Customer Spotlight- Helen's Craft Studio0
Posted on 10th May 2018 by Emily
Filed under Customer Spotlight
Hi, I’m Helen of Helens Craft Studio. Based along the Humber Estuary, I make and sell cutting files for electronic cutting machines as well as PDF templates for cards and paper creations, through my Etsy shop. All of my files are created from scratch by me, mostly from hand drawings and more recently from digital drawings. I am still trying to perfect my style and I mostly draw inspiration from my family and the area around me.
1. What has been your businesses big achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far has been getting the business off the ground and up and running. Its been a real learning curve finding out how to take ideas in my head and turning them into something real that I can recreated by others. Part of my goal as a creative business is to inspire others to make beautiful things for themselves and their families. I love seeing all the wonderful things that are created with our files and I’m always taken about by how much our customers achieve and create with them.
2. What’s your favourite part about what you do?
The best part of what I do is being able to be creative every day. I love picking up my pencil and paper and being able to draw out that first idea when I start a project. I like to work independently but as a mother to two young children I often have to work around their time table. It’s great to give them all of the time they need and also do what I love. Luckily my children are one of my biggest sources of inspiration as you can see from this paper cut that I did for my son’s second birthday.
3. How did you first get into paper crafting?
I have always been crafting with paper. Right from when I was a small child I would fill our dining room table with scraps of paper, cutting, sticking and drawing to my heart’s content. I took this love of craft on to a foundation art degree. When I got married six years ago I discovered a whole new world of papercutting and bought my first cutting machine, a silhouette portrait. I designed and cut out much of my wedding stationary and decorations and I’ve been designing files ever since. The wedding couple papercut is actually a portrait of my husband and me on our wedding day.
4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
A lot of my inspiration is drawn from those around me. My children are my main inspiration so a lot of my designs are themed around them, trains, dinosaurs and diggers to name just a few themes. I’m also inspired by the natural world. I’m lucky enough to live in a very beautiful part of the world with so much wonderful country side and the sea right on our doorstep and I find that flowers, leaves and sea creatures are always popping into my work.
5. How long do each of your products take to make?
They can be quite varied. Some products take a few hours to make whereas others take days of work to create and then perfect. I often cut out a design five or six times before I’m happy with the file. I want to make sure that each and every file works first time and fits perfectly when its cut out, making it as easy as possible for customers to create our designs at home.
6. Do you have any crafting techniques you want to try or improve this year?
Yes I’m really interested in working with digital media and creating my designs directly in an electronic format. I also want to expand my skills into creating more 3D files. I really love the 3D daffodil and enjoyed creating it. I’m hoping to add more flower files to our 3D collection, it’s a huge learning curve for me but I like to take on a challenge.
7. What is your favourite craft tool?
My silhouette cameo3 is by far my favourite crafting tool. Without it I don’t think I would be able to craft as much as I do now. I mainly cut paper with it but I’m hoping to branch out into other materials this year as well.
8. What is your favourite papermilldirect product and why?
I love the quality of the paper products from papermilldirect. I’ve recently been exploring the range more in-depth and I’m using a lot of the thinner card stock at the moment. I find that this cuts really well on my silhouette cameo and I get excellent results for even intricate designs. I use the heavier card stock to cut out the bases of my cards and larger designs. The colours are vibrant and beautiful I love working with them.
9. What advice would you give to someone wanting to sell their own handmade crafts?
I would say to give it a go. Do something that you love and make sure that your passion is reflected in your work. Spend some time perfecting your craft and expect that some projects will be more of a success than others. Try lots of different things to find your ‘style’ but then focus on one aspect and perfect that it will make you stand out from the crowd.