My name is Caroline Nash and I run a home based business called 'Carolee Crafts'. Designing and making gifts and cards using fabric, lace, ribbon, beads and more, in fact anything that falls into my shopping basket when out and about, just crying out to be bought.
I have stitched and created gifts and cards for over 30 years; getting near to my 50th made me take a look at my life and realise that there was a lot more to it than working in a job and for people I did not like.
I have a real love of stitching and making gifts for friends and family and the obvious progression was to start selling to others and share my talents with them. I wanted to carve out a niche to be fully self-employed and not dependent on other work directions so, in 2003, I started my business whilst still working full-time and was successful enough that in 2008, I was able to give up my job and run the business full-time.
What do you love most about your business?
I love being creative and working for myself; I am in control of my own day, what I do and how I do it. And I really love not to be involved in office politics (something we probably all can identify with!). I am an early riser and start my working day at 5.30 am so I get to enjoy the peace and quiet and the wonderful mornings. Creating is a passion for me and a calling that I just had to follow.
I am really happy at the moment - more sales would be nice but I'm really content!
What is your aim for the next year?
I am currently working on party plan products, making samples of approximately 24 repeatable items to be able to then take orders at party events.
A lot of my creations are OOAK (one of a kind) so with with the Party Plan, I need to design and source materials that can be repeated for multiple orders. I already have my first booking from a good client scheduled for September - my goal is to have brought this to fruition by mid August so I'm happy I'm currently on plan.
The next stage is to average two paties a month (if not more!) by the end of November. Please check out my contact details if you're interested in organising any parties.
Where do you ultimately see yourself?
I see myself running a successful online and party business, dealing both with repeat customers and sourcing new ones - my plan is that I will achieve this within the next two years.
Tip 1 Always follow your dreams and never put off for another day, as, inevitably, that day never comes. Don't let anyone or anything stop you from achieving your dream!
Tip 2 Be passionate about what you create it shows when you are talking to potential customers. Always have a smile on your face - the saying 'smile and the world smiles with you" is so true
Tip 3 Don't listen to negative comments from family and friends
Tip 4 You do not need a large bank balance to start your dream, start small and reinvest any profit back into the business for more stock, you will be amazed how quickly funds build up.
Tip 5 Join forums such as Creation|Collaboration to get support and advice when you need it
A few last words - How do we contact you?
You can contact me in a variety of ways - firstly on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carolee-Crafts/48769671593, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Caroleecrafts, via my website at http://www.caroleecrafts.com/ and, finally, by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Caroline, I love that you have such a focused set of goals and targets for your business - your work is so lovely, I can see that your Party Plan products will definitely be a big hit! Don't forget to check out Caroline's fabulous website for further details on her products.
Check in next Friday when we'll be featuring yet another woman run business! If you are a business woman and would like to be considered for our Friday Feature, please leave a comment below with you email address and we'll be in touch.