Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Getting to Know You: Eve Barnes

Ok so my second crafter interview was scheduled to come far far sooner than this but there we are - it's here now and it's good! This time it's the turn of Eve from Minifelts - tea and biccies at the ready and I'll hand you over. Take it away Eve!

Introduce yourself:

Hello, my name is Eve, I'm from the Isle of Wight and I make Minifelts. I run my own website and have a shop on Folksy selling handmade animal themed accessories all made from felt.

Tell us a bit about your creative background:

When I left school I studied music at University and hae played the drums for several years. I've been in many different bands and had quite a lot of success as a musician, playing big festivals and having my music played on the radio. When I finished University and struggled to find a job, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and randomly stumbled across the Folksy website. I was really inspired by the wonderful things people were creating, so I decided to teach myself to sew. I started making things from felt as it was easy to work with, and now I'm completely hooked!

Who / what inspires you?

As you can probably tell from my shop I love animals and cute things! I'm also addicted to reading craft blogs and endlessly browsing Etsy an d Folksy. I really enjoy reading about people's different creative processes, and looking at other people's creations really motivates me to create my own.

Tell us about your creative space:

Unfortunately I don't really have a creative space at the moment, as I'm currently flat hunting, so my sewing tends to just follow me wherever I go! In the summer I really love sewing outside, and on more gloomy days I tend to completely cover the sofa with my sewing and sew whilst watching DVDs or listening to music.

As for tools and materials I really love working with felt, as it's so versatile and comes in such a wonderful array of colours. I've never learned to use a sewing machine so all my creations are made completely by hand.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

I think my greatest achievement in terms of Minifelts is quite simply how much I've learned in such a short period of time! Before setting up my own website I knew nothing about web design, or anything about how to take a good product photo, or how to get my shop to come up near the top of a Google search.

But over the past few months I've worked really hard to make my online shop and website look as professional as possible. I'm now really pleased with my photographs and I'm starting to get the hang of blogging, branding, marketing and loads of things I knew nothing about before! When I first set up my shop on Folksy, my photos really didn't do justice to the products, but I have put a lot of time and effort into improving them and I'm really happy with the results. I also now find my work regularly featured on the folksy front page which lead to me being offered the chance to have my work stocked in a gallery in Lincoln, which all happened not long after I'd updated my photos, which just goes to show how important they are when selling online!

What are your hopes and plans for the future?

I have so many big ideas that I don't know where to start! Minifelts has only been up and running for less than a year, so I really want to expand the business, firstly by making a new range of products (I'm currently working on camera and Nintendo DS cases). I'm planning to open a shop on Etsy to try and attract more international buyers, as well as getting my Minifelts stocked in more "bricks and mortar" galleries and shops.

I also really want to get my work featured in magazines, so I'm working on that at the moment, and of course I'm sure like a lot of fellow crafters my ultimate goal is to make a living doing something I love!

Thanks a lot Eve - I love to find out a bit more about my fellow crafters. Eve's story is really similar to mine actually (minus the drumming success that is).

You can find Eve on facebook and twitter, check out her shop, blog, website, or contact her at eve(at)minifelts(dot)com

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