Today I want to introduce you to one of my lovely sponsors, The Homemakery, a new online store jam-packed full of wonderful craft materials.
I asked Kate May, the owner of The Homemakery, a few questions to share with you.
Where did your idea for The Homemakery come from?
When it comes to crafting I'm jack of all trades and master of none! I like to crochet, knit, quilt, sew, make my own cards, decorate things for my home; the list goes on. When it came to shopping for craft supplies I found it really frustrating that I had to shop at so many different specialist online shops to gather together all the craft products I needed for my endless list of craft projects.
I really felt that there was a need for an online craft shop which bought together gorgeous craft products in one place. So if you needed to buy some fabrics to make a quilt you could pick up the fabric, thread, wadding and notions from one place and if you needed a couple of extra balls of yarn for the blanket you were crocheting then you can get it all in one order. That's really what I wanted The Homemakery to be - a one stop shop for the prettiest craft materials on the internet!
How has it been leaving full-time employment in London and starting your own business?
Leaving London was somewhat of a lifestyle choice. I had moved out of the city a couple of years ago, and I was fed up of the long commute and a job which no longer challenged me. The Homemakery took nine long months of planning before I opened so I had plenty of time to get used to the idea of life after London and being self employed. It was incredibly hard work starting a business in my spare time so it was a great relief to stop commuting into London and only having to focus all my energy on one job. I do miss the buzz of being in London, the banter with colleagues and being able to easily catch up with friends after work. I also miss my pay cheque - something I completely took for granted!
I've found starting a business to be a hugely creative endeavour, bringing my ideas to life has been so much fun and I have learnt so many new skills along the way! I have always been very independent so I find running my own business really empowering. Some days it feels like you are flying; everything is going so well, then there are other days when you want to bang your head against a brick wall. It's a roller coaster and every day brings with it new adventures and challenges. I absolutely love it!
What's been your biggest startup challenge so far?
Starting a business feels like one continuous challenge! Having a limited start up budget was my biggest initial challenge and having to let go of some of the ideas I had for the business simply because there wasn't enough money in the budget. My other biggest challenge is just not having enough hours in the day to get the things done that I need or want to do. Its a constant battle to prioritise what needs doing doing on a day to day basis with looking forward to the future and planning for new products and development for the Homemakery.
What's been your happiest startup moment so far?
My happiest moments so far is the positive feedback from my customers. I have only been open for a month and a half but I've already had customers placing their second and third orders and seen lots of people tweeting and instagramming that they've loved receiving their packages. One customer emailed to say how beautifully wrapped her order was and that it was like getting a gift to yourself, which is exactly how I want my customers to feel. I feel very lucky that people are choosing to shop at The Homemakery so when I send out my customer's orders I like to make them as pretty as possible!
What things do you like to make?
I love to be creative and try and do a little bit of crafting every day. At the moment my makes are very seasonal. I'm knitting hats and wrist warmers and crocheting myself a shawl. I'm also starting to do some Christmas crafting and trying to get a head start on Christmas cards and gift tags. Next on the "to do" list are some new Christmas coloured throw cushions for the living room along with some red polka dot lampshades. I love decorating my house for christmas and adding new cushion covers and lampshades quickly changes the room and makes everything look a little more festive.
What's your favourite thing in The Homemakery?
Such a tough question as I truly love everything we stock!! I do have a passion for fabric and I do spend a lot of time gazing at all the bolts of fabric we stock. I love how versatile fabric is - you can create quilts, lampshades, bags, clothes. Anything you like!
Where do you like to get your craft and making inspiration from?
I like to read craft magazines like Mollie Makes & Homemaker Magazine as well as lifestyle magazines like The Simple Things & Country Living. I also love browsing pinterest, blogs and I’m hugely inspired to see what people are making on Instagram.
Living in the country and having a dog means I'm outside every day and noticing the subtle changes in the weather and the flora and fauna and I think I reflect that in my crafting. I love crocheting snoods and blankets in the Autumn and Winter, then come the spring and summer I like to dabble in making clothes and cross stitching outside.
What would be your one piece of advice to anyone else thinking about starting something new?
Stop thinking and start doing! There are so many fantastic youtube videos and blog tutorials out there that you can find out how to do or make anything. One of the great blessings of living in the internet age is that we don't need to be taught how to craft by friends or family we have all the tools at our finger tips just by getting online and giving it a google! Crafting today is so accessible and you don't need to spend a lot of money to get started.
Thank you so much Kate for taking the time to chat today. As you can see from all these images from my Instagram stream, I've fallen in love with The Homemakery and keep popping in to stock up on craft materials. The fabric selection is just gorgeous and I'm using these beautiful Tilda fabrics for all my Christmas making.
Pop over and start exploring The Homemakery today! x