I am a designer maker living in Southampton with my Husband and 7 month old daughter. I hand make personalised gifts, specialising in ceramics but with a range of products including Home, Mum and Baby, Gardening and Greetings Cards.
I work from a studio in my garden and have a small team of fabulous ladies who help me put the magical, finishing touches to each order.
Why and when did you decide to start your business?
After being made redundant from a job I loved, 6 years ago, I decided to build my own business. I had a degree in photography but my passion always lay with ceramics. I bought myself a kiln with my redundancy money and turned my dining room table into my new work space.
Where do you seek inspiration from for your product range?
I mainly seek inspiration from my family and friends. My products depict quotes of love and sentiment. Often life experiences such as my wedding or the recent birth of my daughter inspire the product ranges that I create.
What are your greatest achievements to date?
My biggest achievement is creating a job for myself that I love and one that I can also fit around my family. I now have a small team of 3 who work with me. I’m really proud that I have not only created a job role I love but also given this opportunity to 3 other people whom I have a great time working with.
Who inspires you?
So many of the wonderful small business owners I have met along my journey have inspired me in different ways. Whether it’s fitting their work around their families, creating amazing social media campaigns, creating innovative products or just ensuring they’re loving every minute, each new success story encourages me to challenge myself and keep trying to improve my skills and my business.
What is important to you in business?
I have always put huge emphasise on customer service and know that honesty really is appreciated by customers. I try and source all my materials from the UK where possible and try to support small businesses where ever I can. I also think it is really important to create a fun and open work place for my staff. If they enjoy what they do then this reflects in their work and is also really important in a creative environment.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
I love the feedback I get from customers, reporting back on how much their relative or friend loved their gift. My most favourite reviews are when customers report that the product brought a tear to the recipients eye! Not that I love making people cry but it’s such a buzz to know how much something I have made means to someone.
What has been your biggest endorsement to date you have received for your product/s
Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter bought him one of my coasters for Father’s Day! Knowing he has one of my coasters on his desk is pretty cool. I was also commissioned to make a wedding teapot and mug set for JB from the band JLS. The biggest endorsements though always come from the daily reviews I get from happy customers.
Why did you choose to list your products on oodlique?
Although I list my products on some of the major online marketplaces I always love to see smaller companies trying to rival the big players. New and unique ways of marketing products is so exciting and a necessity for small businesses like mine and this is what oodlique is offering.
What has your experience been like working with oodlique?
I’m quite new to the oodlique family but they’ve really helped me out when I’d been pushed for time and have gone that extra mile to ensure my products get seen by the right people and at the right time.
What does the future hold for your business?
I’m just finishing plans for a new studio which we’re all really excited about. I’m hoping this will mean I can continue to grow my business and branch into new materials and techniques. I love a crafting course so am hoping to put some newly learnt skills in to practise soon!