Posts Tagged ‘a chat with’

A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer

Doing something creative is at the heart of my every day; whether it’s stealing 10 minutes to do some crafting, writing a blog post, designing stickers or working with my clients, at work, on a new concept, it’s what keeps me happy. On the days where I’m in a slump, days we all struggle with from time to time, it’s other creatives that keep me going; just last week I was listening to Emma Gannon’s podcast and I felt more inspired to write than I had done in months! The ‘A chat with…’ series gives me a chance to gain insight and celebrate fellow creatives’ work.

So with all that in mind, today I’m back having a chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer. I’ve met Teri a few times now and she also designed a postcard for Fred & Bell in the summer; working with Teri was easy peasy and she completely understood what I wanted from the get go. Teri is a designer, illustrator, stylist, crafter; her style is instantly recognisable and always has a clean and crisp feel to it. Today we talk small business, juggling workloads and keeping creative. I especially loved Teri’s mentioned of Trello, a girl after my own heart!


A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.


Hey Teri, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off with a little introduction to who you are…

My name’s Teri, I’m 29 and I’m a Christian, wife, designer and blogger. I live in Shepherds Bush in London, residing in a cosy Victorian terrace flat where I also work. I’ve always been a creative through and through so there’s never been any doubt on anybody’s mind that I would end up doing something along those lines.

For readers who haven’t heard about The Lovely Drawer, could you tell us all about it and how it came to life?

The Lovely Drawer came about because my husband nagged me to start a blog. He thought it was a shame that I didn’t document any of my little projects and felt it would be a great online portfolio for the future. I kept on resisting, using the excuse that I didn’t have time. I was working as an in house designer for a greetings card company at the time and as I started to feel less and less creatively stimulated I thought he might just be right. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but it served as a creative outlet and gave me a space to push myself to try new things and improve my skills. I kind of forgot anyone read it most of the time and in the beginning I’m pretty sure no one did. The name came from my final project at uni which was all about our attic and the drawers that mum would hoard with all sorts of crafty bits and pieces. It was always fun to root around and think up new projects from what I found.

I started getting freelance design work from it soon enough and so juggled that alongside my full time job for about a year. It brought me to breaking point and I decided I needed to reduce my days to four at my day job, which was a relief. Six months later I made the jump and left my job to brave starting my own business for real. I’ve been doing it full time for just over 2 and a half years now.


A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.


As well as blogging at The Lovely Drawer, you sell wedding stationery and prints and run brush lettering workshops. How do you go about juggling them and keeping yourself organised?

With difficulty is the answer. I frequently feel overwhelmed but at the same time I love the variety that doing lots of different things gives me. This year I actually started using Trello for online organising so that I have a clear idea of work flow and events, as well as getting reminders. I quite often panic that I haven’t ordered enough materials for a workshop or missed a print deadline for a client but it’s usually fine. My blog is probably the most fluid and least organised part of what I do to be honest. Unless I have a sponsored post I’m working on, all the other content is just created in and around my other commissions. Sometimes I get frustrated I don’t have more time to give to it! I also took on two interns at different points this summer which was a massive help so I’m hoping to advertise again later this year for a longer stint which may lead to something more permanent.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing but it served as a creative outlet and gave me a space to push myself to try new things and improve my skills. I kind of forgot anyone read it most of the time and in the beginning I’m pretty sure no one did.

In 2015 you won Best Craft & DIY blog at the Amara Interior Blog Awards; would you be able to share any successes or opportunities that have come about as a result of your win?

I think the main thing I noticed straight away was my inbox filling up with abundant press releases (sigh). Aside from that I think it mainly just got my name out there with other brands which is great. I’ve had many more brands reaching out to work together and more that fit my kind of aesthetic than before too. I’ve also had the opportunity to do more craft workshops aside from brush lettering on top.


A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.


I’ve always admired your Instagram feed and brand styling; how do you go about creating a consistent and fresh look across all channels?

Aww thanks! That’s lovely to hear. I think it’s a case of being very deliberate and doing a lot of curating rather than mindlessly branding and posting. My number one tip is to keep things consistent. Find your general aesthetic, colour palettes, photography style and stick to it. I always keep things simple and clean with lots of white negative space where possible. I use salmon, black, white and grey through all my branding and have tried very hard not to change that so that it’s recognisable.

Stepping away from your busy day-to-day, what’s the key to a happy life for you?

For me it’s God and finding joy in him rather than my situation. Situations change and life goes up and down but he stays the same. My happy place is with my husband and my church family, spending time with people rather than behind a screen. I guess within that is a work / life balance. That’s a tough one that I’m yet to master!

My number one tip is to keep things consistent. Find your general aesthetic, colour palettes, photography style and stick to it.

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive) and why?

Well firstly Mary Berry so that I could rudely ask her to bake dessert! I would also love to invite Louis Theroux and just listen to him recall stories of all the fascinating people he’s met.


A chat with Teri from The Lovely Drawer on freelance life, creativity and keeping organised.


Thank you Teri for your time!

Teri has also very kindly offered a 20% discount on all paper goods to readers of This Little Space of Mine with the code LOVELY1. Pop over to The Lovely Drawer to enjoy this special offer.

You can also catch Teri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Fran from We Make Collective

One of my favourite posts to prepare is the ‘A chat with’ post, where I get to talk to super talented entrepreneurs about how they’re going it alone and working in a creative environment to generate their income. Creativity can take many forms, from baking to knitting, home interior to tapestry and everything in between. So while we might not all be able to be creative in our working lives, I’m a big believer that we can do it in our free time (I know I love making things while I’m watching TV). I’ve also created a separate ‘A chat with’ page where you can check out previous chats with perhaps some familiar faces. I digress.

So today I’m bringing back this series with a chat with Fran from We Make Collective. We Make Collective is leading the way in encouraging us to be creative, free from fear of failure but in celebration of experimenting with new ways of making. Alongside Fall For DIY, Fran has been busy building the We Make Collective brand over the last year or so and I’m delighted to have her on my blog today.


A chat with Fran from We Make Collective. Posted on This Little Space of Mine


Hey Fran, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off with a little introduction to who you are…

Hello! I’m Fran. I write a blog called Fall For DIY which is all about making and being creative. I live in Birmingham, UK with my tall other half and a very small, furry rabbit. Blogging gives me the opportunity to explore different crafts and help others do the same. I try to write tutorials that challenge me to look at a material or technique a little differently and create an outcome that has a quality finish to it.

For readers who haven’t heard about We Make Collective, could you tell us all about it and what the aim behind it is?

I decided to start we make collective after meeting far too many people that don’t believe in their own creativity. Creativity is something we practice and learn. Not something we’re gifted with. This idea is one that many of my readers also feel strongly about. In response to this need for easy access to skills, materials and inspiration and after many months of working on the idea, I launched the We Make Collective – a site to share what we do and what we love online and in real life. I wanted to create a site that promoted individual creativity and ideas rather than a one size fits all, creative mentality.


A chat with Fran from We Make Collective. Posted on This Little Space of Mine


I try to write tutorials that challenge me to look at a material or technique a little differently and create an outcome that has a quality finish to it

How did We Make Collective all begin? Was there a lightbulb moment, and how do you then go about deciding the theme of kits?

The idea actually developed over many years. I had previously created jewellery making kits and I wanted to expand on this idea to give more options and include more techniques. This idea evolved over eight months up to our launch and continues to be tweaked and improved. I try to base our themes on popular projects, techniques that make me excited to work with.


A chat with Fran from We Make Collective. Posted on This Little Space of Mine


As well as We Make Collective, you run Fall for DIY and do other freelance projects, so how do you go about juggling them and organising yourself?

That’s a work in progress. I am always working on different projects and the hardest part is keeping on top of deadlines. I use my planner, Wunderlist on my phone and computer and many, many notebooks to get everything out of my head and kind of organised.

Creativity is something we practice and learn. Not something we’re gifted with.

Work aside, what’s your favourite craft(s)? Are there any new crafts you’ve recently learnt and loved?

I’m currently loving macrame which is our latest kit! It’s actually a lot of fun and my arm muscles are getting stronger as well!

Stepping away from your busy day-to-day, what’s the key to a happy life for you?

I’m very grateful to be able to do my job and have a creative outlet which for me is pretty much the key to a happy life. But away from this I find that having a goal to work towards gives me a reason to stop working and focus on my life. This could be travel, personal goals or a hobby. My personal goal at the moment is to buy a house and fix it up. It’s been years of working hard and saving but we’re almost there and I’m so excited!

I find that having a goal to work towards gives me a reason to stop working and focus on my life.

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive) and why?

Kirstie Allsopp (we can talk crafts and she can help me find the perfect house), Bjork, David Attenborough, Ira Glass, Martha Stewart, Lena Dunham and Tina Fey. We’d eat tacos and drink margaritas.


A chat with Fran from We Make Collective. Posted on This Little Space of Mine


How great is Fran? Fran – thank you for your time!

Fran has also very kindly offered a 20% We Make Collective discount to readers of This Little Space of Mine with the code THISLITTLESPACE (valid until the end of October 2016). Pop over to We Make Collective to enjoy this special offer.

You can also catch We Make Collective on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also find Fran at Fall For DIY.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed the post!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Hannah Bass

Hello! Today I get to share one of my favourite posts – talking to small creative businesses about what inspires them and how they keep creative. I’m talking today to Hannah Bass, owner of a contemporary tapestry business that designs and sells colourful, urban, contemporary designs of city maps from around the world.

I came across Hannah’s designs when I visited her stand at the Knitting and Stitching show in March this year and fell in love with her San Fransisco kit. It was one of those things where I saw it, loved it, walked away and kept thinking about it all day before my Mum and sister encouraged me to go back and treat myself. I’ve just got going with it, my very first tapestry kit, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it this summer.

I’m thrilled to have Hannah here on my blog today; so sit back, put your feet up and let’s have a chat…


A chat with Hannah Bass about tapestry, design and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Hey Hannah, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off with a little introduction to who you are…

I’m a creative soul. I’ve always loved making things, from playhouses for my Sylvanian families, to bespoke furniture for my clients. Bright colours, the outdoors, sport & travel make me happy. I became an Interior Designer after university. Ten years later I wanted to focus more on the ‘handmade movement’, to bring back the skills of our grandparents. In such a fast paced, high tech world, like meditation & yoga, needlepoint is incredibly therapeutic. It forces you to slow down and relax.

For readers who haven’t heard of your products, could you tell us a little bit about them?

I design graphic, colourful, contemporary needlepoint kits of city maps.

I have a busy mind, so needlepoint has always appealed to me – it calms me. I stumbled across my products by chance. I couldn’t find a modern needlepoint I wanted to stitch which fitted with my interior décor, so I designed a map of my home town, London. Friends liked it, so it grew from there. I’m quite an impulsive person, so I quit my job pretty quickly & started designing a few more round the kitchen table.


A chat with Hannah Bass about tapestry, design and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


In such a fast paced, high tech world, like meditation & yoga, needlepoint is incredibly therapeutic.

I bought your San Francisco kit in March and I’m curious to know how you choose a city and how it goes from an idea to a kit that’s ready to sell.

Initially, I chose the cities that had an obvious theme: San Francisco – the rainbow, Barcelona – the Gaudi colours etc. These days it’s down to the most requested cities. Everybody has a different emotional attachment to a different place. My next 2 designs will be Berlin and Edinburgh.

So what does a typical day look like to you?

I usually answer my emails in bed, then make up the overnight online orders for posting. The admin, marketing & general ‘to-do’ list are sorted in the morning so I can empty my brain & focus on designing, the bit I love. I work from home so I like to get out the house at lunchtime to separate the morning and afternoon. I head to the gym for a swim, steam & sauna. There’s a great café there that’s lovely to work from too. I design in the afternoon and the evenings are spent stitching the next prototype.


A chat with Hannah Bass about tapestry, design and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Only do it if you love it. I love what I do and it’s perfect for me. But I’ve made a number of sacrifices in the process.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d offer to anyone thinking of starting their own business?

Only do it if you love it. I love what I do and it’s perfect for me. But I’ve made a number of sacrifices in the process. It’s hardwork, so your heart has to be in it.

What’s the key to a happy life for you?

Balance, I think. I’m a Gemini, so I’m an odd contrast of things. I’m overly social at times, yet very shy at others. I need people, but also peace and quiet. I love London, but I need to escape to the countryside every so often. Love, good friends, good hobbies & walking the dogs.

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive) and why?

Winston Churchill. He’s the ultimate ‘one liner’. Charming, intelligent, brave and funny. A bit of a dying breed.


A chat with Hannah Bass about tapestry, design and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


A big thank you to Hannah for her time, it’s been a pleasure to get to know her a little better! You can catch Hannah over on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or, of course, her website.

Hannah has also very kindly offered a 10% discount to readers of This Little Space of Mine with the code thislittlespaceofmine (valid until the end of July 2016). Pop on over to her website and treat yourself to a new craft project.

If you fancy catching a previous ‘A chat with…’ here are a few links for you –

Finally, I thought I’d put out a call to see if there are any small business owners you’d like to see featured in this series? Or perhaps you’re a small business owner and would like to be interviewed? A chat with is taking a break now until September, but I’m on the lookout for suggestions so drop me an email.

Thanks for reading… I hope today’s post has inspired you to take up tapestry!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Gem from Borders Bakeshop

Today comes a very special ‘A chat with’ post; I love them all but when you get to share the and talk about a business an old friend is building it feels super exciting. Today I’m talking to Gem, owner of Borders Bakeshop. I met Gem in 2006 when I moved into halls for my final year of Uni; Gem was my next door neighbour and I have fond memories of bonding over baking, sweet treats and of course uni stresses! Since uni Gem and her husband have lived and travelled through various countries, but since having their daughter, Ella, they’ve settled in Scotland (though I’m sure Gem would love to be in Vancouver again!). We’ve always kept in touch and today I’m super excited to be spreading the word about her growing baking business.

Borders Bakeshop is a gourmet baked goods postal service that Gem runs through Instagram and Facebook. Every Monday morning Gem announces the weeks flavour, and come 7pm the order book opens with tasty treats delivered later that week. Boxes typically include brownie, marshmallows, fudge or truffles and I can confirm her bakes are incredible! I’ve tried many of Gem’s amazing bakes over the years (she introduced me to the wonders of Oreo truffles!) and sampled Borders Bakeshops peanut butter and s’mores boxes – boy oh boy is Gem good with her flavour combinations. The boxes received are always so professionally put together and she goes that extra mile to ensure the best possible bakes.

So let’s sit back, put our feet up and have a chat with Gem…

(P.s. there’s an extra special giveaway for readers below!)


A chat with Gem from Borders Bakeshop about baking, family life and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Hey Gem, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off with a little introduction to who you are…

I’m Gem, an almost 30 year old wife to a cookie loving forester and mummy to a Gruffalo loving toddler. We’ve spent the last 10 years living in England, Turks and Caicos, Canada and Wales, finally settling here in the historic market town of Kelso in the Scottish Borders. I love to bake (obviously) and along with that I also love to eat, and pretty much base all my days out and holidays around where the best doughnuts, ice cream, milkshakes and cupcakes can be found! Travelling is my number one favourite thing to do, I also love music and photography and hiking and getting outdoors, and I’m never happier then when I’m in the mountains…or with a jar of Nutella in my hands!

For readers who haven’t heard of Borders Bakeshop could you tell us a little bit about it?

Borders Bakeshop is a gourmet baked goods postal service, I bake up tasty treats in my kitchen here in the Scottish Borders and then I post them out straight to your letterboxes! Each treat box is like a little selection box of baked goods – it changes week to week but there is usually always a blondie or a brownie, marshmallows, fudge or truffles and cookie sticks or rocky roads. There are 8 pieces in each box, and a new flavour each week. The week just gone was a Biscoff themed box, and other flavours that have featured in the past have been Ferrero Rocher & Nutella, Peanut Butter & Oreo, Rolo & Salted Caramel, Red Velvet and S’mores.


A chat with Gem from Borders Bakeshop about baking, family life and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


For me, one of the best gifts you can give is something tasty

I take orders every Monday. The new flavour gets announced at 7am on my Instagram and Facebook account, if you are a returning customer you can secure a box at that time, but if you are a new customer you can place an order at 7pm on a Monday night. I make 16 boxes each week, and so it is first come first served with the orders. I have two posting days – on a Wednesday and a Thursday, and each box is posted out 1st class with Royal Mail.

And how did the concept for Borders Bakeshop come about?

I have always loved baking, and for the past 10 years I have often lived far away from family and friends in many different places – sometimes abroad, and so finding companies who delivered edible gifts was always a bonus. For me, one of the best gifts you can give is something tasty… and if I’m not nearby to bake for my loved ones then I wanted them to still get something delicious to spoil them on their birthday or when a new baby was born etc.

My little girl Ella was born in 2014, and after making the choice to be a stay at home mom I knew I needed to do something to start bringing in a little bit of income too. Baking seemed like the obvious choice! I am a trained behavioural therapist and have always worked with autistic children, but after a move to the Scottish Borders with my husband’s job last summer there were no work opportunities in the field I’m trained in and so I turned to my number one passion.

It was an idea that had been brewing for a few months, initially I thought of doing a brownies by post service – and had thought of lots of awesome brownie flavours. However, there are quite a few companies out there who just do brownies. One night after a 3am wake up call from my toddler, it came to me – little selection boxes of different baked goodies including brownies. I couldn’t sleep that whole night with a million ideas whizzing around my head of all the different flavour combos I could do, and within a month or so Borders Bakeshop was up and running!

How do your decide on flavours and recipes, and do you have favourite/least favourite ingredients you can share with us?

The recipes I use are mostly tried and tested favourites of mine. I have had a baking blog since 2009 and so over the years I have built up quite a collection of recipes. I now have a great fudgy brownie recipe that I just tweak each week to incorporate the new ingredients of that week. I definitely have favourite ingredients – anyone who knows me will know I am obsessed with coconut, nutella and Oreo’s – so you will find lots of flavour combos that revolve around those ingredients! I’m not personally the biggest fan of chocolate orange, but it has certainly proved to be popular among my customers and I am also not so keen on salted caramel! It’s good to have some flavours that aren’t my favourite though because then I’m not so tempted to eat all the ingredients I’m baking with!

So what does a typical day look like to you?

Tuesday and Wednesday are my baking days, and the busiest days of my week. I wake up and get Ella her breakfast and get her ready for playgroup. She goes to playgroup for 3 hours in the morning, sometimes my husband is able to drop her off and then I get right to my baking. If I’m super organised and hardworking I can make at least 2 of the bakes, or sometimes 3 while she is at playgroup. Then it’s time to pick her up, and we usually try and do something fun in between pick up time and her afternoon nap – she loves to feed the ducks and so we’ll usually try and fit that in and a trip to a playpark.


A chat with Gem from Borders Bakeshop about baking, family life and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


One night after a 3am wake up call from my toddler, it came to me – little selection boxes of different baked goodies including brownies. I couldn’t sleep that whole night with a million ideas whizzing around my head of all the different flavour combos I could do, and within a month or so Borders Bakeshop was up and running!

After lunch she goes down for a 2 hour nap usually and so I get back to baking, and I start assembling all the boxes and writing out the addresses of where the orders are going to. When she wakes up it’s more fun time – she loves to dress up, and is especially into building towers at the moment and she also likes you to read dozens of books to her over and over!

We eat dinner when my husband gets home from work, and then he’ll usually take her out on a bike ride or to do some gardening together so that I have more time to finish off the bakes, or slice them up. The getting out of the pans and slicing up into as even pieces as possible actually always takes longer than you think! I always make sure I’m done by Ella’s bedtime so I can be there for story time and prayers that we do together as family.

If it’s been a productive day I’ll grab an episode on Netflix with my husband and chill til bedtime! or if not I’ll get back into the kitchen! It’s a really busy day packing everything in. Sometimes I make things harder for myself by making triple layer brownies, and chocolate dipped truffles and so there are always more components to make then just four different bakes! but I always just want to make the bakes as over the top as possible because I enjoy producing something that you can’t really find if you walk into a run of the mill bakery/cafe on any high street. That’s what I like to think makes my boxes a little bit unique. 🙂

What’s the one piece of advise you’d offer to anyone thinking of starting their own business?

I know it’s not very original but just do it! There are always so many fears holding you back, all the what ifs! I always have them just before 7am/7pm on ordering day – Monday. What if no one orders this week? What if everyone is trying to be good this week? What if people don’t have the extra cash to order treats this week? I always worry that those notification won’t start showing up on my phone but sure enough every week they do! It’s so rewarding to be doing what you love for yourself. Like I said before, baking has always been this huge passion of mine, but it’s not just the baking itself I love – it’s the sharing of the end result! So when people share little pictures of the treat boxes they’ve received along with commenting on how delicious everything was or how much they enjoyed it all that makes me SO happy! I could bake every day just for myself and still be happy, but when baking for others and seeing the joy it brings to sometimes complete strangers who I don’t even know, nothing compares to that!


A chat with Gem from Borders Bakeshop about baking, family life and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Often people order treat boxes as gifts, and so to think my baked goods are arriving on someones doorstep to cheer them up after bad news, or to bring them congratulations on their new arrival, or a surprise weekend pick me up that they weren’t expecting after a hectic week – that just warms my heart!

What’s the key to a happy life for you?

The key to a happy life is a happy family for me! I’ve always loved the quote by George Bernard Shaw ‘A happy family is but an earlier heaven’. Anytime that I’m spending time with my husband Byron and little girl Ella I am happy! We love exploring and getting outdoors together. We live in a beautiful part of the country so there is always awesome countryside on our doorstep to explore – we love going on bike rides around Kielder Forest in Northumberland, or going to National Trust properties and building dens with Ella, or of course going on foodie filled days out to Edinburgh where I get to visit all of my favourite bakeries for a sugar fix! So obviously getting to stay at home with Ella is just such a blessing for me, and so I am genuinely grateful to all my customers because if it weren’t for all of you buying my baked goods each week I wouldn’t have this amazing opportunity to be home with her each day being silly, playing hide and seek, getting crafty together or watching the Gruffalo and eating popcorn together (which is what she told me was her favourite thing about Mommy staying at home the other day!)

I could bake every day just for myself and still be happy, but when baking for others and seeing the joy it brings to sometimes complete strangers who I don’t even know, nothing compares to that!

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive) and why?

This was such a tricky question!! I think I’d have to say Gwen Stefani, I’ve been a No Doubt Fan since my teens, and anyone who knows me will know I always adorned my bedroom or Uni walls with wall to wall Gwen pics! So I would definitely like to have a chin wag with her, share a tear over her recent heartbreak and let her share all her cute kiddie pics with me!!

I’d also say Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon, purely so that he could serenade us at the end of our meal because they are some of my fave musicians of all time!


A chat with Gem from Borders Bakeshop about baking, family life and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


I would also extend an invite to Rosie Daykin – the owner of Butter Baked Goods. We spent a year living in Vancouver, and she is the owner of my favourite bakery I came across while out there – the walls are painted mint green and pastel pinks and they have every manner of sweet treats that you can imagine from peanut butter cookie sandwiches to pineapple coconut scones and mint s’mores to pumpkin spice marshmallows. I think her delicious gourmet marshmallows were what inspired me to start making my own because I knew airfare to Vancouver would be a bit excessive to help me get a homemade mallow fix – seriously if you’ve never tried homemade marshmallows you need to rectify that immediately, they are nothing like the ones you buy in the shops and are like fluffy tasty clouds! I’d like for her to share all her best marshmallow tips with me and hopefully she might turn up with a dessert like her famous coconut cake with cream cheese frosting.

A big thank you to Gem for her time, it’s wonderful to have you on my blog! You can catch Gem and Borders Bakeshop over on Instagram, and Facebook.

And now it’s giveaway time! Gem is very kindly giving away one of next week’s Nutella and cookie dough themed boxes (you heard it here first!). Entries are open now and will close at the end of Monday 30th May. All you need to do is follow the steps below to be in with a chance of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 31st May and we’ll be in touch to get your address ready to send out your prize later that week – so keep an eye out on your emails! Good luck!

If you fancy catching a previous ‘A chat with…’ here are a few links for you –

Finally, I thought I’d put out a call to see if there are any small business owners you’d like to see featured in this series? Or perhaps you’re a small business owner and would like to be interviewed? I’ve got June’s all lined up, but I’m always open to suggestions so drop me an email.

Thanks for reading and good luck with the giveaway!

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Katy from Haykin

Hello! Today I get to share one of my favourite posts – talking to small creative businesses about what inspires them and how they keep creative. I love exploring this topic; if nothing else, to give me ideas on how to remain creative and how to work efficiently in my day job. Even if you don’t have a business of your own (or a desire to start one), there’s something for everyone in learning how people work and how they motivate themselves.

Specifically today I’m talking to Katy from Haykin; I think I found Katy through her friend Lisa (quite a while ago now!) and I remember falling in love with her Instagram feed and blog all because we both have the same yellow armchair in our home; it’s all about the small things!

Haykin is an independent online store featuring a vibrant collection of homewares and style finds. The shop launched in February this year and I was struck by the simplicity of the products featured, as well as the glorious range of co-ordinated colours that feature throughout.

So let’s sit back, put up our feet and find out more about Katy and how she runs her creative business…


A chat with Katy from Haykin about creativity, goals and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Hey Katy, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off by a little introduction to who you are…

I live in Ilkley, a spa town in West Yorkshire, quite near the Yorkshire Dales. I share a Victorian terraced house with my husband Tim and our seven year old English Springer Spaniel, Boris. I was born in Perth, Scotland but moved (or should I say my parents moved!) to Yorkshire when I was two. After leaving school, I ventured over the Pennines to Manchester for university and it was here, after completing a degree in linguistics, that my career in PR began, as a press officer for Manchester Camerata.

Your background has been in PR; how did you go about making that leap from PR into the world of home interiors?

I think it was just over a year ago now that I felt I’d reached a career-crossroads. I’d been working in PR for over 14 years – a mixture of in-house, agency and freelance roles – and although it was a job I was both comfortable in and capable at, it wasn’t a job that was firing me up anymore. When I gave it the ‘five-years-from-now’ litmus test, I knew it was time to shake things up a bit.

Owning my own shop and filling it with timelessly-designed, colourful wares had always been a dream but the lure of a steady salary and the familiar had always won. But, following a handful of perspective-giving family and personal events, which made me understand (finally!) the meaning of ‘living for now’, I decided to take the plunge and make a go of it. So with an enormous amount of support and encouragement from my husband, family and friends, as well as a few nail-biting meetings at the bank, I threw myself into creating and developing Haykin full time.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Haykin, how would you describe the brand and products?

Haykin is an online store that features a carefully-selected collection of homewares and style finds sourced from designers, makers and small brands across the globe who all share a similar aesthetic: one which is big on colour yet simple and timeless by design.

Contemporary ceramics from Italy sit alongside pastel-hued paper art from San Francisco, and bright, bold cushions from Folkestone nestle with clever, colourful kids storage solutions from Paris.

The shop is also a celebration of my personal fascination with colour and pattern which I’d say dates back to my late teens as an art student

In terms of the brand’s inspiration, I’d say this is two-fold. The shop’s name, Haykin, is a derivation of my late grandfather’s first and second names, Harry Wilkinson, who was an industrial designer by trade but a hugely accomplished artist in his spare time. A combination of his eye for strong, functional design and his appreciation for fine art and a happy aesthetic, is something I’ve tried to incorporate into Haykin.

The shop is also a celebration of my personal fascination with colour and pattern which I’d say dates back to my late teens as an art student: I loved the work of artists like Kandinsky, Mondrian and Yorkshire icon, Hockney.


A chat with Katy from Haykin about creativity, goals and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


The shop opened at the end of February – how has it been going since launch?

Really well! The feedback I’ve had from friends, colleagues, media and people I’d never even met before, has been truly fantastic and hugely encouraging. It feels great to be fully submerged in something I get so much enjoyment from.

It’s still very early days though and there’s an enormous amount of work to do to share the Haykin love and build a community around us. I’m learning new skills all the time and learning, also, from mistakes so it’s a labour of love for sure but I wouldn’t swap it for anything!

The website describes products as clean and simple in design, but with added vibrant colour – how have you gone about sourcing and selecting designers and products? Could you share with us how that process works?

I began my search for suppliers last summer by attending a number of trade fairs. First up was Formex in Stockholm which was a wonderland of minimal, functional design; next was showUP in Amsterdam where I met some fantastic independent designers and makers from the Netherlands and Belgium; then I made my debut trip to Maison et Objet in Paris which was overwhelmingly awesome and hugely inspiring, and finally, I spent a couple of days at the London Design Festival in September where I met some British designers who are doing incredible things.

Running alongside the buying trips, were (and still are!) Instagram and Pinterest marathons in search of goods of colour and simplicity. I also keep a keen eye on design blogs too to learn about new designers and of course, new trends.

It’s probably the PR in me but I think it’s important to see beyond the products sometimes and where possible, try bring the brand alive through the personalities of the people who created it or work for it.

I think a combination of heading out to meet suppliers personally, whether through trade shows or studio visits, and constant desk research is, for me, a good way to find the work that’s right for the shop. I like to chat to designers, find out a bit more about them, learn what inspires them etc and it’s trickier to get a feel for this via email. But, if you find a designer or brand on the other side of the world (hello Odd Pears in Australia!), then you have to just go with your gut and trust that what you’re seeing online is as awesome in real life – which in the case of our Odd Pears socks, is definitely the case!

Over on the Haykin blog I have just started a series called Haykin Introduces which is essentially a Q&A with our suppliers. It’s designed to give our customers and blog readers an opportunity to get to know the people behind the brands a little better. It’s probably the PR in me but I think it’s important to see beyond the products sometimes and where possible, try bring the brand alive through the personalities of the people who created it or work for it.


A chat with Katy from Haykin about creativity, goals and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


What’s next for Haykin? Do you have any exciting plans you can share with us?

One of the things I’d love to do is collaborate with some of our brands and designers to create something completely unique for Haykin. I was involved in creating our own-brand colour block cushions and really enjoyed the process of selecting colours and fabrics and watching the products come to life.

Opening the shop’s doors to overseas customers is also in the plan for this year. We work with suppliers all over the world so why not open up the offering to customers globally too!

But I guess my biggest hope for Haykin is to see it grow and succeed in an organic, honest way and for us to develop a community which grows with us. Just to continuing doing what we love and for it to make sense is more than I could wish for at the moment!

To anyone reading this and thinking about starting a business, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?

I guess first of all, if you have a business idea or a vision for one, and it’s all you think about day and night, my advice would be do everything in your power to make it happen. The idea of regretting a decision that WAS in my power to influence, is something I really struggled to get my head around.

More practically though, I’d say the one thing I’ve learnt over the last 12 months is that it’s totally OK to ask for help! It’s impossible to be good at everything (and quite frankly, we don’t have enough hours in the day to be good at everything!) so my advice would be to know and focus on your strengths and for the things you’re not so hot on, find professionals who will do the work brilliantly and save you a tonne of headaches and worry!

For me, accounting and web development were things I knew I would struggle with so with the help of QuickBooks, my logically-minded husband now handles all the number crunching and on the web front, I have the wonderful Kim Lawler to thank for expertly building my website!


A chat with Katy from Haykin about creativity, goals and running her own business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


I guess first of all, if you have a business idea or a vision for one, and it’s all you think about day and night, my advice would be do everything in your power to make it happen. The idea of regretting a decision that WAS in my power to influence, is something I really struggled to get my head around.

What’s the key to a happy life for you?
  • Good health
  • List-making (case in point!)
  • Creating a calm, happy home-life with my husband, Tim, and our Springer Spaniel, Boris
  • The prospect of travel
  • A chilled glass of crisp white wine at 6pm on a Friday in our local pub
  • Making time for friends
  • Dogs, all of them
  • Planning to have no plans at the weekend every now again
  • Finding work that you love but being OK with the fact it won’t always be easy
And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?

Am I allowed more than one person?!

  • David Hockney – one of my all-time design and colour icons (plus I love his Bradford/LA accent)
  • Caitlin Moran – because she’s just plain brilliant: funny, intelligent, eloquent, thought-provoking, thought-leading and a wonderful champion of women
  • Casey Neistat – a New York-based daily YouTuber who’s energy and creativity is contagious and really flipping inspiring
  • Coco Chanel – she changed the face of women’s fashion and I can only imagine that took serious balls and vision. Plus I’d love to ask her opinion on my outfit or wardrobe choices 😉
  • Michael Palin – oh my, he’d have so many wonderful stories to tell, I’d never want him to shut up! And I have a friend who worked with him on a PR job once and she said he was the nicest bloke she’d ever met – which isn’t a surprise at all!
  • Sheryl Sandberg – I just want to listen to everything she knows

I feel like I’ve learnt so much from Katy’s interview – thank you Katy, I’m now subscribed to Casey Neistat’s YouTube channel and might have to get myself some Odd Pears!

A big thank you to Katy for her time today! Haykin have kindly offered a special discount to readers of This Little Space of Mine. Add the code TLSMSHIPFREE when ordering and you’ll get free shipping! This discount is valid until 11th May 2016 and the code can be entered at checkout. Pop over to the shop now.

You can also catch Haykin over on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

If you fancy catching a previous ‘A chat with…’ here are a few links for you –

Thanks for reading, and here’s to a good week! Next month I’ll be back and sharing more business and creative insights… this time from an old friend of mine who has recently launched a business with a little help from Instagram. Can’t wait to share, so be sure to pop back this time next month (if not sooner!).

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Hannah and Rosie from The New Craft House

Hello, I hope you’re well. Today I’m bringing you another ‘A chat with…’ post and I’m delighting to be featuring the ladies behind The New Craft House. At the end of last year The New Craft House went from powerhouse bloggers to selling their own craft kits – all with the motto of ‘old crafts for a new generation’. I had a go at making their knicker kit at the end of February, with great success, and since then they’ve added two more kits to their range. Here, Hannah and Rosie talk about how they work together, working with big brands and their creative process.

I’m delighted to have Hannah and Rosie here on my blog today; so sit back, put your feet up and let’s have a chat with them about The New Craft House and how they run their creative business…


A chat with The New Craft House about creativity, goals and running their own craft business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Hey Hannah and Rosie, it’s so great to have you here. Let’s kick things off by a little introduction to who you are…

Hi! We’re the two faces behind The New Craft House. We’ve been friends since school and it was on a trip to Berlin 3 years ago that we came up with the idea of a craft blog. We were crafting a lot and wanted somewhere to share what we were making with the world. We can’t believe how much our little blog has grown. We’re now working on it full time running workshops and selling our craft kits from our office on the canal by Kings Cross.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of The New Craft House, how would you describe the brand and products?

Our motto is ‘old crafts for the new generation’ and we really try and bring that idea into all of the projects we complete. Our brand and everything we do is focused on this idea, traditional crafting techniques used in more modern and stylish ways. Our craft kits are designed to help people try out new crafts and learn, while making something they actually want. We basically just want everyone to craft!


A chat with The New Craft House about creativity, goals and running their own craft business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


As a duo, how do you go about making a The New Craft House ‘work’? Do you always get on, how do you make decisions together? Can you share which skills you both bring and how they differ?

Our craft kits are designed to help people try out new crafts and learn, while making something they actually want.

We realised last week that we have been friends for 11 years now and we know each other so well, we’re quite in sync in making decisions. If we get to a point where we are like ‘arghhh’ at work, we play ping pong and have a cup of tea. Rosie worked in marketing for a couple of years while I was doing my MA, so she takes the lead with that. I sort out our accounts and most other things are split quite equally. When it comes to projects and making samples, we take on the ones in our best crafts. I’ll do the quilting projects and Rosie does the knitting. We’ve not strictly set out these divisions but they have naturally worked out. Perhaps in the future we will need to divide things more clearly but it is working well so far.

We’ve seen you work with some great brands (Bestival, Cath Kidston and Liberty to name but a few), how have you gone about building relationships with those names and do you have any upcoming collaborations you can share with us?

We’ve been really lucky and some of our favourite brands have approached us to collaborate. We’ve also pitched some ideas and this is something that we want to do more this year. It’s a lot of fun to work with a bigger brand with a bigger budget and we both love writing out workshop pitches. We’re hoping to return to some festivals this year and tie-dye up a storm.


A chat with The New Craft House about creativity, goals and running their own craft business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


You’ve just added a further two products to your range – can you share with us the creative process in deciding products and seeing them through from design to launch?

We brainstorm a lot of ideas and settle on something that gets both of us excited. This is the fun part and then we have to look into whether it is actually a practical kit to make. We look at costings and supplier availability, as we are trying to source as much as possible in the UK, this is a deciding factor for us too. Once we have all that sorted and we’ve decided to go ahead, we can return to some more of the creative bits – writing the tutorial, picking the fabric prints, working on the illustrations and packaging.

What’s the key to a happy life for you both?

We’re both so grateful that we’re able to do this full-time now. Both of us studied non-creative subjects at uni and couldn’t see ourselves getting back on to a creative path, so we’re so happy that we have forged out this little business. Basically, being creative is the key to a happy life for us!

To anyone reading this and thinking about starting a business this year, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?

Speak to as many people as possible and test your idea before jumping right in. We’ve learnt a lot along the way and some things we think could have been avoided if we had planned a bit more ahead. Running your own business (especially at the start) is so much work and we’re super lucky that there are two of us to split everything up. Our top piece of advice is find a friend who has the same vision as you!


A chat with The New Craft House about creativity, goals and running their own craft business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Running your own business (especially at the start) is so much work and we’re super lucky that there are two of us to split everything up. Our top piece of advice is find a friend who has the same vision as you!

You’re often at craft shows, blogging, instagramming etc; can you share some of your favourite blog reads and makers?

Yes! Because we do a lot of different crafts there are quite a lot… Flossie Teacakes, Chloe Mullaney, Sallie Oh, By Hand London girls, Ada Spragg, What Katie Did, the list goes on and on!

And finally, who would you both invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?

We’d sit at each end of our long table and invite William Morris, the mysterious Liberty designer who has initialled lots of prints but no one knows who they are, May Morris, Kaffe Fassett and a whole load of our fave bloggers.

A big thank you to Hannah and Rosie for their time today; I’ve learnt a lot – and may have had to Google May Morris and Kaffe Fassett! I’ve had a go at their knicker making kit and had great success, so I highly recommend their range.

The New Craft House have also offered a special discount to readers of This Little Space of Mine. Add the code LITTLESPACE when ordering one of their craft kits for free UK delivery – valid until the end of March 2016. Pop over to their shop.

You can also catch The New Craft House over on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. A big thank you to Hannah and Rosie for their time today!

If you fancy catching a previous ‘A chat with…’ here are a few links for you –

Next month I’ll be talking to someone who recently launched a brand new online shop, so watch this space. Don’t forget you can also follow me on Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post.

I hope your Monday is going well and thanks so much for popping over.

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Claire from Claireabellemakes

Today I’m bringing back a feature – ‘A chat with…’ and I’m delighted to introduce to you Claire from Claireabellemakes. Back when I started This Little Space of Mine one of the areas I wanted to explore and share was how other creatives are inspired and how they organise themselves to create their independent business. There’s something fascinating about it, even if you don’t have a business or a desire to – we can all learn from each other. Claire talks also about how she keeps positive in a busy lifestyle, her hopes for the future and shares some of her favourite blogs to read.

I’m delighted to have Claire here on my blog today; so sit back, put your feet up and let’s have a chat with Claire…


A chat with Claireabellemakes about creativity, goals and running her own crafty business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


Hey Claire, so happy to have you here. Let’s kick things off by a little introduction to who you are…

Thanks for having me Leanne! Your readers may know me via my online business name Claireabellemakes. I’m a thirty something creative living in Cambridge with a huge love for my bicycle and crafts. I prefer staying in to going out and use my Persian cat as a hot water bottle.

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Claireabellemakes, how would you describe the brand and your offering?

I describe Claireabellemakes as a creative lifestyle brand. At first it was just a hobby with a blog to share my creative endeavors, but now it encompasses my blog, shop, craft parties and freelance work. I enjoy living creatively and have a real passion for sharing this with others.

How did Claireabellemakes all begin? Was there a light bulb moment, or an accumulation of moments? What was the first product you developed?

It started with a craft blog when I had finished my Masters in Arts Management in 2012. Whilst I had learnt a lot about supporting creative organisations, I didn’t feel that I had learnt a lot about starting a creative business as a sole trader. I knew I wanted to learn more. I approached it as a journey and an opportunity to learn and evolve as the business progressed. The first products I made were fabric covered button rings which I still currently sell, but I feel so much more confident about how I approach the design process now and feel confident with photography and marketing. None of that would be possible without the learning journey! So there wasn’t a particular light bulb moment in starting the business – I’m a big believer in letting opportunities guide you and growing your skill set from each project or design.

The first products I made were fabric covered button rings which I still currently sell, but I feel so much more confident about how I approach the design process now and feel confident with photography and marketing. None of that would be possible without the learning journey!

In terms of crafting, what’s your favourite craft, your least favourite craft (if there is one!) and any new crafts you’ve recently learnt and loved?

I consider myself a multi-crafter so I always find this a difficult question when people ask. I’m particularly fond of yarn crafts as this is what I started with after being taught how to knit by my grandmother. I would say my least favourite craft is actually sewing as it is where I am least confident. I mostly use my sewing machine to make curtains or stitch paper. Papercrafts is definitely another favourite as I adore stationery and scrapbooking. Recently I went on a woodworking class at my local hardware store which was fantastic. Working with power tools is really fun!


A chat with Claireabellemakes about creativity, goals and running her own crafty business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


What’s the key to a happy life for you?

Positivity is something I seek every day. I consider myself a happy person who finds the good in each day. I practice gratitude journalling on a daily basis to ensure I am self aware and conscious of the happy moments in life. Things that make me happy are usually the smaller things in life like riding my bike and spending time with loved ones. I 100% feel that bringing a cat into your life is one of the happiest things you can do. From a business perspective, I’m mostly happy when I’m pushing towards goals and learning.

Things that make me happy are usually the smaller things in life like riding my bike and spending time with loved ones. I 100% feel that bringing a cat into your life is one of the happiest things you can do.

It’s the start of the year and that naturally means goal setting – do you have any goals or exciting plans for 2016 that you can share with us?

Funnily enough, I’ve written a blog post sharing all of my 2016 goals here. My biggest goal which I feel most driven by is the need to work entirely freelance. Right now I work full-time in a day job and almost full-time again as a freelancer/designer maker. It’s tough and many parts of my life have been pushed aside whilst I push towards this dream. I hope that in the future I’ll be able to live a more balanced life with time for work and play. There are also two big projects I am working on at the moment that I am desperate to share and I am sworn to secrecy. It’s killing me!

On a personal level I am hoping to travel more of the UK with my long term boyfriend and to plan a trip to Australia for early 2017. I hear the spiders are big but the stationery shops are great!


A chat with Claireabellemakes about creativity, goals and running her own crafty business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


To anyone reading this and thinking about starting a business this year, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?

Be kind and generous to your community. Connect and make friends as it will always lead to opportunities that will surprise and challenge you. I have found my best friends through starting a creative business and I wouldn’t be without them now.

You’re often at craft shows, vlogging, blogging, instagramming and everything in between; so can you share some of your favourite blog reads and makers?

I LOVE what Fran from Fall for DIY is doing both on her blog and with the We Make Collective. I’m so happy to be working with her on content for the community she has built and to watch someone grow so rapidly has been inspiring.

On a business level, I’m extremely proud to work with stationers Kikki.K on promoting their brand. The products are insanely beautiful and the core values of the brand really resonate with me and how I view life. The story of how Kristina started the (now international) brand makes me feel as though anyone can follow their dreams.

Be kind and generous to your community. Connect and make friends as it will always lead to opportunities that will surprise and challenge you. I have found my best friends through starting a creative business and I wouldn’t be without them now.

For beautiful escapism and honesty, I frequent Kat Goldin’s blog and Instagram. As a maker and crochet designer she is extremely talented, but I mostly enjoy her personal posts about life in Scotland and her family. She is the one blog that I rush to read as soon as a new post enters my feed.

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?

Martha Stewart to find out about all the crafts and to ask her what prison was really like. Film Maker Casey Neistat to quiz him about You Tube and creativity. Mary Berry as she could bring dessert and give us kind tips and polite reviews of the food served. Walt Disney because he followed his dreams and gave fun to millions and millions of people.


A chat with Claireabellemakes about creativity, goals and running her own crafty business. Interviewed on This Little Space of Mine


A big thank you to Claire for her time (and Tammy the cat for guest starring above!)

Claire has also very kindly offered a 20% discount to readers of This Little Space of Mine with the code THISLITTLESPACE (valid until the 14th March 2016). Pop on over to her Etsy shop and treat yourself or your loved ones to one of her makes.

You can also catch Claire over on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest YouTube and Facebook.

If you fancy catching a previous ‘A chat with…’ I’ve previously had a chat with Zoe from Ladybird Likes and Allison from The People Shop. Next month I’ll be talking to not one by two very talented ladies, so watch this space. Don’t forget you can also follow me on Bloglovin’ so you never miss a post.

Enjoy your Wednesday and thanks so much for popping over.

Leanne x

Email | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

A chat with Zoe from Ladybird Likes

When I launched This Little Space of Mine in November last year I’d wanted to find ways to inspire people – perhaps to find a job they love, or to be more creative in their home, or if I was lucky inspire them in a whole ‘nother way I hadn’t thought of. Sharing chats with people I find inspiring felt like a good place to start and I was delighted to be able to interview Allison from The People Shop at the end of last year.

Today I share with you a second chat – with another inspiring lady, Zoe Jade Bateman. Zoe is the creator of Ladybird Likes; making and selling wooden laser cut jewellery with a vintage and kitsch twist. Started in 2010, Zoe now runs Ladybird Likes full time from West-London. I’ve been a big fan of Zoe’s creative work since one of her beautiful pieces was included in my Blogtacular goody bag last May.

So pull up a pew, grab a cup of tea and delve into Zoe’s world. Be sure to check out Zoe’s beautiful product range too!


 

For anyone who hasn’t heard of Ladybird Likes, how would you describe the brand and your offering?

I always find it hard to describe Ladybird Likes – it’s a bit vintage, a bit kitsch, a bit pastel coloured, and doesn’t take itself too seriously! More officially though, I make wooden laser cut jewellery and accessories, plus some stationery bits and bobs. My brand slogan is ‘making nice things for nice people’ because that’s what, in a nutshell, I like doing!


A chat with Zoe from Ladybird Likes - This Little Space of Mine


What does a typical day look like for you?

One of the reasons I love being self-employed is that no two days are the same! What I need to do each day depends on what I’m working on at the moment – some days I will be working on new products, or creating blog content. Other days I will be doing admin work, taking product photos, or working on social networking. Most days start with tea, breakfast, and answering emails, followed by making a big cup of fresh juice and writing a to do list for the day ahead. I do love a good list!

If you weren’t running Ladybird Likes, what do you think you’d be doing instead?

Hopefully something else craft related or creative! Making things, taking photos, baking cakes, writing, these are my biggest passions in life. Oh and hunting down kitschy vintage treasures at car boot sales! Maybe I’d be a professional thrift shopper…. Or I’d own a book store. The kind that has really high shelves and ladders to reach the books, and smells musty and old.



A chat with Zoe from Ladybird Likes - This Little Space of Mine



My brand slogan is ‘making nice things for nice people’ because that’s what, in a nutshell, I like doing!

You started your blog back in 2010 and now run it full time; what made you take that step? Was there a lightbulb moment to prompt you?

There was never really a lightbulb moment – I knew I wanted to be self-employed full-time eventually but had no idea how long it would take to reach that stage when I started out! I was lucky that as my business grew I was able to cut down on my hours at my job – I started off by going part-time, splitting my week between my job that paid my bills, and growing my own business. In December 2012 I decided that I needed to spend more time on my business in order to grow it any further, so I bit the bullet and handed in my notice at my job. That was two years ago and I haven’t looked back since!

How do you keep yourself organised? We’ve just come past Christmas and I imagine that kept you really busy!

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I am so unorganised! I manage to give the impression that I am, but really I’m not! I keep a lot of lists, about everything, and have two diaries to organise my life a bit. One thing I’ve started doing this year is having a clipboard with 12 sheets of paper on, one for each month. Then I write a rough list of things to do that month, including ideas for blog posts, launch dates for new ranges, when I will do things like design new packaging etc. It means I can plan ahead a bit, which I think is the most important thing to stay organised. Otherwise December will arrive and I won’t have any Christmas stuff ready! Instead I write on my list under October that I need to design my Xmas products and plan ahead for blog posts during that busy period.



A chat with Zoe from Ladybird Likes - This Little Space of Mine



Ladybird Likes has created lots of gorgeous collections, what’s been your favourite and why?

Oh gosh, it’s hard to choose a favourite collection – it’s how I imagine choosing a favourite child would be! I think I’m proudest of my collar clips – very few people were making them when I launched my designs, and they are still one of my best selling pieces.

One thing I’ve started doing this year is having a clipboard with 12 sheets of paper on, one for each month.

To anyone reading this and thinking about starting a business this year, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?

Just go for it. Seriously. I know it’s easier said than done, but you can spend a lifetime making excuses to not do it. But the reality is that if you want it enough you will make it happen, regardless of what obstacles there may be.

Do you have any exciting plans for Ladybird Likes in 2015 that you can share with us?

Oh gosh, I have so many plans for 2015! I have a feeling it’s going to be such an awesome year. I am moving in to a new studio currently, where I hope to run workshops, classes, talks, and all kinds of super fun events. I also have so many new products in the pipeline, plus lots of blog posts.



A chat with Zoe from Ladybird Likes - This Little Space of Mine



But the reality is that if you want it enough you will make it happen, regardless of what obstacles there may be.

What’s the key to a happy life for you?

Balance. That all elusive ideal, where you manage to balance seeing friends and family, working, sleeping, eating well, exercising, creating, and everything else. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s what I am constantly aiming for.

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?

Oh this is a tough one! I’d say Emma Stone, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kurt Vonnegut, Wes Anderson, Tim Walker…. ummm can’t think who else right now but those guys would be enough to be getting on with I reckon!

 


Zoe – it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you here! You can catch Zoe over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram too.

Have a good day!


footer


A chat with Allison from The People Shop

When I was developing the concept for This Little Space of Mine the feeling I wanted to put across more than anything was inspiration. We can be inspired by all kinds of different things and each of us will be inspired differently. Interviewing Allison from The People Shop is something I’ve wanted to do since day one; having met Allison at Blogtacular in May it confirmed that she was the most optimistic and happy person I’ve ever met. Plus she gives amazing hugs and always has the biggest smile on her face.

So who is Allison? Allison runs The People Shop in Birmingham with her husband Mr C. They sell a gorgeous collection of clothing, gifts and home accessories – mostly designed and made by this creative duo.

So grab a cup of tea, find out more and be inspired by Allison’s world. Allison – I’m delighted to have you here.

 


 

What does a typical day in Allison’s world look like?

There really isn’t a ‘typical’ day for me as my work involves so many different jobs and so each day is a little different which I love! I usually start my day with a lovely cup of peppermint tea which I have while checking all of my emails and social media stuff. I may pop a lovely image on Instagram to say good morning to my lovely followers!

Then depending what has landed in my inbox the morning is spent catching up with those before I head to my shop for a couple of hours working there with my gorgeous husband Mr C! I may have orders to ship out, or deliveries arriving which I have to display nicely around the store, this is one of my favourite parts of my work, I LOVE making everything look beautiful. Sometimes I spend a couple of hours styling a new window display, or designing a new dress with Mr C, or I might be making a new collection of cushions or having a nice chat with my customers (over tea and cake!).

Then sometimes I may work from my craft room at home, writing and styling tutorials for magazines or organising props for a styling shoot or display, or I maybe prepping for a workshop or teaching. There is never a quiet moment, my days are always busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way!


A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine


There is never a quiet moment, my days are always busy and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

What’s the idea behind The People Shop? How did you come up with the concept?

We decided to open The People shop because there were no other independent stores in Birmingham at that time offering what we wanted to sell, a lifestyle concept combining our love of fashion, interiors and accessories. We also needed a retail space to sell our collection and a studio space to create our designs that worked together. We have created a space that works beautifully for both.

Owning a business must keep you busy; how do you keep yourself calm in stressful moments?

I’m a real homebody so down time is always spent at ‘home’ with my gorgeous little family, Mr C, my best boy Milo and best girl lil Miss. We like to snuggle up on the sofa watching some trash TV and eating popcorn, or we cook lovely food and dance around the kitchen! or if its holiday time, then we pack up our things and head to Cornwall for the ultimate relaxing time out. Mr C is also very good at keeping me feeling nice and calm, he always knows exactly what I need at just the right time and If I’m having a meltdown he’s always there to cuddle me through it! All of these things and a nice chilled glass of Prosecco works every time!


A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine


Tell us more about ‘Make it Sewcial’; where did the idea come from?

Make It Sewcial is a hashtag that I created through Instagram. I started it to Inspire and motivate crafters and makers to connect and to create a community of like minded people who love all things independent and handmade. It works like an online craft social club, with followers sharing their work and ideas, inspiring each other, chatting and making lovely connections. It now has nearly 10,000 posts in the gallery from makers worldwide

I started it (Make it Sewcial) to Inspire and motivate crafters and makers to connect and to create a community of like minded people who love all things independent and handmade.

 

How do you find inspiration for your makes, home and business?

I am inspired by everything around me; fashion, interiors, music, food and people. I love watching the world go by and finding inspiration in everyday things. I create everything I do straight from the heart and soul and always stay true to the things I love that mean something to me. I love my work to reflect my personality, that makes me feel good and happy!


A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine


What’s the key to a happy life for you?

The key to a happy life to me… is 100 % keeping it real, doing the things that you love, your way! with mr C and my lovely kids by my side of course.

If you weren’t the owner of The People Shop what do you think you’d be doing with yourself?

I started my business when I was just 17 years old (25 years ago…. sshh, don’t tell anyone, I’m getting old!) so I really can’t imagine doing anything else, being my own boss is in my bones, I really couldn’t do anything else, I’ve run market stalls in Birmingham and London and sold my designs to several shops up and down the country before opening The People shop 15 years ago. I love it and enjoy being a bricks and mortar shop owner every day, its a huge part of my life. There will always be a People shop! Me and Mr C wouldn’t have it any other way!


A chat with Allison Sadler from The People Shop - This Little Space of Mine


The key to a happy life to me… is 100 % keeping it real, doing the things that you love, your way!

To anyone reading this and wanting to start a business, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?

Throw your whole self into it with all of your passions and every inch of your heart and make it a lifestyle choice because you will need to love, live and breathe life into your business 24/7 to make it work

What does the next few months hold for The People Shop?

Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas until we close for a well deserved break on Christmas eve!

And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?

Minnie and Mickey mouse!

 


 

So there you go – what an inspiration she is. If I could be half as happy as Allison I’d be more rounded and optimistic lady. I hope you’ve loved this read as much as I have.

If you’d like to see more of Allison, you can catch her over on Twitter and Instagram too.

I’m on the lookout for more independent creative folk to interview, so if there’s anyone you’d love to read more about let me know.

Have a great Thursday!


footer