Q & A with Kelly Anne from Simply Handmade 4U
What's the name of your handmade business and how did you come up with the name?
My Business is called Simply Handmade 4U, originally I thought of naming it Handmade For You, but there were already some businesses using this name or similar. After playing around with the name for a bit I finally decided on Simply Handmade 4U.
How did you get into crafting and how long have you been crafting?
In my family over the generations, sewing has always been a big part of our life, my grandmother always use to tell me how her grandfather had a sewing workshop and every day after school she used to spend her time time there. Her grandfather would give her samples of fabric and she would go into town to buy matching threads for him. She learned to sew from a very young age, and made lots of clothes for my mum, auntie and uncles. She taught my mum to sew and she has now been sewing for years. I’ve seen her make dresses, costumes and all sorts of clothing. I still remember some of the clothes she made for me and my siblings. To this day her handmade clothes are amazing, and I love when she makes clothes for the grandkids. She always has the best ideas and they turn out into beautiful items of clothing. I kept on the tradition and learned to sew too. I always remember my grandmother giving me fabric scraps when I was little and teaching me different stitches by hand on them, my mum taught me how to use the sewing machine and ever since then my love of sewing just grew and grew. My daughter aged 8 has recently shown interest in learning to sew and my mum has already been teaching her to use the sewing machine. I hope sewing continues to be part of our family for many more generations.
What kinds of things do you like to make?
I like to try my hand at sewing anything I can haha, I like making hair accessories such as Scrunchies, hairbows and vintage style head wraps, I’ve also made children’s clothes, Bow ties, toys and Christmas decorations.
What kinds of materials do you use?
I love working with fabrics, cottons, knits, and felt, most of the items I make if not all use one these or a combination of them.
What new crafts do you want to try?
I’ve never tried quilting, and yet I have a lovely stash of fabric remnants that would be perfect for it.
What is your favourite craft tool?
I’d have to say my scissors I use them on every craft I’ve made so far.
What is your favourite Creative Craft supply?
I love your wool blend Creative craft felt, it’s lovely to work with and the variety of colours available is amazing!
What’s one of your favourite things you’ve made?
I wanted to make my children a hobby horse and see them use their imagination and galloping around the house. I used the pattern from WhimsyWooStables on etsy. I loved making these and my children love to play with them. I will be making more of these in the future.
What are some of your favourite things to do in your spare time?
When I’m not sewing in my spare time, I love spending time with my family. We are in midsummer right now here in Gibraltar, so we spend most of our time at the beach or bathing pavilion.
What advice would you give to people just starting out crafting?
Don’t doubt yourself and your abilities, there is a craft for everyone out there and always remember when it comes to handmade there are no mistakes, it’s what makes handmade unique and no two items are ever the same.
What's the hardest thing about running a handmade business?
Being able to run it full time, you need to have the financial means to be able to dedicate yourself to your craft full time. It’s wonderful if you can, and I hope to be able to one day.
Share a success story with us..
Completing my first CE/UKCA self testing file for the hobby horses was an amazing feeling for me. I thought it would be so daunting, thankfully with the purchased testing pack all the steps are there and it was easy to follow. I’m so glad I went through it and I can now make hobby horses knowing they comply to regulations. I’d advise anyone thinking of doing this, to go for it. There are a lot of forms to fill and alot of different tests, you even have to burn two samples of toys after you’ve made them, but it’s so worth it in the end. This was definitely a success for me!
What inspires your designs?
Everything and anything!
I could be at the fabric shop browsing fabrics and get a new idea based on the print. I also make lists based on holidays e.g Christmas, and I’ll list everything that comes to mind about it, I recently made some Brussel Sprouts for decorations just thinking of Christmas dinner haha I love them
Can you tell us about your design process?
My felt Christmas decorations start from a sketch as soon as anything gives me an idea or inspiration it goes straight into my notebook. For children’s clothing I usually browse through patterns and purchase digital ones to make. The scrunchies, head wraps and hair bows are my own self made patterns, these started as sketches until I found the right size I was happy with.
What's ahead in 2021?
Plenty of new ideas!
I’ve been making some new Christmas decorations to add to our collection, some are still in the design process but I’m hoping to have them all ready and advertised soon.
I’m also working on new hair accessory sets and I’m looking to have these ready before the end of summer. I do have other crafts in mind that I’d like to try but I’ll keep them a secret for now….
Where can we find out more?
You can find me on Facebook and Etsy. Below are all the links: