Another guest blog post – the first in a short series featuring UK Etsy Shops.
This first shop is Hopetheblackdog and is owned by (or is it the shop that owns the person?) Amy Alice Donoghue from Nottingham. She’s opted to answer a few questions about her and her etsy shop. (Click on the captions to see the item’s listing).
Hi! I’m Amy, 26, from hope the black dog, and I live in Nottingham with my fiancé and two pet rats called Marie and Rosa. I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and I love teaching myself new crafts. Winston Churchill used to call his mental illness “a black dog” when he was suffering with depression and bipolar disorder. I wanted to take this imagery and make it more positive, so I took that black dog and I named it hope! I find a lot of inspiration from quotes, Instagram, Pinterest, The Mighty website and personal stories for my crafting.
I started making items for the shop in December 2015, and finally worked up the courage to list anything in January 2016. I was signed off from work for a long time, initially because of my anxiety, but it transpired that it was more than that and I’ve been undergoing extensive testing ever since (not great for my needle phobia!). Since I was off for such a long time, I wanted to make it meaningful and contribute some good in some way. I decided to make items that promoted positive mental health, and donate £1 from any sales to Mind Charity.
My favourite item in my shop is my “Anxiety is My Super Power” cross stitch kit because even though it has been difficult, exhausting and life-changing to live with Anxiety it has also been the driving force in a lot of my greatest achievements. It’s a mixed bag and I think a lot of people with mental health problems can see the duality.
The best thing has been meeting so many people who have been touched by the work I am doing. I have met so many wonderful people who felt comfortable enough to open up about their mental health, and so many wonderful people who want to support me to do more. It’s been such a whirlwind of emotion!
I do find it frustrating waiting for funds. I am trying to run this business from the half pay that I am currently on, and so when I have great ideas, or run out of stock, it means I have to wait for a sale or another pay day. It’s frustrating! I have to make a lot of lists. When I’m not working on Hopetheblackdog, I love to knit and crochet, read and eat.
The best piece of advice I can give if you’re like me and want to start your own etsy shop: START would be the main piece of advice. Don’t wait for divine intervention, just begin. Good things take time and the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits.
INSTAGRAM – hopetheblackdog