Saturday, 11 November 2017

Featured Shop - One of a Kind Gifts

Our Featured Shop For the Seasonal end to 2017 is One of A Kind Gifts

I asked Sue to tell us a bit about her background and where the inspiration for this fabulous website came from.

I love having this website.
For several years I have run a website (Anxaid) based on my professional knowledge as a psychologist. All the time I have longed to be able to write about  pretty craft items and, moreover, to be able to spend my days making them.
Finally those days are here!

Your shop name is very clever and we loved your website - especially the Christmas Shop! 
Can you tell us a little about how your creativity evolved?

My earliest sewing memory is when I was four years old. The elderly lady who lived next door gave my mother two small pale blue blankets in a sort of wool fleece fabric.
I announced that I wanted to make a dressing gown for my little sister from them. 
My grandmother laid the two little blankets, one on top of the other, on the carpet and threaded a needle for me with double thread and a knot. She (very wisely) said I must sew the sides together first and that any cutting would happen at the end.
I remember taking the first stitch at one end. Then I looked at how far I had to sew and could see no point at all in doing lots of small stitches when I could get all the way to the other end with one big stitch. 
I took one big stitch. My grandmother pointed out the error of my ways.
It was then that I decided my sister didn’t need a dressing gown after all. The two little blankets survived.

That's a great story!  So you had the bug and kept on creating?

At school we were taught sewing by a spinster teacher who had lived through two World Wars. She wasted nothing. We even had to remove tacking stitches keeping the thread in one piece so that we might re-use it.
When I was nine we made stuffed animals. I recall making a giraffe in a cotton fabric in shades of orange. Its legs were very thin and they were given strength by a length of wire embedded inside the stuffing.
When I was ten we each made a pair of knickers in cream winceyette using French seams and shell hemming - all done by hand. 
Needless to say, none of us ever actually wore what we’d made that year as bloomers were long out of fashion.
At eleven I made my first dress. Mine was in a check fabric in shades of green and brown. All the sewing was done by hand - there were no sewing machines at school. In contrast to the knickers of the previous year, I loved that dress and wore it all through that summer. 

In my teens I made myself the latest fashions by buying clothes at the village jumble sale and cutting them up to make something else. Fortunately I grew up in a place where the landed gentry donated their unwanted clothes to the jumble sales so pickings were good.
To begin with I used my grandmother’s Singer sewing machine with the handle that was turned by hand. Then one day when I was about fourteen years old my parents visited the Ideal Home Exhibition and brought home an electric machine that did a zigzag stitch. I was in heaven.
I made my own wedding dress, my sister’s and numerous bridesmaid dresses for various family members over the years. More recently I made my daughter’s.

So do you mainly sew?

No, I do knitting as well as sewing and one Christmas made an entire set of Raggy Dolls for a granddaughter.
By the time the children had all grown up I was back at work. Although I still made things now and then, I started to look forward to retirement when I might devote my days to creating…

The appliqued advent calendar I made for my own children and, again more recently, for grandchildren.

The feel of your website is that it could be "the" place to go for special gifts!  We loved this quote that you included on your site in your Gift Advice  section.

So you are not planning on putting up your feet now you are retired? 

I can now spend my days making whatever I want. Sometimes I knit, sometimes I sew. In between times I make necklaces and decorate boxes. I can’t just do one thing as there are so many possibilities, so many ideas that beg to be followed through.
I created this website to allow me to sell what I make in order to buy materials to make more. 

Thank you for spending the time with us to find out about you and your website.

You can find Sue on her website
and  also on Facebook

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Featured Shop October 2017 - Empathy Holistics

Our Featured Shop for October is Empathy Holistics I invited Emma to tell us a little more about the ideas behind her fabulous shop.

Tell us a bit about you!

I am Emma and would like to introduce Empathy Holistics to the wider world! I enjoy all things aromatherapy and holistic therapies.

What brought you to aromatherapy and holistic therapies? 

I have always been interested in concocting my own lotions and potions from a young age.  I fell in love with essential oils as a way of making people feel better, or to reduce the symptoms of illnesses/ medical conditions.

Why do you like using essential oils in your products?

I love the different powers and aromas of essential oils how they help people feel good, remind them of past memories and uplift their soul, body’s and thoughts.

Do you have a favourite product that you have created?

I have created a variety of products for the general public; I specialise in gift kits for pregnancy and labour.  Another favourite is my itch relief blend, which a number of parents have bought for their children and seems to alleviate the terrible ‘itch’. 

Best selling Yummy Mummy to be Kit

Are you able to make a remedy for somebody as a special order?

I am happy to tailor make a blend, cream or kit to suit a customers needs!  

Do you have a shop or you primarily online?

I have my products in a shop on Folksy where customers can also message me with their requirements.

You are obviously passionate about what you do!  Why is this?

My customers love the way that I can tailor make their products to suit their needs or situations.  I am a people person and I feel I know what people need or want from a cream or oil blend.  I can help people through enjoyable and tough times.

Do you have a personal favourite amongst your products?

My favourite oil blends are my newest empathic earth collection and bumps, babies and beyond.  I have also just started to promote my stocking filler blends and creams on Folksy

Thank you Emma!  We loved getting to know you a  bit better!

You can find Emma on Facebook and Instagram: #EmpathyHolistics
Emma King
Empathy Holistics

Friday, 8 September 2017

Featured Shop - Alessandra Handmade Creations

Our Featured Shop for September is Alessandra Handmade Creations

I asked Alessandra some questions to find out a little more about her fabulous designs and business.

How long have you been crafting for?

As a child I used to knit with my mother, aunties & grannies.  I remember sitting on my Grandmother's lap and sewing with this very machine!  Just seeing the machine brings back such wonderful memories!

You obviously like crafting with material - why do you like this?

I love the colours, textures, playability & the infinite creativity options that they offer. The sky really is the limit as to what they can be used for!

Your range is wonderfully diverse.  What are you able to create for people?

I can create so many different items! Quilts, cushions, throws, table covers & runners, place mats, bibs, T shirts, scarves etc etc!  If you have a look at my website it will show you examples of work that is available for sale and also previously sold designs.  I am always open to ideas and take commissions!

Where can your amazing work be purchased?

Available products can be found on my website and I also sell from a Showroom in Putney, West London, at Craft Markets and also at Private Sale events.

What do you think makes your products so special and you so successful?

My items are all either limited edition or truly unique.  They all have something slightly different, maybe a button or a ribbon but people appreciate this in an age of mass-produced. Most items can be personalised making this a very special gift!  People just need to contact me with their requirements.

What drives you forward?

I am passionate about what I do.  I like to make people feel pampered and special when they shop with me.  I pay great attention to detail from receiving the order to dispatching it.  All my items are wrapped beautifully, that is part of the process of making the experience special!

Is there anywhere that people can find you this year to see your amazing designs in person?

I am exhibiting this Autumn in a few different places and would be delighted if people visited me!  A full list of upcoming events can be found on my website. 

Thank you for taking the time to give us a better insight into Alessandra Handmade Creations.

Alessandra is active across all Social Media Platforms and you can find and connect with her here!