Female Entrepreneur: Becky Christian
Company: Craft Creative
Age range: 30s
What motivated you to start your business?
It is difficult to pinpoint how I became motivated to start my own business as it has been such a whirlwind since! Having suffered from depression and anxiety since my teens, it was always a struggle to figure out what I was good at. My illness had always made it difficult to feel passionate about work. Having tried university, dropped out, and then moved through a series of undemanding, and certainly not creative, office jobs, I had let my illness define my worth and never really pushed myself. Once I had become mentally strong enough to control my illness I decided it was time to find something that I enjoyed and could make a living out of. To unleash that inner potential so to speak, or at least try to! This has been an unusual path. My first thought was to work within the health service as I wanted to help people. To cut a long story short, I enrolled on another university degree to become a radiotherapist. This challenged the scientific part of my mind, but although I loved it, I still felt I wasn’t quite there. I started to feed the creative part of my mind by reigniting a passion I had as a child – crafting and making things. I looked everywhere in Liverpool (where I am from) for a craft group that moved away from the ‘fuddy duddy’ craft circles that my nanna might go to, and find a group where I could go out and socialise and make more contemporary craft items with people of a similar age. This was basically non-existent in the North West…. and so Craft Creative was born. I joined forces with a friend Camilla, who is equally passionate about crafts to start a monthly craft group. Fast forward to the present day and we have been running Craft Creative alongside our other commitments. I have continued to study radiotherapy, while Camilla works full time in PR. It is a struggle to do both, but totally fulfilling and totally worth it.
Tell us about your business.
Craft Creative offers creative workshops and events in Liverpool and Glasgow. We offer a wide variety of crafts, taught by local artists and makers. We hold monthly events to encourage the social side of crafting. We are also available for hen parties where vintage afternoon tea is offered alongside hen party crafts such as making fascinators for the big day, or making frilly knickers and garters for the big night ;)
Since launching our hen parties we have found that there is a huge market elsewhere for high quality workshops and we are now available for corporate and teambuilding workshops, community/charity events, educational sessions, festivals/fairs and children’s parties.
We also offer a handmade decor and party design service.
We are currently looking for our own venue in Liverpool and once that is established the plan is to do the same in Glasgow. Who knows how many cities would like to get crafty with us!
What is a day in the life of you like?
Being ‘Craft Creative’ is none-stop but always fun. A typical day involves everything from planning events, project management, finding new talented makers to work with, making a wide range of lovelycraft items, running workshops, and meeting new clients. The list is endless and as we get busier we may even struggle to manage everything alongside my degree or Camilla’s full time job. The plan is to be able to create jobs in our local communities and the way things are looking we might just need some help!
What have been your biggest challenges so far with running your business?
With the current economic climate, there have not been many opportunities to secure funding. We received a tiny start up grant, but apart from that we literally started the business from nothing. Running a business with no money while working/studying full time, has definitely been a challenge. But we are overcoming this and it is all worth it.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We have literally had to sacrifice any hint of a social life or time to ourselves, but the satisfaction of running your own business more than makes up for it.
What have you found to be the most effective way to get new clients?
As we have had little funding or capital investment, we have never had a great marketing fund. Hence we have always concentrated on building a strong reputation. Never underestimate the power or ‘word of mouth’.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
If you have established that there is a market for your product, then believe in yourself and never give up. It is hard to rely on yourself and find motivation during the tough times, but perseverance is key, especially in this economy. And keep smiling!
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I must say that it is a blessing having a strong lady by your side. Camilla and I are able to rely on each other and spur each other on.
What’s your favourite quote?
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Who inspires you?
Marie Curie, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Cynthia McKinney, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Steve Jobs, Jane Goodall. So many!
Do you have a business philosophy?
I don’t really have a philosophy as I am still learning everyday :)
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