A few weeks ago I was invited to Jane Foster's book launch at her new studio and lets just say I was very excited! I have been an admirer of Jane's work ever since I stumbled across her vintage fabric cushions on ebay a good few years ago. She has a stunning collection of vintage fabric including a lot of Luicenne Day's classic prints which she often showcases on her blog and it was for that reason I become a keen follower of Jane's work. One of Jane's other passions is screen printing and she cleverly combines vintage fabric and her screen prints to produce gorgeous soft toys, which she sells along with her other work worldwide. She is a 'handmade' business success story, the sort of success that myself and many others with handmade businesses dream off. And the story of how she got where she is today is one that many of us can relate to. Jane started selling her vintage fabric cushions and vintage finds whilst still teaching and it was the success of how popular her stuff was that finally convinced her to give up teaching. Along with the help of her partner, Jane set up a studio in her home, working whilst also bringing up their young daughter, juggling the care between her and her partner which meant working late into the evenings. It's clear that it's taken a lot of hard work and determination to get where she is today. And it was lovely to see her partner and daughter sharing in the excitement of her latest project her new book 'Fun with Fabric' and also in the delight of having her first ever studio away from home! Her new space is amazing and what really struck me was how she had different areas for the different aspects of her work. A space to sew, an area to screen print and a packing area, every one as inspirational as the last and I can clearly see the benefits of having these different spaces to work in and how much smoother they can make the day to day running of a business but I can only dream of having this much space. The other thing that really stood out was how strong Jane's branding is. I read a lot of articles before setting up 'a crafty hen' all full of advice of how to start a business and the importance of branding came high up on the list of priorities but I couldn't really understand it at the time, surely having a good item that sold well was the main concern! But standing in Jane's studio it suddenly become clear and it got me thinking!
It also reminded me that I still have so much to learn!