Today’s blog post is from Fay Stephenson from Henry, Fred & Felicity on Etsy.
She creates personalised canvases for nurseries, home decor and special occasions – they are all hand-painted by Faye and I love the look of her shop, she’s created a look that makes you want to check out all her wares (beware my wallet)…
Tell us a bit about you
My name is Fay Stephenson, I am 41 years old and mother to 3 very boisterous boys aged 4, 9, & 10. I work part time for a local company, looking after their Social Media & Online Sales; but my real passion is crafting. I love to create, to sew, but most of all to paint. I hand-paint personalised and bespoke canvases for all ages (with a strong lean to kids and families), and am really looking to make this my full time job this year.
How did you decide on the name for your shop?
It came quite easily. My two eldest boys are named Henry and Frederick, and as I started my business before Samuel was even a twinkle in my eye, I immediately knew I wanted to include their names as they were my inspiration. When I was younger my mother had wanted to call my Felicity, but my father wasn’t so keen, so they agreed on Fay. However as a little nod to mum and because it sounded much better, I decided upon Henry, Fred & Felicity.
How long has your shop been open and why did you start?
My shop has been open since 1st Feb 2012, but has been very off and on and I really haven’t given it the attention it deserves. 2016 is my year to really concentrate on me, my shop and my brand. It all started when I made a canvas for Henry’s room, then Freddie’s. Friends commented how much they liked and so I began making as birthday presents for friends children and orders started from there.
What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
It’s hard to chose between the oversized Scrabble canvas and the Glasgow Style collection, but think i’d plump for the Scrabble canvases at the moment as loving the new colours I’ve introduced as they remind me of summer, and i think they are just so fun!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from everywhere, family, friends, books, the internet, existing themes in rooms, client’s briefs. Inspiration is definitely all around us and sometimes springs up quite unexpectedly!
What do you love the most about running your own business?
I love the freedom it gives me, I can work as much or as little as I like and I only answer to me. I find it incredibly therapeutic. I get to do something I love and give somebody something that they love, what’s not to love? #bestjobever
What do you love the least?
I’m not sure there is anything I don’t love? I even enjoy doing my books LOL, so i’d probably have to say not being able to do it full time is the only thing I love the least at the moment. But I intend to change that this year!
What other things do you like to do in your spare time?
My boys and my husband are all very sporty, so a lot of my spare time is spent at swimming lessons, football, tennis & squash, but when I do get a little time I enjoy movie time with my boys, cooking and also playing the piano.
What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
My best piece of advice would be to focus and ensure you’ve done your market research beforehand. Make sure you price your products correctly, taking into account all factors (there are loads of sites to show you how to work out) otherwise there is not point doing, it is a business after all! And make sure you feel comfortable saying no! I spent far too much time in the beginning making things people asked for that were really nothing to do with my brand or product line, but I felt I couldn’t say no. I’ll still do the occasional bespoke job for friends, but tend now to steer them as much as possible towards a fellow crafter on Etsy who actually does make the item they are looking for.
You can find Fay here: