Behind The Scenes · Uncategorized

Homemaker Magazine features Rosefinch Studio, previously known as Paper Doily

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Today is a very special day, as I’ve been featured in the current issue of Homemaker Magazine as their Reader Maker. Issue 40 is out for sale today and is absolutely wonderful. Friday has surely got to be the most perfect day for any magazine of this kind to come out, right? An entire weekend ahead dedicated to stitching, knitting, crochet and patchwork? Yes please!

Reading the article this morning really got me thinking about how much I’ve achieved with Paper Doily since setting it up in 2014. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day living without taking the time to look back and appreciate the milestones you’ve made along the way.

I’ve received a lot questions lately about what advice I have for crafters starting out on a similar business path. I feel the above article really sums a lot of these questions up, whilst hopefully inspiring others, giving them the confidence they need to get going. Having faith in yourself and your work throughout the good times and the bad times is a fundamental quality in staying on the path to success. There will be absolutely wonderful times ahead where you feel you are on top of the world, followed by the times where life/day to day tasks just get on top of you completely. Keeping your faith, continuing to put in the hard work required and staying motivated are important qualities, and ones which will see you through well!

I thought it would be very helpful to share my top 10 tips for starting your own craft business with you, derived from my experience since starting out almost two years ago.

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  1. Write a business plan and ask yourself what it is about your product/s that potential customers will want. Do you feel your products will be desirable?
  2. Who are your customers and where will you find them?
  3. Establish who your competitors are and ask yourself what your business can offer differently. Originality will set you apart from the rest.
  4. Have a marketing/advertising strategy. You can offer the most amazing products but without making a name for yourself and making others aware of your products, your business just won’t be sustainable long term.
  5. Spend a reasonable amount of time on pricing your products, it should not be an after thought. Find out what your customers are willing to pay and what other business costs to factor into your pricing model. Ensure you are not operating at a loss and avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ by lowering prices if you are struggling to sell. Instead, assess whether you are reaching the right target market and make adjustments to the product if you feel it is necessary.
  6. Identify your suppliers and try to make a good/long lasting relationship with them.
  7. What is your key asset? What is it about your business that will help you win potential customers?
  8. Stay motivated. There will be times when life just gets in the way of business (as explained above). Have some coping strategies in place. I live in the countryside and tend to take myself off on a long stroll. I’m also a serial list maker, so I tend to break down difficult tasks into small pieces if the task at hand seems too much.
  9. Stay on top of your accounts. Google drive is very handy for this. It will help you to avoid long amounts of unnecessary work when you could be doing more enjoyable tasks, such as being creative (as you do best!)
  10. Have fun! Remind yourself why you started your business in the first place and constantly come back to this at moments of struggle. It will keep you motivated and will help you to stay grounded!

 

I really hope you enjoyed reading. If you have any more questions or comments then please let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

 

Behind The Scenes

Heart & Flower Crochet Cake Topper

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If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll be aware of my long standing crochet addiction. As I also happen to adore party decorations, I’m always looking for new ways of combining the two. Why not? Cake toppers are one of the easiest and quickest crochet party decorations to make, as you only require a few shapes to make something special. Although crocheted garlands and wreaths are undoubtedly stunning, they require a lot more work and if you’re anything like me, sometimes you just need some quick satisfaction!

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I recently bought the rather stunning ‘Crochet Home’ book by crochet designer, Emma Lamb. The beautiful flower patterns were found in the book and the heart pattern was found in an old edition of my ever so growing collection of Simply Crochet Magazine. You’ll be able to search the web for similar heart patterns if you don’t have access to the magazines. Try some of these, but be sure to use a crochet stitch conversion chart depending on what country you’re crocheting from.

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After crocheting all four of these shapes, I sewed them all together with some left over yarn in the same colour as previously used. I then took two bamboo skewers (you can buy these from any supermarket) and attached them. This was achieved by sewing the skewers into each end piece with yarn to ensure they were secure. You’ll need a darning needle and some sharp scissors to do this, alongside your usual crochet hook.

Voila! Are you impressed? If you have a special occasion coming up and are looking for a fabulous edition to your cake, look no further! There are so many colour, texture and weight choices in terms of the yarn, you can definitely make it to suit your occasion. There are also so many patterns for similar sized shapes in a multitude of designs, so you can really go wild.

Please do let me know if you decide to make one similar, I’d love to see your results. Before you go, you may also love to see my other inspiring party craft tutorials here.

Behind The Scenes

Crochet Rose Garland

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Hello all! Do you remember my crochet rose cake toppers blog post which I posted earlier this week? Well, I still have the crocheted rose bug and haven’t stopped making them ever since. Have you experienced that feeling when you’ve crocheted something so many times, you’re able to memorise the pattern? Yes, that! If you’d like to take a peek at the pattern, you can follow the blog link above to the original post. I warn you though, it’s addictive!

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I’m very impressed at how versatile these crocheted roses are. If you’ve visited Paper Doily Party Shop you’ll know that I’ve made my fair share of garlands over recent months. I just love the fact that they can transform any space into something beautiful, particularly when used for a special occasion. I just had to share my recent creation with you. This particular garland was made for a special friend who wanted to brighten up her home. Obviously I couldn’t let it out of my workroom before taking some gorgeous photographs of it. 

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What are your thoughts? Have I inspired you? Garlands are one of my favourite party decorations and I absolutely love making them. I’m definitely planning on making more. Would you be interested in seeing some DIY party garland blog posts? Do let me know if so, as it’ll be very enjoyable task. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Behind The Scenes · Party Shop

Stationery Collection

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I’m very excited to finally reveal what I have been working on over the past few weeks. Since opening Paper Doily Party Shop in July of last year, I’ve had a huge amount of fun experimenting with different products and designs. In this time, I’ve been designing a wide range of handmade party products, which were all inspired by the amount of fun I had designing and making my own wedding decorations in April of last year.

After graduating with a Textile Design degree from Chelsea College of Art and Design several years ago, I decided that I had spent far too much time on the computer, having specialised in Digital Print Design and felt that I really wanted to re connect with the making side of things. It just so happens that within this time, I’ve really missed being creative on the computer and have decided that Paper Doily Party Shop will be moving towards beautifully illustrated stationery.

I’ve received an amazing level of support so far. Part of my stationery range was chosen to be featured at the Etsy Wedding Fair in London this weekend. I’ve also been featured in Perfect Wedding Magazine, Homemaker Magazine, Bustle and Sew Magazine and a Salt-Water Sandals campaign. I’m also gaining a lot of support from all of my lovely followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you as the reader and all of my customers, which I am incredibly grateful for, so thank you.

I’m feeling very positive about the change in direction and I’m looking forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you. What are your thoughts on my designs so far? Have a lovely Sunday and speak very soon!

Behind The Scenes · DIY Party Crafts

A peek into my workroom

I thought it would be really lovely to show you where all of the work happens for Paper Doily Party Shop. If you’ve happened to read my about section, you’ll know that Paper Doily Party Shop was born from my love and excitement for handmade party products and is my full time job. I’m very lucky to have a workroom to myself, completely dedicated to the business. I’ve tried to make it as inspiring as possible. I will admit that at times it’s a job in itself keeping it tidy, so I’ve tried to utilise the space to the best of my ability, by placing a lot of my items in pretty storage jars, useful shelves, storage trolleys and baskets. I hope you enjoy having a peek into this special little workroom of mine! craft-room1craftroom2 First of all, welcome to my inspiration board. I completed a Textile Design degree at Chelsea College of Art and Design several years ago, and absolutely loved having my own little inspiration board above my desk. This is something I’ve always continued to have since graduating, and something which I absolutely love adding to. Whenever I see a beautiful card, print, quote or anything else worth pinning up, (mostly from the rather amazing Flow Magazine) I grab one of my pretty pins and find a perfect spot for it. This was made from a large cork board from a stationery shop. I covered it in foam and fabric to make it prettier, and will eventually add ribbon to it to protect the fabric and change the look. craftroom5craftroom8 I recently purchased this beautifully vibrant sewing machine to expand my party decoration range. I’ve used it several times already and I absolutely love it! Not only is it perfect for small sewing projects, it adds a much needed splash of colour to the entire room and never fails to put a smile on my face! craftroom3craftroom10 Here is a close up of some of my trusty storage jars. The spotty colourful ones are from Tiger and are super handy for storing crochet bits, garlands, paper decorations etc. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have several unfinished craft projects on the go. These jars are great for storing these kind of projects, as unlike being stored away in a draw, they will be fully visible to your eye, longing to be finished! I’ve contemplated moving them to the kitchen, but they look far too good alongside my sewing machine to remove from my workroom. The rather large sweet jars pictured directly above, were actually purchased for our wedding dessert table last year. If you’ve browsed my etsy shop you’ll know how much I love wool felt, washi tape and twine. These jars are the perfect storage solution for all of these little bits! craftroom4craft-room-11craftroom6 All workrooms need cute little ornaments, candles and paper decorations right? Mine certainly does and I love glancing over at them whilst working. The peg board pictured behind them, is also super useful for storing general craft tools, particularly pastel coloured craft materials (obviously!) For any of you who aren’t aware, I run a local crochet group in Bath, UK, so I like to have somewhere pretty to store my crochet hooks. This Cath Kidston tin is the perfect solution! Notice a yellow theme? craftroom7 I really enjoy having plants and flowers in my workroom. I do have to try my hardest to water them, (and sometimes fail miserably) but feel it’s definitely worth it when they are this vibrant. The beautiful plant pots and tray are from the extremely friendly Sue from Yay Retro, one of my favourite vintage shops. 11123724_423192984528884_302785730_n Here is my favourite corner of the room. I adore my ikea trolley. After several months of deciding whether to take the plunge and buy one, I’m very glad I did. It’s very handy for storing my wedding stationery range, cards, wrapping paper, pretty bags and anything else handy. The other white storage unit is currently filled with yarn for a blanket I’m making. One day I hope to finish it, but right now I’m lost in a never ending sea of crochet squares! Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed my workroom tour. I would love to know if I’ve inspired you, so do come and say hello if I have!

Behind The Scenes · Party Shop

The progress of Paper Doily Party Shop (later renamed to Rosefinch Studio)

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We have recently received a few questions regarding Paper Doily’s progress from some of our lovely Facebook followers. It is so nice to see that people are as excited as we are, and we have taken it as a great compliment. We have been super busy at Paper Doily HQ, preparing for the launch of our Etsy shop. The studio has turned into craft central. Paper Doily will consist of two ventures. There will be an amazing selection of handmade party accessories, primarily sold through our Etsy shop. This will allow us to be super creative as we love nothing more than designing and making fabulous party products.

There will also be a larger online shop, selling an amazing array of party accessories from well known suppliers. The handmade venture is a thoroughly enjoyable process but is taking a little longer than expected… like most things! We want to ensure we have the best products available, which requires lots of planning and meticulous making! The larger online shop is scheduled to be up and running within the next 6 months, which will allow us plenty of time to source products, build the website and connect with our very highly regarded potential customers.

If you are an animal person and in the mood for a cute photograph, you will be pleased to hear that we have just welcomed Felix, the miniature poodle puppy to Paper Doily HQ. He is 15 weeks old and full of love, mischief and cuddles. Felix is another reason why our progress is a little slower than anticipated. Somebody has to provide the cuddles! He brings us a lot of joy and excitement and certainly keeps us on our toes.

We look forward to sharing the rest of our journey with you and thank you so much for reading.