Quirky unicorns and pretty baby grows: these are the kind of things that make us broody. Etsy seller Kayleigh of Handmade Heart Crafts, also designer of the unicorn hobby horse in issue 54, tells us how suffering from severe sickness kick-started her handmade business.
Please tell us about your business and how it all started.
In July 2013, I found out I was pregnant. I started suffering from severe sickness, (HG or Hyperemesis Gravidarum) this caused me to take extended leave from work, where I randomly got back into sewing. I started with cushion covers, then progressed onto other things like dresses and headbands – intended for my new baby. Before I knew it, my shop was born before my daughter even arrived!
Which blog or book would you say was your most useful resource when starting your business?
I take inspiration, not from any particular blog, newsletter or book but mainly from a range of different things I see. Sometime from other shops, trends or just things I like. I find the Instagram community to be a very supportive place for small businesses like my own and love to group with other crafty mums for things like loop giveaways.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of working from home is knowing how to divide time between family and work, whilst also avoiding procrastination (not one of my strong points). My family always comes first, which means I often start working late into the night, until the early hours when everyone’s asleep, just to catch up on orders. I find asking for help when things are busy, even if it’s just arranging a babysitter, can help greatly!
Any advice for start-ups?
Do what you love and believe in your products. Things may not always take off straight away, but work hard, promote the heck out of your shop and products on every social media account you have, and hope for the best!
What’s the most effective way to get your shop noticed?
Giveaways and free gifts can sometimes work wonders. My shop really took off when I offered a free unicorn to my Instagram followers in order to reach 3000 followers. After that I had a whole bunch of new people interested in the things I was creating. Sending free samples to well-known bloggers, shops or remotely “famous” people can also help if they share or review your products for other people to see. Another tip is to always keep shop pages up to date, and provide the best customer service you can give.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Kayleigh has kindly offered our readers 10% off all Handmade Heart Craft products until 30 June 2015. Use the code ILOVEMOLLIEMAKES for all things unicorn.
Follow Handmade Heart Crafts on Facebook