In the Spotlight this week is Susan from Something Crafty. In Susan's words:
"I make & hand paint kids table & chair sets, toy boxes, growth charts, glass block night lights, and anything else you might have in mind. I also make diaper cakes for baby showers."
Q & A
CC:What inspired you to start your business?
Susan: I can’t say that one particular thing inspired me to start my business but strong will and circumstance played a big role. My husband and I had just had our second child in August of 2009 and I was unable to get maternity leave because I had been self employed running a home daycare. I didn’t want to reopen the daycare, it just wasn’t for me but I had a strong desire to be able to stay at home with my 2 little boys and was looking for answers on how to go about doing that. In the mean time I sold things from around the house that we no longer used to help make ends meet. I had a bunch of old wooden chairs that I used for my home daycare, I didn’t have any use for them so I stripped them down and repainted them so I could sell them (If you look in my facebook album called “refurbished items” these first sets of chairs I made are all in there). When my friends and family saw how they turned out they suggested that I make more chairs and tables to match and try selling them. I already had a good working knowledge of a lot of power tools as I have delved into a lot of home renovations so that part didn’t worry me. I had a love for crafts and a head for math so I thought “why not?”. I got to work drawing up plans and crunching numbers to figure out what my costs would be and how to price things. By February of 2010 “Something Crafty” was an officially registered business and things were picking up quickly and haven’t slowed down since.
CC: What's your favourite part of your job?
Susan: My absolute favorite part is being able to be at home with my 2 boys, now ages 18 months and 3 years. I also love the creative outlet the business gives me and the challenges it brings. I love designing new products and doing the calculations for the blueprints. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to math, I love it.
CC: The most challenging?
Susan: The most challenging part would be finding the time to work on things between diaper changes and housework. As time goes on and my youngest becomes more independent it is getting a little easier. I also have a hard time taking time off for myself; separating myself from the business. I work work work and sacrifice a lot of time to grow the business but it is necessary at this point as my business is still in it’s infancy. Another challenge is space, I am currently doing all my cutting and sanding in a spare room in our basement. Manitoba winters aren’t too nice for working outside but once spring hits I can get back outdoors to do those things and minimize the mess inside.
CC: Tell us what you envision and dream for the future of your business?
Susan: One day I dream of having a large heated shop where I can comfortably work. Beyond that I dream of having a store front where I can have a shop in the back with a window looking into the front room of the store. After I take the kids to school I will spend my days there. It’s silly but I can even picture myself wearing an artists apron chalked full of my paint brushes and splattered with all the different colors of paint. After school I can pick up the kids and bring them back to the store where they can work on homework and paint pictures until it’s supper time. I think having a separate work place would allow me to separate work from home and give me some “me” time apart from the business.
CC: Tell us about some new products you are excited about?
Susan: I want to create some new things that can be easily shipped. Toy boxes and tables and chairs aren’t exactly affordable to ship and does limit my customer base. So I am currently working on some cute book ends for kids and some name plaques for kids and inspiration plaques for grownups.
CC: Do you have a favourite inspirational quote?
Susan: My best friend gave me a plaque when I got married, it reads “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow”. I love it. It reminds of where this all got started, to slow down and enjoy today, and to not worry about tomorrow but instead dream about the future and all the potential it holds. I also love the quote “Keep calm and carry on”, something I need to remember when orders start piling up like they did at Christmas time when I was practically painting in my sleep just to get them all done in time.
You can find Susan and her shop Something Crafty over at...
Table and Chairs
Glass Block Lights
I had the opportunity to review a hand painted chalk board from something crafty. I was to choose the colors but could not decide, I let Susan know that we had 2 boys and 2 girls and gave her free rain over the finished product.
Both the kids and I were super excited when it arrived. She had painted it a very sparkly green and placed green bling around the edges. There is sparkly ribbon attached so it can be hung up. It is perfect for either a kitchen or kids bedroom or really any other room in the house.
Because of all its sparkle my kids have decided to call it their window to fairy world. They spend hours everyday drawing pictures of their fairy friends and the best part about it other then I get hours of quite time is that its great for the environment. Before getting this chalk board we went through package after package of paper, my kids love to draw and write and create and this has helped save on paper and in return save money!!!
The blackboard wipes clean with just a dry cloth and every night I give it a quick wash down with a damp rag. This product is truly money well spent!!!
Something Crafty is offereing 10 of our readers a great discount. A mini chalkboard (the same size as the one I reviewed) for $15.00 and FREE SHIPPING with in Canada (This is a great discount as shipping cost's approx $15.00) You the customer gets to pick the border color. It will be first come first serve with payments being via paypal or by personal check. Boards will be shipped when payment is complete. Contact Something Crafty and let them know that Creatively Canadian sent you!!!
Thank you Susan from Something Crafty for being this weeks In The Spotlight!!