Here is the next installment in our Meet the Maker series. Our little family at Canalside Creations enjoys spending time outdoors (we live by a canal, of course we do!) and our next maker is a big fan of nature too. Let's meet Adventure Accessories.
1) Who are you and what do you make?
Hi, I am Sarah. I created Adventure Accessories in 2017 when I took a career break and changed direction in life. What began as a hobby to me help through a difficult time, has grown to become a successful creative handmade business based in Carmarthenshire, South Wales.
2) What first got you into making things?
I have been crafting for many years, first with cross-stitch embroidery, then my handsewn notebook journals and more recently I fancied having a go at crochet.
I tried knitting when I was knee-high to a grasshopper (my mum was an avid knitter). I managed a basic (holey) scarf but never quite got the bug. I found an old teach yourself crochet magazine and after studying it several times and many YouTube videos later I am getting quite nifty with my hook.
My Adventure Accessories combine my passion for the outdoors with my love of crafts, I sell online and at craft events.
3) What does a day in the life of Adventure Accessories look like? (if there is such a things as a standard day?)
One of the perks of being self-employed means I can be flexible with my routine. However, I try to keep a business day if I can. A typical routine example is :
7am Check emails and messages over morning coffee.
9am Prep any orders that have come through and make any business calls from to do list.
After lunch is either blog post writing or crafting time depending on custom orders etc.
Evenings are then for social media catch up, and twitter chats which I love taking part in.
All of this can be changed around depending on errands I might want to run, appointments, or meeting a friend for coffee. I love the flexibility my business gives me.
4) What hopes and plans do you have for your handmade business the future?
I hope that I can sell enough to draw in a modest income so that I do not have to return to paid employment working for someone else. I am in the unique position that I took voluntary redundancy to care full-time for my youngest son as he undergoes cancer treatment. The first year was dedicated solely to his care and treatment schedule.
When he went into remission I began counselling and as part of my therapy took up my crafts as ‘me time’. I decided to try a few Christmas markets as my pile of makes was building and I could only give so many away as gifts to family and friends. I booked four Christmas craft markets and my products proved so popular I completely sold out and had enough orders to see me through until May of the following year.
It was from that success we made the decision to open Adventure Accessories full-time and give self-employment a go. It has been a wonderful whirlwind so far and I hope it long may continue.
5) Are there any online or brick and mortar outlets you’d like to share?
My absolute favourite bricks and mortar shop is Debs Wool Shop in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. It is a wonder of wool, patterns and crochet hooks. Debs is a guru of all things wool and the weekly knit and natter group is my treat of the week.
I also love House of Evie gift shop in Telford and am lucky enough to have my Traveller Notebook journals for sale in Julie’s gorgeous shop on Market Street.
You can find Sarah and Adventure Accessories on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as the Facebook group Sarah runs called Handmade Crafts Club, which is for anyone who make or enjoys crafting.
If you would like to be included in the Meet the Maker series, please send us a message!