My Clay makes..

My Clay makes..

I have decided to concentrate on my miniature food for my polymer clay makes, I love making food and there’s so much I can do, so from now on you’ll find most of my items are of the miniature food kind but I will make the odd other thing here and there, these will all be in my Limited Edition Clay section, they are limited edition because I will only make one of each thing, so once they are gone, they’re gone forever, I won’t be making them again, so you’ll have to be quick if you want them. I listed one of my new items in there today and it sold straight away! 🙂

My other items will stay the same, it’s just my clay items that are changing. Please also feel free to ask me still for custom items, I will still be doing them.

Testing my clay …

Testing my clay …

So firstly thank you for coming along to my blog and having a little 5 minute rest out of your day to come and read my blurb 🙂

I decided to try to test out putting colours into my clay, I’d seen people using pastel coloured clay before and couldn’t find any so I decided to do a little test to see if I could do my own, this is how it went..

Excuse my voice on the video, I hate listening to myself on audio lol but I’m really pleased with the outcome of them and I will definitely be doing this all the time with my clay! I can now make some gorgeous pastel coloured miniatures! 😀

What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment 😉

Updates..

Updates..

Hey, it’s been a little while since I posted anything on my blog, ok …. 7 days… 😂 but you know I like to keep Creative Misfit up to date and everything, so it’s about time for another post of waffle information 😊

So, what am I going to talk about today you may be thinking, well, I have been looking through all my products and I now have 125 items in my shop, yep lots right? I know some of them are in my Free section though but it’s still a lot of products for a one woman band like me. Anyway, I am going to sort through some of my items and put some in my Limited Edition Section so they can sell as one off items. The reason for this is so I can make room incase I wanted to make any new items to put in my shop & replace them. I have a thing for making thing’s all the time you see, I like to experiment & therefore end up with more products than I have time to promote! 😂 So, what better than putting some for sale as one off products?

That’s one plan I have for Creative Misfit, the other is to try and promote more, I spend so much time on Twitter talking nonsense mostly that I forget what I should be doing! But I have such a good rapport with so many people on there now, it’s hard not to just chat. Having said that though, everyone is very supportive and all the retweets really help. You Twitter bunch are fab 😊

Life for me lately has been tough with my anxiety & everything, losing my nan took a big chunk out of me aswell, which I didn’t expect. But you carry on, you plant a big brave face on and try to keep smiling, which I do most of the time and the last couple of weeks have been better, not so much a black cloud over me as it has been and because of this people assume, I’m ‘ok now’ but anxiety unfortunately doesn’t work that way. I can’t pretend it doesn’t annoy me everytime someone says ‘Ahh you’ll be fine’ when I try to explain it because it does but I grit my teeth and say nothing. Like you do. But, even though I have all this going on, the one thing that keeps me happy is Creative Misfit & my work, I enjoy everything I do so this is why I’m ‘making room’ for potential upcoming products! So, bear with me 😊

Keep your peepers peeled for anything I may tweet about with anything moved or new in the near future!

Discounts!

I have had a good day (yay) so I decided I’d put a 15% discount on my polymer/resin items, valid until end of September 2019 😊 Using the code ‘Lucky50’ you’ll get 15% off your basket total!

What are you waiting for?! 😊

September Small Business Showcase

Every month I will do a piece on a small business, interviewing the owner and asking them about them & their business, it’s good for the small business to get a bit of free advertising and we all know how great free advertising is, right?

September 2019 by Andy from Create England

What’s the name of your small business?

Create-England

How long have you had your business?

My small business carer is 19 months young, although under its current name of Create-England its a little over 12 months.

How did you come up with your brand name?

I wanted a name that would cover lots of different areas of craft work as I was not sure which route I wanted to go down. So I searched the Internet many times with many different names until I came up with Create-England which had no search results.

What’s your best seller?

I don’t have a best seller as such as all my items are different. My best selling range is my etched glass artworks. I hand etch onto glass and give the etching colour to bring the image to life. I also do these as commission pieces and have done pets and company logos to date

Do you have a website, if so what is it?

I have an Etsy website 

http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/createengland1

Tell us a little bit about you as a seller, after all you are a person, not just a brand name!

I am a very private person, and don’t share too much personal information about myself, so will give you what I can. 

* I’m Andy. 
* I’m male and im in my 40’s 
* I have always had a creative mind but never put it to Crafty use before. 
* I used to work in a very time and brain consuming job that left little time for me. I was made redundant from that and decided to change my life. 
* I suffer from Anxiety and Depression which can really limit me at times, but I find music is a great motivator. 
* I love my music, and will listen to most kinds, if it makes me dance, I will listen to it. 
* I ride a motorbike and love the freedom of that.

Do you do all your own designs for your company?

Yes, I love to scribble down ideas in my pocket notebook and revisit them from time to time.

Do you only sell online or do you sell elsewhere?

I have a small space in a communal shop in Lincoln that I sell from. It’s a great space as there are lots of other local crafts people that also sell from there. It also costs me money as I see stuff I like and can’t always resist buying.

Has your business taken off as you expected?

I had hoped that the business had picked up more but it’s a very crowded market place. Its all about trial and error, and finding that thing that you love doing and sticking with it.

How much do you advertise & do you ever pay for advertising?

I have not paid for any advertising as I like to make my own video adverts. I share them on my Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy sites. I try and do 2 or 3 videos a week as I don’t want people to get too bored of seeing them and not watching them. I also share individual product links on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest at set times of the day

What’s your best piece of advice to give someone else starting a small business?

Make sure you go into it with your eyes open. Do your research, not only on the Internet but in the local area too. Find out who your competitors will be and how they price their items. Make sure you know what it will cost you to make your product and test that against competitors prices too. Most importantly though, believe in yourself, and don’t give up when things go wrong, learn from those and move forward. And sometimes your worst mistake can create something beautiful

August Small Business Showcase

Occasionally, I will do a piece on a small business, interviewing the owner and asking them about them & their business, it’s good for the small business to get a bit of free advertising and we all know how great free advertising is, right?

August 2019 by Sarah from Crafting Spratt

What’s the name of your small business?

Spratt’s Designs

How long have you had your business?

Officially I started with Spratt’s Designs in 2014, but I have been crafting and making gifts since picking up my dad’s hammer as a child.

How did you come up with your brand name?

Oh that’s not so interesting my name is Sarah Spratt (by Marriage) so I simply chose that name.  More interesting is the little Spratt Fairy I use as my logo. My mother died 3 months before I got married, to say she has left a big hole is an understatement, but soon after on a low day I doodled this fairy, tucked it into a book and thought nothing more of it.  In 2014 when I was trying to plan things for my new venture, I was procrastinating by rearranging my office instead of doing work when the doodle fell out of the book onto my desk.  That was it she had to be my logo so that every little step my business takes my mother is still there with me. Although my fairy is a little Spratt her fairy name is Veronica.   

What’s your best seller?

Oooh! That’s a hard one as I have such a variety of crafts but I have to say that creeping ahead would be the Plants themed Bullet Journal Stencil.  First designed for my own use, but I love to think how many journals its adorning all around the world.

Do you have a website, if so what is it?

I do its www.spratt-designs.com

Tell us a little bit about you as a seller, after all you are a person, not just a brand name!

Well as I mentioned earlier I started Spratt’s Designs in 2014 this was after being medically retired from teaching in the NHS. Not being at pensionable age and not ready to just sit in front of the TV I needed to do something.  I have also made things right from being a little girl. My Dad was a builder and my sister and I both grew up using tools as much as the pen and paper.  I started my tertiary training though to work in theatre, back stage, I didn’t want to be on stage.  I qualified from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with a BA(hons) in Stage Management & Technical Theatre.  There I learnt a lot more creative art abilities such as traditional painting techniques and skills such as gold leafing.  The making of Props, Set Design and painting continued for some years until an injury forced a career change on me.  I went into the world of Medical training, it was then for some years that I put away doing anything creative, I had lost the spark.  Over time however as I got into more stressful jobs I started making again, building up my skills making crafts for friends.  Over time though I suffered some crazy amount of incidents that caused me to have 5 bowel surgeries.  Added to injuries acquired previously, some lifelong disabilities, developing chronic disabilities and complications left from the amount of surgeries including my mental health badly affected, my ability to do main stream employment was taken out of my hands.  My crafting was a solace through this time and with encouragement I was nudged from trying to find someone willing to employ a disabled person, who could work from home on days that suited her health to running her own business.  So there I was in 2014 using my imagination to  its fullest making beautiful things with my hands.  I sit here typing now thinking of every craft I have made, wondering what type of home (or garden) it’s sitting in, thinking of the time I laboured over it.  I have poured my love into every creation and I am so proud of what I make, it’s a joy to create and as long as my body will allow me, also as long as I keep selling them so I can buy more crafting materials I will keep making and I will keep my imagination flowing creating new ideas.  I am not a one-of-a- kind craft girl, I can’t restrict myself that way, so if you visit my shop you will see an eclectic range of handmade crafts, it’s a step into my imagination if you do.

Do you do all your own designs for your company?

Yes I do, some crafts in the past have had parts of my designs made for me to work with, but I am not at the stage where everything I make is done in my craft room at home.

Do you only sell online or do you sell elsewhere?

I sell through two sites on line I have my Etsy Shop http://bit.ly/SDetsy and I also sell through Conscious Crafties a platform built for Disabled Crafters to show of their abilities not to be restricted by their disabilities, its also supports us with a Face Book group where we can talk to other disabled crafters about problems that affect us trying to be a lone business person that other people don’t have to face http://bit.ly/SDetsy Being Disabled I am at this time unable to attend craft fairs but I am supported by a lovely crafter who attends craft fairs running an additional table that we can take a fee in and she takes a small commission from every sale, it’s a great help to us.  I am also hoping to be involved in a couple of future projects, watch this space.

Has your business taken off as you expected?

It was slow to start but looking over my order books from 2015, it has gradually got much better over the years. No, not at all, it’s been a huge learning curve.  It took several years before my first sale on Etsy, at that time I was making sales through my Facebook Business page.  I do make growth year on year but although I am successful I am still a way of making a living as yet.  Things have surprised me like my first American sale, being followed by some amazing people and returning customers, with some fab reviews, which tell me that I may not be quite where I want to be yet, but, I am on the right path and I’m doing it right for my customers. That makes me smile.
It was slow to start but looking over my order books from 2015, it has gradually got much better over the years.

How much do you advertise & do you ever pay for advertising?

In truth my advertising is sporadic, which when you listen to the gurus is not good.  Some of this is down to my health, sometimes my mental health as all my advertising at the moment is on social media.  I do not pay for advertising on there so it’s all my own work it relies on me.  Being a crafter part of the reason for buying is knowing the crafter and the love behind the work, sometimes I can portray this out on social media and other times I find it so very difficult.  Also as a lone business woman I have to be everything to the business.  That means time on social media, admin, editing the online shops, time to make the crafts, design new ones, prototypes, sourcing materials, accounts, even the tea making.  So getting that balance right when you can’t function like the average person can leads to inconsistences in advertising, I don’t like them but I have to accept them.  On a sweeter note, my lovely neighbours daughter is doing a leaflet drop for me during the summer holidays so I am paying for a bit of advertising there.

What’s your best piece of advice to give someone else starting a small business?

Try not to compare yourself to others, it’s a difficult thing to no do but they are on their own path. Others may be further along with their business than you, they may pay for advertising you may not. Also if you are advertising (paid or unpaid) for social media don’t get into the liking game, don’t like someone else’s page just for the hope they will like yours, in return look for likes and interactions that are real.  In the long run they will be better for your business.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice can be free and can wipe away the clouds of illusion and give you the reality of what it’s really like running your own craft business and selling online, there are support groups out there on line too.  Make sure you know the distance selling regulations, and insurance if you sell online and check the rules around copyright, not only for images but the use of songs and quotes can be copyright too, you may think your too small and it doesn’t matter, it does and you can get into a lot of trouble for not just spending a day learning about these laws.

It’s not always perfect..

When it was hot last week, I was pleased to see so many people saying the same thing as me ‘It’s too hot for the UK’ 😄 Now, I’m a real rain lover myself so I prefer a good rainfall anyday over boiling hot humid sunny days but what makes the heat worse for me is my work, both resin & clay aren’t the easiest to work with when its hot, resin reacts badly to hot weather and clay becomes too sticky to work with, then your hands are hot making it worse still 🙄 So, it gives me even more reason to not enjoy the boiling hot weather we had here last week, once its more than 25c then that’s too much for me, I’m so not a sun worshipper.

Anyway, last week I was working on a resin piece but in the extreme heat my resin reacted badly while curing and this happened..

The air bubbles sometimes can’t be helped in resin work anyway but the heat gave many more bubbles than it was meant to and you can see the inside is kind of swirly, the top of the piece is very wavy, you can’t see on the photo’s but it isn’t meant to be like that.. 😬

I guessed the resin wouldn’t like the heat much but this proves it, so I’m praying the extreme heat stays away for my works sake 🙏😄

July Small Business Showcase

Occasionally, I will do a piece on a small business, interviewing the owner and asking them about them & their business, it’s good for the small business to get a bit of free advertising and we all know how great free advertising is, right?

July 2019 by Nicky from Creative Misfit

What’s the name of your small business?

Creative Misfit

How long have you had your business?

It was a year old on July 24th 2019! So it’s still a baby!

How did you come up with your brand name?

I am creative but I am also a misfit in lots of ways, so I thought they went well together & there was my business name!

What’s your best seller?

I don’t have a best seller as yet, I have to say though my clay/resin doughnuts seem to be super popular!

Do you have a website, if so what is it?

Yes, this one! 😁

Tell us a little bit about you as a seller, after all you are a person, not just a brand name!

I’m married to a wonderful man called Jochen, we have a fabulous son called Jack and I wouldn’t be where I am today without either of them, soppy I know! I have a passion for Volkswagen & Audi cars, have loved them since a little girl, never was into girlie stuff, so guess I’m a bit of a tomboy! I have an Audi TT which I love & it’s my pride & joy, it’s the only really expensive thing I own! I’m also a big animal lover, I have two dogs that are mental but adorable, we have two guinea pigs too & some fish, if I had my way we’d have a lot more animals but we have a teeny tiny house! I have been creative for as long as I can remember and love to make different thing’s, I’m always trying my hand at something. If I’m not making thing’s I am either at my computer on Photoshop designing something or other or I am in my garden, I am a bit of a gardening geek too.

Do you do all your own designs for your company?

Yep, everything on my website for Creative Misfit is designed and made by me!

Do you only sell online or do you sell elsewhere?

Nope, only online for me, I suffer with Anxiety and would struggle to have the confidence to go to craft fairs and the like.

Has your business taken off as you expected?

In all honesty, Creative Misfit for me was more a thing of fun than a business, I enjoyed making thing’s and sharing with others & didn’t intend it to be a business as such, but it has turned out that way & with the support I have received on Twitter of late has been phenomenal & has taken a big turn for the better!

How much do you advertise & do you ever pay for advertising?

I don’t advertise as much as I should/could but I do try to join in on the Twitter hours whenever I can. I don’t pay for advertising as it’s too expensive for me right now.

What’s your best piece of advice to give someone else starting a small business?

Be patient (even though this is not a great thing for me, I’m the worlds most impatient person!) and make sure you engage with others on social media as much as you can, other people can really help boost your business!

Polymer/Resin & Me..

As you may or may not know, I have a new passion, polymer clay & resin together, yes together, there’s so many thing’s I can make with them both & I have been doing so recently, I now have a whole selection of charms available in my shop, they are all food related, ok, sweet tooth related 😋 I don’t actually have much of a sweet tooth at all, that’ll be my hubby 😂 (he won’t mind me saying, he does love a pudding!) But I do love a doughnut! 🍩 I love making the sweet sticky loveliness and I have added a few but please do keep your eyes peeled as I will add more.

I will be doing other thing’s with resin also, I have a few ideas rattling around but I need to do a few test products first, I do have some mini fish bowls in my shop that you can buy but as with everything, all is made to order so I’ll need a few days to make the items, so bear that in mind when ordering as I don’t have ready made items available.

If I ever have any ready made items I will post about them in my blog and on my social media 😊

Please bear in mind my prices are what they are because I have the supplies to pay for & the time it takes me to make each item, like most small businesses, each item is handmade and therefore takes time to produce before sending out, unlike larger companies I make each item myself, I do not buy in products to sell, everything is made from scratch and therefore unique 😁

I appreciate any feedback on my items, please do get in touch with me if you have something to suggest for me to make, I do like a challenge!

Busy Bee ..

Yep, I have been very busy lately with one thing and another so I’m trying my best to get myself as organised as I possibly can before I get to move into my summerhouse office.

We are getting far with the building of the office, but we just have to work on weekends mostly as that’s the only time we get to spend doing it but we are getting there and my hubby has done a brill job inside so far. Hoping we will be done very soon as I now have boxes of my ‘tools’ & bits everywhere and I’m running out of space to put thing’s, my bedroom looks a bit like a very untidy workspace at the moment .. eek .. But not for too much longer. I’ll be honest I am a tad excited to get my own whole space, I almost feel like a teenager again having my own room 😂 That feeling of a whole room to yourself is bliss, I remember it well!

Anyway, other than doing the office, I have been very busy with my new passion, polymer clay & resin combined! Oh who knew how much fun I could have with these two together!? It’s brought my creative side out even more as I can make my own designs with both & I really really enjoy it, that’s the best bit I think, I actually have found something that I genuinely enjoy doing. I knew I’d love working with clay as when I was a kid I loved making things with plasticine, I would spend hours with it, kept me out of mischief I suppose, pretty much as clay does now! 😉

I will be making lots of different charms and thing’s with clay then using resin with it, I will then be listing these items on my shop here on my website (still undecided about whether to reopen my Etsy shop) but as it’s a work in progress, please bear with me. As resin is such a good thing to work with, I also have a few different ideas of what I will be making with other items to set in it so lookout for that.

Like I said, because I am ‘in between’ work spaces right now, I may take a bit longer to make & list my items but they will be there soon enough, all good thing’s come to those who wait, right? 🥰

Now on to something a little more personal, I don’t tend to share my personal life on here but I am going through some tough thing’s right now in my life and finding thing’s extremely difficult to deal with, my hubby & son have been wonderful as usual and I don’t know what I’d do without them, in all honesty, I think I wouldn’t be here if that were the case. So a huge thank you and also a sorry for times too x

Sometimes we all need a little kindness in our lives and I can really say I have found that on Twitter this week, with my recent problems on twitter and everything else, I was ready to completely give up but having so many kind folk on twitter help me get my new account up and get me followers has been a turnaround for me, not to mention the people that are just genuinely lovely to me on there too, it’s been a big help to how I’ve felt lately, so thank you to you all. Even if I managed to get my old account back now, I think I would just delete my photos then leave a link to my new account as I feel much happier over there, if that even makes any sense? (It’s ok, even I think I’m actually a bit mad? lol)

I don’t want to go into any kind of details about anything but thing’s are super hard right now and I wanted to mention this so I could say a big thank you to you all on twitter, you don’t actually know how much you’ve helped me feel a bit better. So big hugs to you all x 😁