At Hand Made Yorkshire, we thought it was about time we introduced you to our designer makers, their wonderful hand crafted items and where you can find them.
This week i'd like to introduce you to our latest contributor to MEET THE MAKER MONDAY, Michelle Lavender (I know.... fab name eh?) owner of Careful Keepsakes.
Michelle has been a designer maker for nearly a year (trading since April 2016)
Here’s what she told me:
What do you do/make?
I make bunting and cushions mainly. I can transform old baby clothes into bunting and create designs from clothes on a cushion. I can also make bespoke bunting with or without personalisation. I have recently made a cushion from a man's shorts and shirt, so the clothing is not just limited to a baby's either. I also have more ideas but it's just taking time to implement them.
How did you become a designer/maker?
After the birth of my first child and when I realised I couldn't return to my previous job in HR as I would have had to go back full-time and I wanted part-time hours to fit around my son. I have always been creative and the ideas started rolling and I thought now is the best time to try my hand at being self-employed and see where it takes me.
How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?
I thought of a lot of different names before settling on having 'keepsakes' in the title which reflects the nature of my work. 'Careful' then kind of fell into place as it's something I say a lot to my son and I thought 'Careful Keepsakes' had a nice ring to it.
Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?
I am a 'stay at home mum' and fit my business around bringing up my son.
How do you make time for it all?
I have a set day to work on a Wednesday when my son goes to his grandparents. Then I work when he is napping or on an evening or weekend. I also write lots of lists!
What’s your favourite thing about running your business?
I enjoy the freedom of choosing my own hours/time off etc and love it when a finished product comes together and I can show it off. I also enjoy selling at craft fairs.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?
It would probably be the first baby keepsake bunting I ever made out of my son's clothes, personalised with the word 'play room' which is now displayed in there. For a customer, it would probably be 'Henry' personalised blue gingham bunting which was sent all the way to America.
Describe your business in 3 words
Professional, bespoke, creative
My family and the support they give me.
I have a love hate relationship with?
Social media. I love taking photos of my work and posting them but it does take up so much time. Sometimes I can get sucked into it too much and lose hours of my day!
What inspires you?
Seeing the lovely work of other makers
You can find Michelle in the following places.
Blog: coming soon!
Thank you so much Michelle for showing us your wonderful hand crafted work and being one of the first contributors to Meet the Maker Monday.
What a great idea to turn those memorable little outfits once so loved, into memorable keepsakes. Something to treasure forever.
I'd also like to thank you for being part of the collective and being active on the group page.
Warm wishes and happy crafting