply haven’t worked at it for long enough yet. I believe that if you work hard, hone your skills and produce the VERY best you can, people will believe in you!

Use others as inspiration but BE DIFFERENT.

Linen and Fred floral embroidery - Beak Up Crafts

What are your plans for the future and do you set yourself any targets?

My plans are to continue experimenting with wet felting and needle felting in the following months to create background layers. It’s a really great technique for creating realistic colours and textures. I plan to gradually more over from crafting to art and produce more framed artwork. I will be taking part in online markets this year on Facebook organised by ‘HANDMADE: AN ARTISANS COLLECTIVE’ which will hopefully allow my work to be seen by more people.

I have also launched the ‘My Beautiful Bouquet’ range which allows you to have a handmade replica of your wedding bouquet, created using silk ribbon embroidery and handmade fabric flowers.  I am in the process of designing Gift Voucher to allow them to be gifted as wedding gifts redeemable post-wedding. I am currently recreating a bouquet from 1981 which is rather special!

Linen and Fred floral and bird embroidery - Beak Up Crafts

Do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

Of course. I can offer 10% off ‘My Beautiful Bouquet’ orders placed throughout 2015 (Gift vouchers and personal orders).


Emma’s Quick fire questions

Sun or Moon – Sun
High fashion or High street – High street
Pastel or Neon – Pastel (especially in silk ribbons)
Steak or Chips – Steak (medium-rare!)
Glitter or Sequins – Sequins – that’s easy as I use them a lot in my embroidery
Friday night or Sunday morning – Friday night with TV and a takeaway!
Tea or Coffee – Coffee (Guilty of being a coffee snob!)
Spring or Summer – Spring as I can get out and photograph the new flowers!
Cheap or Chic – Chic!
Wool or Wood – As a crafter definitely wool!


What a great interview. I’m sure you’ll agree that Emma’s delicate floral embroidery is absolutely gorgeous. I’m just trying to work out which piece to get for my craft room!

I hope you enjoyed this feature. If you would like showcase your creative business  then please drop me a line at [email protected]

Lots of floral love,

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