In the second of my interviews of lots of Lovely creative people, I have an interview with Sandra from Red Devil Crafts
Don't forget to check out her lovely Folksy shop.
Or like Sandra's Facebook Page
What is the main, Art/Craft you are known for?
My main craft is now sewing, I'm a self-taught machinist
Is this a full time job?/Second income/ Or hobby for you?
I have a full time job and have recently set Red Devil Crafts up as a business as things seem to be going well. It started as a hobby but who knows where it might lead.
I started sewing 2 years ago. I had never used a machine but got sucked in by all the beautiful fabrics that are available. I bought a machine, left it packaged up for a while and then plucked up the courage to have a go.
Could I have a little potted history of your creative life please?
I started out as a card maker and still have 40/50 unused card kits stashed away in my loft. I like quick and simple projects due to time constraints and I think most people start out with some form of papercraft. I then progressed to jewellery and made simple, pretty pieces. Decoupage came next and again, in my loft, there is a huge stash of decoupage papers, napkins, glue and items to decorate. I think I have now found a craft I want to stick with. The choice of fabrics and the huge variety of projects means that I don't get bored and can adapt existing projects.
When I started out I watched a youtube video on how to make a coin purse and initially decided that that would be all I made, partly due to my inexperience but also as I thought I would be quite happy with just one product. After a couple of months of advertising my products I had enquiries about other similar items, makeup bags, wash bags etc and found that I could very easily adapt my existing template to create more products. I still do this now. I've recently made coin purses with a pocket on them and 'party purses' which are slightly larger, have waterproof lining, a pocket and a wrist strap - all based around the original coin purse idea!
Is this your total creative output or do you also work in other areas and if so what are they?
A friend has asked for my help as she too wants to get into sewing. I've also held a few lunchtime 'make and take' sessions at work to introduce others to crafting
Do you think that its important to specialise in one area or to have lots of creative outlets? Can one impact on the other, in positive or negative ways?
I used to flit between cardmaking/jewellery/decoupage and it didn't feel comfortable to, mainly because I wanted to sell my items and thought the range was too big. It's almost as though you want to cover every market which I'm sure must be off putting to potential customers. At least now everything I make is from fabric, a common theme rather than, a mirror, a card, a necklace, a jewellery box etc. I feel much happier and still have endless opportunities without having to have thousands of beads, papers, boxes, findings, card etc. The financial implications of having a finger in too many pies can mean that you don't have spare money for other things as you're always wanting more goodies for crafting. I had/have thousands of beads, findings, ribbon, friendly plastic, decopatch papers, items to decorate, cardstock, papers, embellishments, tools - you name it and I've probably bought it at some point. At least now I spend my money on fabric to increased the choice for my customers and know that I will use it at some point.
What gets you out of bed in the morning and motivated to create wonderful things?
Sewing for me is an escape. I spend all day at my day job planning the items I'm going to make, what fabrics I'm going to use and then once my daughter is in bed I have an hour or two in which to get these items created. To see a finished product after 20 minutes of work is satisfying and very rewarding when your customer receives it and is happy with their purchase.
Do you have the support of friends and family when crafting and do you and they value what you do?
I don't have a large circle of friends, quite the opposite. One friend is starting with the basics on an old machine she found in her house, with a few tips from me. My family are now starting to see that this is more than a hobby, its something I'm good at, something that keeps me sane and also brings in a little extra cash. They've had to start taking me seriously!
Describe what your prefect Art/crafting day would be like?
My perfect day is one of those rare occasions when I am home alone. I pack my husband off to work and my daughter off to the childminder and then the fun begins. Preferably I will have a pile of items cut and ready to be sewn, the ironing board is up and the iron ready for action. I could easily sit and sew for a good couple of hours before having a break for lunch. I'd then get back to it and get as many items made up as possible ready for photographing and uploading later in the evening. I sometimes listen to music whilst working but generally prefer to get carried away with my own thoughts.
What are your aims and goals for the future
I would like to progress into childrens clothing and maybe accessories in the future. My main aim is to get set up as a self employed business, learn all those ropes and then see where it takes me. Ideally I would like to sew on a part time basis, maybe even drop a day at work, that way I can craft, work and spend a little more time with my family.