A lifelong devotion to designing and making crafts is reflected in Angela’s dedication to her die- cutting business, and we’re in awe of the mesmerising Flutterings die set. Her kinetic kits bring an innovative, new dimension to cardmaking, adding that extra special and exciting touch to a handmade greeting. Angela shares her journey to becoming a professional crafter, pursuing her dream and launching her own brand, with tips for budding entrepreneurs.
Have you always been creative, and what are your greatest influences?
As a child, I loved making fancy dress costumes for my two younger sisters, as well as transforming our garden, in-keeping with the theme of their birthday parties. My mum was very understanding, and she kept me supplied with plenty of craft materials. The crafting community is my biggest inspiration, as I love to learn and share new techniques, having always found joy in making things with my hands – that’s where my fascination with paper engineering stems from, because they do something unexpected and make people smile.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a professional crafter…
Before my career as a crafter, I worked on several craft magazines, with my last role being a commissioning editor. Designing under my own name was always a dream
of mine, and whilst on maternity leave, it gave me the chance to think about my career and future plans. Having worked in the craft industry for a number of years, I had a good idea of the market and what our customers wanted, and although it was tough to leave my job, leaving that career isn’t a regret, because of the fond memories of working with a fantastic team.
What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
It’s wonderful having the complete freedom to design and create, but from a business perspective, it’s important to be aware of what suits the craft market, and as a crafter myself, thinking of product ideas is an enjoyable process. We’re still in the first year of business and, as a result, we all work a lot of long hours. So far, it has gone better than we hoped and that’s mainly down to our unique products, as well as the support from HOCHANDA and our customers.
Do your family get involved with the business?
We’re made up of both mine and Katie Webster’s family, our art director. My other half, Rich, is our sales director, and Katie’s husband, Andrew, helps with packing products before the shows. My children love to get involved, and see it as a real treat to use my craft collection – they were thrilled when we made fluttering cards with the butterfly die set!
Why do you think crafting is so beneficial to wellbeing?
Crafting is a wonderful hobby to have, and personally it’s the ‘me’ time aspect that I enjoy, even when it’s technically work. It’s relaxing and gives me a sense of achievement when finishing a project.
Spill the beans on a real ‘wow’ moment!
Nothing is going to compare to our first show, which is when we launched both the brand and the Magic Windows Slide & Reveal die set live on TV – our website even went up during the show, too. I’d never even been on TV before, and as the last ten seconds were counting down before we went live, I was panicking that my nail polish was still wet and I wouldn’t be able to craft. We thought the die set would be popular, and we’d allocated a good amount of stock, but we hadn’t predicted selling out in the first ten minutes!
What advice can you pass on to anyone else wanting to turn their craft into a business?
If it’s something you’re passionate about, then it’s worth chasing your dreams. I made the decision to finally launch the brand knowing I would always regret it if I didn’t give it a go. Despite the long hours to get the business off the ground, it feels like I’m finally on the right path and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved. CB