Can you describe your business?
The Craftsmyth is a newly established business, managed by Anita Smyth – focused on producing high quality handmade arts and crafts. We currently produce and sell a wide range of arts and crafts including the following items:
- – Handmade Felted Pictures
- – Handbags
- – Books (Memory Books)
- – Scarves & Hats
- – Felted Vessels
- – Pin Cushions / Cushions
- – Mini Photo Albums
- – Tea Cosies
Why did you start your own business?
In parallel with my 20+ year career as a scientist, I have practiced a variety of crafts including patchwork, textiles, hand and machine embroidery, and felting. I am largely self-taught, and get immense joy out of creating beautiful items out of a variety of materials. It’s great when other people delight in my work too! Having experienced recent redundancy, I thought there was no better time to see if I can actually ‘live the dream’, which would be to turn my hobby into a business through selling my handmade products, both online and from a commercial premise. It is still early days, as I have only been established for little over one month, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to start my own business.
The Craftsmyth @ Midtown Makers (Ballymena)
What are the most enjoyable factors of running your own business?
Born and bred in the beautiful farmland of the Roe Valley region, I delight in the natural world around me, soaking up the colours and textures to incorporate into my arts and crafts. My fresh approach to the age old technique of wet felting, combined with fine embroidery satisfies a creative streak in me and produces unique and stunning pieces of art. The thing I enjoy most about running my own business would be the fact that I can experiment with new materials and make a steady income, while doing something that I love. My hope is that others will love the results of my hard work!
What are the main challenges facing the business going forward?
I suppose one of my main challenges going forward is to keep producing bespoke pieces of work. Promotion is another challenge I face. With selling online, I am required to advertise on various platforms. As I am somewhat new to the social media scene, this has proved a daunting experience. However, with practice and some advice, I have become more familiar with the basics of Social Media, and as the saying goes “Things can only get better”!
What advice would you give someone thinking about starting a business?
Planning is key! I wasn’t sure about how to go about starting my own business, as it was all new to me. My first step was to contact my Local Enterprise Agency, in this case it was Roe Valley Enterprises Ltd. The support I received was second to none. Prior to meeting with Ryan at Roe Valley Enterprises, I was somewhat pessimistic about my business idea and it’s viability! However, after a positive and informative initial meeting with Ryan I was more determined than ever to turn my hobby into a sustainable business! After the business planning process was completed, I felt more reassured and confident in myself, and my ability to run my own business. To conclude, if I was to give one piece of advice to anybody new to business / thinking about starting their own business, it would be to contact your Local Enterprise Centre!
For more information about Anita’s Craft business you can follow her on Facebook at The Craftsmyth or contact her on Etsy. Thinking about starting your own business? For more information on how to start your own business contact us today: