Saturday 12 October 2013

Guest Blogger Week 85 Pure Craft

I would like to say a huge welcome

Hello there,
It is Pure Craft from Newcastle, the North East of UK.  
I have been living here for 4 years with my husband and daughter, Little M. 
I always remember my mum knitting, 
sewing, tatting or doing crochet.
 She always has some craft items in her bag wherever she goes;
 she crafts while chatting with friends and having some tea. 
I remember myself playing with the yarn she was knitting and thinking 
`how long it will take her to knit that long yarn and counting the seconds. 
When I was 6, I asked her to teach me how to knit.
 I remember my first knitted yellow washcloth. 
I wish I still had it with me. 
She bought me short needles that were for kids and small yarn balls. 
I knitted lots of washcloths in garter stitch for grandma, aunties and neighbours. 
When it was summer, she helped me with some knitting or crochet projects. 
It was a relaxing thing to do for me. 
When I was preparing for the university exams, 
I remember knitting or sewing to relax and forget about the stress of the preparation.

I studied computer programming at the university 
and worked at some companies as web designer, programmer for a while. 
I kept away from all sorts of craft at that time. 
After I got married and moved to UK, 
I realised that I didn’t want to write codes on my computer anymore.  
I was alone when my husband was at work. 
I needed something to do to keep myself busy. 
Knitting, crochet and sewing were always my passion 
and I found myself in the city library with craft books. 
I didn’t have my mum next to me to ask what to do 
on the next row so I had to push my boundaries. 
I read almost all craft books in the library 
and learned more about patterns, reading charts, 
choosing yarn and etc. 
I didn’t have any yarn or needle with me 
and I didn’t know where to buy in the city. 
Luckily, I saw some yarn at local shop, 
it was not in best quality but it made me busy for a while 
and I looked for better yarns around. 
My mum sent me all leftover pieces she had, 
lots of scrap fabric and yarn.
 I made bathmat, tried to make amigurumi baby. 
It is a funny doll that makes me laugh whenever I see her. 
I used all sort of yarn I had at that time; acrylic for doll and its clothes, 
and some leftover mohair yarn for hair. 
I didn’t have peachy colour for her skin so she is a little yellowish :-) 

One day I heard about
It looked really scary to me at that time. 
All shops looked so cool and nice that having a shop on Etsy was a huge thing for me. 
I didn’t have good quality materials and yarn, 
which are really expensive here. 
I was thinking to have an Etsy shop one day, 
but told myself not at that time. 
My husband always supported me to do it but I didn’t have enough courage to start.

When my daughter was born, I was busy with her. 
While she was sleeping I was relaxing with knitting. 
I made for her blanket, skirts and jackets. 
Then, I realised she can’t wear everything I knit as there were too many. 
If I kept knitting for her she wouldn’t have enough space in her wardrobe. 
My mum and some friends also knitted for her, 
so I decided to make a move and open an online shop. 
I convinced myself, if my items didn’t sell, 
I would give them as a gift to my friends and family or use it myself. 
Etsy was still scary for me, so I tried another website that sells to UK only. 
I added a few items to that website to see how things would go. 
Then, I thought: 
`Why I do not open a shop at Etsy and list the same items there?`
I had a problem; I needed a good name for Etsy. 
My plan was to sell baby items and I wanted to add `craft` to the end of the name, 
so I could knit, sew or do crochet.
 Then, the idea came: Pure Craft. I think, 
Pure is the one of the best words to describe babies and item qualities. 
I opened my shop on 4th Jan 2011 with a few items to list 
and the photos were not really good. 
I had a long to do list in my head. I read some articles about Etsy, 
its promotions and taking photos. 
I realised it is a huge world but I wasn’t scared anymore :-) . 
I made some baby items in the first year but I found it was difficult to continue. 
There are too many things to deal with; size, colour, material. 
At that time I also had enough time to practice on knitting lacy mohair shawls, 
wraps and scarves. 
So I started making knitted accessories for women and men. 

I had sales, even though the shop had some issues, but it was very slow. 
I had a chance to take a course at my local community centre on setting up business. 
I also asked for advice from an Etsy friend and she made me to see the truth. 
I needed to make the same item with different colours and focus on one thing at a time. 
I started making the scarves using different colour yarns 
and realised how easy things could go. 
:-) I didn’t have to think about different pattern to produce different scarf. 
I focused on the items in my shop and made same ones. 
I had more and more items and sales came more with that. 

From the beginning when I see a pattern, 
I ask myself: `Would I wear it?` or `Would I give it to someone I care as a gift?`
If the answer is yes then I decide the material and start making it. 
If I have a doubt about it, I don’t start making it at all. 
Because, I make things that I really love. 

I still make clothes, skirts, toys for my daughter, 
sometimes she asks for me to do something. 
My husband convinced me that I can write patterns of these. 
With the inspiration and support I had and still have from them, 
I have many patterns for sale on my shop and still more to come.

In September 2013, we had a mentor month in Etsys UK group. 
I always knew that I had to edit some tags, 
instructions and I needed better photos. 
I read some more articles and with my mentor`s help I made a plan for September. 
I had a mannequin that my husband brought that I didn’t use her 
until the beginning of this September. 
I decoupaged her using music book and retook all photos in my shop 
(her story is in my blog with details for you to read).  
I edited tags and rewrote some item descriptions. 
I think my shop looks more professional and my photos can tell its best quality. 

Thank you Sue for this opportunity to tell about myself and my shop. I wish everyone happy sales :-)


 Thank you ever so much!
What a fantastic inspirational story!
Please check out Pure Craft sites.
I love her crochet patterns:
Crochet Richy Bunny Money Purse Pattern - Instant Download PDF Crochet Flower Lariat Scarf Pattern - Instant Download PDF Two Finger Amigurumi Puppets Pattern 3 in 1 Bunny,Frog and Bear -  Instant Download PDF

1 comment:

I hope you enjoy the blog!
Thank you ever so much for commenting!
I love reading everything you put and I will try and reply but it just depends on my health.
Thanks Sue