Are you creative and love making things at home? Maybe a career in crafting could be something for you. Vicky started her own crafts business - here she shares her advice to mothers interested in this flexible career path.
What's the story of your creative business: when, how and why did you start it?
I have always enjoyed making things. I have been working full time in Design and Technology for the past 13 years. I like to make as many gifts as possible for friends and family. When babies started arriving in my friendship circle, I made baby blankets with their names on or baby surname ones as baby shower gifts and this is when LoveHelm really began I think. I love a new challenge and once some projects became regular I set myself new challenges. My friends and family have also come to rely on me to make some of their ideas a reality such as my Santa Sacks, they were an idea of one of my best friends. I love the textiles aspect of LoveHelm but I really love my laser cutting pieces such as my artwork with butterflies and dragonflies, my family frames and baby or wedding frames. LoveHelm became official in October 2012 after much pestering and persuading from my husband and those close to me to open up my work to everyone else. I set up my Facebook page and started the craft fair circuit. The success within these aspects have led me to put together a website (work in progress, will launch early 2014) and enter the Mum Plus Business competition for the opportunity to have some mentoring to take LoveHelm forward.
What are the best and worst things about being a mother running a creative business?
The best thing about being a mother with a creative business is watching my girls get really excited about what I am making and wanting to be involved. It was lovely when I made my last lot of orders for my butterfly frames when Amalie my eldest daughter who is 4 sat with me and using my spare pieces made her own picture, she was so pleased with it!
The worst thing is time, there just isn't enough and although I am pleased that people want to order my products it can sometimes take me away from my girls when things are busy. I am juggling being a full time mum, full time teacher, full time wife and launching LoveHelm - life gets rather hectic at times.
Tell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama.
There wasn't one specific day - I had three days straight of craft fairs in the evening after full days at school - I felt like I hadn't and wasn't going to see my girls for days as I was having to go straight from school to get set up. My husband surprised me at the second fair to help me set up so I could spend some time with the girls before it all kicked off, they thought it was a great adventure.
What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?
Follow your heart, you need to be really passionate about it to take it forward, it can be all consuming but if that's what you want then it’s worth it and remember great things come from little places with hard work.
I designed a personalised week planner board for my family that combined our calendar and my family frame idea. On a Sunday my husband and I would sit and try and map out our week but we would always forget stuff. I didn't want a whiteboard in my home; I spend my days working on them so came up with a design that is really subtle but also very functional. I made a large number of them, all personalised for friends for Christmas gifts this year and the response has been amazing, hopefully if the idea is viable then I can include it in my range of personalised products.
If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?
More time!! With my girls, with my husband and more time to make my ideas a reality and just enjoy being creative.