Another Guest Blog Post from another UK Etsy Shop – DunnCrafting. It’s owned by Susan and Karen, a Mother/Daughter crafting team from Bedford (not too far from me!) and showcases their love of nature and colour in their shop with the collection of home decor and special occasion items including seashell hearts and flower bouquets and pomanders.
Susan has answered some questions about their Etsy shop and how it got started.
How did you decide on the name for your shop?
My daughter Karen and I did a bit of toying with word combinations and were trying to find a name that would reflect both of us – we hit on Craftywildes to begin with – but that made us sound a bit shifty- so we settled on DunnCrafting (Dunn is my daughter’s married name) which has a nice play on words.
How long has your shop been open and why did you start?
Playing about with fabric flowers, and quilted balls for Christmas in 2013 prompted the idea of working together to make things that others might like – and so our Etsy shop was born! Since those first tentative days, our range has developed and continues to grow as our creative imaginings become realities.
What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?
I’m a bit clucky over all the things I make, so it’s difficult to choose one favourite. Near the top must be the heart wedding favours that I made recently (Love shells!).
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I was taught to knit and sew by my mother – and a seminal moment when, aged 10, I met a beachcomber during a family summer holiday; this man made exquisite dolls from shells, and showed me how. Once home I made my own from shells collected at the beach. Candles followed made from household candles and wax crayons melted together, whisked and then poured into molds – my mother’s egg whisk took some time to recover!
Karen’s love of making things started at school, culminating in Art – Ceramics A level. Her brother’s wedding was a watershed – she rushed out and bought her first sewing machine to make her own wedding outfit. Since then, she has delighted in experimenting with all sorts of projects from bean bags to a penguin outfit for her own daughter’s school dressing-up day, imagined from a Japanese onesie she saw on the internet!
We both browse through Pinterest looking for ideas – and sometimes get inspiration from displays in boutique shops that we might encounter. I visited the Ideal Homes Christmas Exhibition this year and have made a list of possibilities! Karen is a busy mum and full time teacher, so she is my ‘critical friend’ and brainstormer companion!
What do you love the most about running your own business?
Being retired, I can use my time as I wish and doing something that gives me such pleasure is a no brainer – add in giving delight to others and being paid for my efforts, and you have a perfect combination! It also gives me the perfect excuse for impulse buying!
What do you love the least?
Being interrupted by having to keep my accounts up to date!
What other things do you like to do in your spare time?
I volunteer for Tibbs Dementia Services, giving counselling support to carers of people with dementia, and I also sing in two choirs. My grandchildren are a joy!
What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
Learn as much as you can about SEO, and taking and editing great photos to showcase your makes; use social media; network as much as you can to make sure your shop and your makes are seen; be open to advice and constructive criticism from other sellers. Don’t give up! Etsy can be funny at times – it can feel like feast or famine – and sometimes lots of the latter! But everyone has to start somewhere – don’t feel discouraged if other sellers seem to be roaring ahead and you’re not! Good things come to those who wait (so I keep telling myself!)
If you would like to know more about DunnCrafting and where to find their lovely items, you can find them on:
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DunnCrafting