Dreaming of starting your own business? Look to your hobbies first.
They say that to love what you do, you must simply do what you love.
Transforming something you enjoy from a hobby into a day job, therefore, makes a lot of sense. As more and more of us move away from traditional working practices, it seems that crafters are leading the way when it comes to making their passion turn a profit.
Now a professional artist and BBC Wildlife Painter of the Year finalist, Julie Weir found her new career in painting by chance. It wasn’t until tragedy struck and her beloved collie Jack passed away in 2011 that she picked up a paintbrush in any serious way.
Having scoured the internet for an affordable portrait of the beloved Jack to no avail, Julie’s husband Mark suggested she paint her own. This was the moment everything changed. “I gave it a go and to our surprise, it actually looked like him. Then I was hooked!”
Following the success of her first painting, Julie went on to create many more and has since made a name for herself as a talented wildlife artist and professional member of the SAA. Work now fits around life rather than the other way around and it’s a balance Julie loves. She says, “Painting has given me the chance to do what I adore as a full-time job, and how many people can actually say that?”
For many of us working life can be something of a slog. Although Emily Dawe speaks only positively of her previous career in the magazine world, taking the plunge and becoming a freelance crafter has changed her life for the better.
She explains, “Getting back to my creative roots feels great and I only wish I’d done it sooner!” According to Emily, it’s simpler than you might think too.
In this digital age, she says it is easier than ever to plonk yourself right into the inbox of some very important and influential individuals. Getting to know people is central to any business and it’s no different for crafters trying to make their mark. Emily’s advice is simply to: “Talk, network, collaborate – you never know what doors might open for you.”
New doors continue to open for Jennifer Lam, founder of Stitch & Story. Recently named as a finalist in the 2018 NatWest everywoman Awards Jennifer’s creative mind, mission to empower others and business acumen has not gone unnoticed.
Spurred on by her own love for knitting, her business took off in 2012, when alongside business partner Jen Hoang, she designed Stitch & Story’s very first knitting and crochet kits. The aim was to create a product that would inspire more people to learn to knit and emphasis the richness of narratives behind handmade products.
Jennifer’s story is certainly one of passion and success, but the road hasn’t been simple. She admits, “Start-ups are all consuming – I eat, sleep and dream of the business! But I wouldn’t change a thing as I genuinely love what I do!”
Crafting is widely recognised as a brilliant way to de-stress, and we’ve long known about the link between mental health and making things, so what better way to live a happier life than by putting your creative passion front and centre? Jennifer says it is possible for all, you just need to “be brave and seize every opportunity!”
Find a brand new craft which could become your career at crafts-beautiful.com.