Greetings to you from our little part of the world
How is this week treating you?
We have had a rather lovely email from one of our very first Blog buddies. The lovely Ali over at Very Berry Handmade has kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions about her business, life and inspirations….
A really interesting read, we think!
Find out about the tutorial for this cute cupcake pincushion here
When did you set up Very Berry Handmade, and why?
After my children were born in 2003, I found the urge to start creating things for them, and then gradually got into sewing and crochet for their own sakes. I decided to start selling some of my things so that I could afford to by more materials, and gradually it has grown up into something I see as my part time job. I had been blogging and selling my handmade things under a rather dull name since around 2007. In 2010 I decided a rebranding was in order and so Very Berry Handmade was born.
How did you get established?
It has been quite slow and I have had lots to learn. In the early days I had lots of support from friends who have bought my things, and then come back as repeat customers. I have worked very hard on the Very Berry blog and Facebook page to create an audience for my handmade products (although I also really enjoy blogging for it’s own sake, and for the friends I make through it!).
Have you been featured anywhere?
Not as far as I know. My tutorials have been published on Totally Tutorials (http://totallytutorials.blogspot.com/
), and my makes have been featured in Craftseller magazine and a cross stitch magazine in the USA. I have a tutorial in the next issue of Modern Quilting magazine.
What is your favourite item in your shop ( Link please)
Oooh, tough question – they are all my babies! But I do love this pincushion:
It’s been sitting there for a while now and I have no idea why no one has bought it, lol, I think it’s lovely.
Any up and coming Very Berry news you’d like to share?
I have lots of things in the pipeline – including a very exciting idea that I am developing with The Sewing Directory
and Lily’s Quilts
. I also hope to do various techy things which will allow me to have blog sponsors by the spring.
Who are your daily reads and why?
Well I have to confess to not reading blogs every day because I worry that sometimes they undermine my confidence and cloud my creativity, but some of my favourites are: Annekata
, Very Kerry Berry
(no relation!), Monkey Do
and Pink Penguin
All sorts of things inspire me, but mostly it’s a desire to make something useful and fabulous to have around from beautiful materials. If I am really feeling a lack of creativity, I like to browse through my embarrassingly large collection of retro and vintage craft books and magazines.
What is your favourite crafting technique/material?
Gosh, tough question! I love to crochet because it’s so relaxing and I don’t really have to think about it. But I think my absolute favourite thing is hand sewing – I love it. I like hand quilting a lot, but my favourite thing is just to do free stitching with lots of different threads and yarns.
Is there a new crafting technique that you’d like to try out?
It’s not new, but I would love to learn how to weave. I am not entirely sure I would have the patience for it, but the results are so marvellous, I would love to have a go.
Do you have a fail safe item from your own wardrobe which is a fashion fix-all?
Not sure it’s fashionable, but my favourite item of clothing is a lovely dress from Gudrun Sjoden
– it’s covered with flowers and birds and is very flattering and comfy to wear. I love it!
What do you think are the trends to look out for this season?
Oh gosh, I have no idea – I just hope the enthusiasm for handmade, the unique and the lovingly-crafted continues!
What is the plan for Very Berry Handmade’s future?
To keep my business slowly growing, to encourage creativity in others through my blog, to learn more and to enjoy experimenting without worrying when things don’t turn out quite as planned.
Thank you so much Ali, we have loved knowing a little bit more about you, hopefully our readers did too!
Find out about VeryberryHandmade at the following places
Handmade Dreams are Made in Minch