Showing posts with label studio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label studio. Show all posts

Friday, 25 April 2014

A Huge Fabric Leap!



Possibly the most exciting parcel ever arrived this week. 
A box full of fabric. A box containing full bolts of fabric. A box full of fabric just for me!
Not only is this the largest amount of fabric I have ever bought but this is also the biggest commitment I have made so far to 'A Crafty Hen'. Usually I purchase one or two meters of fabric, make for example a baby gift set, if the item does well then I will order more of the fabric, and this method works ok most of the time. But sometimes an item can be a 'slow burner'!! It may not fly of the shelves for example, but slowly and surely after say advertising the product it may start to sell well, but this is when I often encounter problems! I go to reorder the fabric and find that it is sold out or the fabric shop has reordered it and then there is a delay, or worse still that it is no longer being printed! However much I like working with lots of different prints in small quantities, it is a lot more time consuming and really is not the most efficient way to work or to sustain a business. It takes time and effort to get traffic to your shop, to an item you have made so it makes sense once the the traffic is there to keep it coming! So I made the decision in the New Year to take more control of my fabric stock and the most sensible way to go about this was to choose a few 'key' fabrics that I can create a collection from and order these fabrics in bulk, making stock taking a whole lot easier!



And so there it was in the box! Five full bolts of organic fabric. 
Grey elephants has long been a favorite of mine which is luckily shared by many of you. The deer never stays around for very long, so I've not had the chance to play around with the fabric, and the multi coloured elephants is also a favorite. The grey spots, well that's a staple fabric! But maybe it is bolt number 5, that excites me the most, as this is organic cotton fleece. I've been searching and searching in the UK for cotton fleece and have not had any success. I use to make baby dribble bibs and the occasional baby blanket and started by backing them with fleece, which is the most common fabric to find a dribble bib backed with. But I was never that keen on the fact that the fleece was polyester. Yes sure it absorbs and wicks away moisture and dries very very quickly, but to me, and this is only my opinion, a baby's delicate skin should have the kindest and most gentlest fabrics placed next to it and for me polyester doesn't cut it. But organic cotton oh yes! And it doesn't disappoint!  It is very very soft and cosy making it not only perfect for dribble bandana style bibs but also for backing blankets. So watch this space, as they say! I am going to continue working with lots of different prints. I can't help myself! But these three key prints, the two elephants and the deer fabric will soon be available in bibs, dribble bibs, burp cloths, storage baskets and blankets and no doubt a few more items will slip in along the way, which I know will please many of you who get in contact with me asking for more of a range for your baby and nursery in these delightful fabrics.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Inspiration - A Handmade Success Story


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!

Gift Guide Thinking Grey

Thinking Grey . Today's colour gift guide is Grey . Grey has got to be one of my favourite colours for a baby and their nu...