Tell us about yourself. Who you are, where you live and a
little bit about you and what you do in your spare time.|
Hi, I'm Estee. I'm a wife and mother of two boys and we live in North East London. Being a stay at home mum, I generally don't get that many spare hours, but when the boys are tucked up in bed, I set up my sewing machine downstairs and sew away to my hearts content. In those "working hours", I sew and make children's clothes.
What do you make?
I make children's appliqu� t-shirts and vintage inspired childrenswear.
How & when did you get started designing & making?
I have always been very creative and after inheriting my grandmother's sewing machine, I taught myself to use it. It came very natural to me and I taught myself to work around a bought pattern. I was then making childrens clothes to gift, soft toys and quilts. Last summer, I took a pattern adaption and sewing skills course at the London College of Fashion, they hold courses throughout the summer holidays. This course was very intense, but very informative and I came away from there with a wealth of information. It was one of the best things I've done in a long time and it taught me so much. I would love to do another course this summer!
What venues / websites do you sell from?
I started selling my childrenswear at local craft fairs which gave me the confidence in my designs. I'm very self critical, so there was nothing better than the compliment of people buying my wears. I love attending craft fairs and see myself working the more larger fairs in the future.
I now sell my childrenswear on the internet at the venues www.etsy.com and www.folksy.com. Although I have noticed that you really need to put in alot of marketing and advertising time to get noticed. If you don't, you will get lost. I generally market myself through interviews such as these and through my own blog.
I have also very recently joined www.notonthehighstreet.com and have my collection for sale there.
What / who inspires your work?
My childrenswear is vintage inspired, just modernised up to suit today's kids. I am always flicking through old photographs, postcards, magazines for inspiration.
What are your plans for Sweetpea4kids for the next 12 months?
Sweetpea4kids is a very young business and slowly growing. I hope for it to continue to grow and source other outlets to stock Sweetpea4Kids.
What marketing tips do you have for other artists, designers, crafters & makers?
Marketing is one of the hardest parts of the business. It's difficult and tiresome, that's why many larger businesses employ marketing staff. Sweetpea4kids, like many small businesses doesn't have the budget for a marketing staff at the moment, I do the marketing myself! I find blogging an excellent way of meeting new people and letting them know what you do. Keep yourself fresh and innovative and let people know who you are and what you do. Comment on other's blogs often to get yourself noticed.
I also find the networking sites are great for getting new contacts, (i.e. facebook, Myspace, twitter). I am a great fan of Twitter and have gained alot of traffic and business through Twitter.