Today we would like to introduce you to Stephanie
and her Etsy shop Handmade CuddlesHandmade Cuddles has been selling on Etsy since October 2010, she specializes in making lovely and colourful decorations and cushions for kids. Today she is sharing a little about her shop and selling handmade items.
What motivated you to start your shop?
In 2009 I moved away from my family and friends in the UK to the Netherlands to be with my fiancé I had always enjoyed crafts while I lived in the UK, but the move gave me more spare time to pursue it further. Since then my sewing skills have developed greatly and I just love the challenge of creating things from fabric and felt. I would properly keep everything I make, except I need to finance buying more materials (and wouldn't have the storage space to keep everything either!) So I discovered Etsy and began selling, then spread out to other online markets, craft fairs and shops in the Netherlands.
What is the story behind your shop name?
Originally I was Toastie Studio, which is the name of my website development company (I am also a web developer), but I wanted something cuter and more kid friendly. I spent more than a year trying to think of a name that was still free on Etsy and as a .com domain. Then one day "cuddle designs" came to me, but it was taken and a bit more brain storming led to "Handmade Cuddles" and I just fell in love with it. I had my new logo designed within an hour and am so happy with my new shop name :)
What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
The friends and connections I have built up since having an Etsy shop have really surprised me. Not speaking much Dutch I was difficult to find people who enjoyed crafts to chat to where I live, so joining the online community has been amazing and so inspiring.
What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
I love bright pops of colour, they just brighten my day and I want to bring that to others. I love a fresh white wall with colourful bunting, or brightening a childs room with cushions and decorations that you can easily update as they grow. It is also super important to me that my products stand up to "kids play" so all my cushions are washable, and made with soft fleece and no zips.
Please tell us a little about the children's items market / handmade movement in your Country?
In the Netherlands the handmade movement is just starting to pick up. In the north where I live there are more and more craft fairs popping up, and slowly I meeting other like minded crafters. I am also finding that people here love to try making stuff themselves, so also offer kids craft birthday parties, and craft groups to teach others how to sew and make simple projects.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I don't seem to ever not be working! I have 3 businesses that I run (Handmade Cuddles, web design company and a craft supplies company), and I also work part-time as a postal delivery person. I suppose you would say I spend my free time sleeping, but also try to squeeze in some special time with my fiancé and have movie nights, or go out bike riding for fresh air (if it isn't raining).
Handmade Cuddles is offering 15% discount (excluding shipping) to our blog reader. To use the coupon, visit her etsy store and enter code 'ETSYKIDS15' at checkout.