Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Jessica and I live in Adelaide, South Australia. I am a stay at home mummy to my 13 month old boy Jacob and I am married to an amazing and supportive husband. What more could a girl want!
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use? I love bright and fun fabrics! I am completely obsessed with fabric and don't think anyone can have too much (even though my husband would like to think so!)
I started off selling just pouches but once I made one I couldn't stop and before I knew it I had 20 pouches to put in the shop. I have since extended my product range to passport covers, sleep eye masks, hand-bound journals and many more things.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process? I get most of my inspiration from making simple everyday items, making them fun and vibrant while also making them practical. My creative process starts with the fabric itself, finding a combination which works, then choosing which item will fit with that design.
I like to work in a production line style so I am usually working of 5 to 10 items at a time. I find it is more productive when I work like this.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art? I have been making bits and pieces for many years but never really stuck with one particular craft. I enjoyed making jewellery for a couple of years and have a huge bead collection like you wouldn't even imagine, but everything changed when my sister went to the UK for a few years. She left behind her sewing machine and it looked so lonely, collecting dust in the corner of the room. The next day I went out and brought my first piece of fabric and a zipper, read a few tutorials online and made my first zip pouch. I was hooked and haven't put away my sewing machine since. I probably owe it all to my sister for where I am today. Thanks sister!
I love creating and I can't image what life would be like without it. I think I would be a very bored girl!
How did you come up with your business name? When I first started my online store I was still just experimenting with lots of different crafts (jewellery, scrapbooking, stationery etc) so it really was just bits of 'Odds & Blobs'. Nothing overly exciting hey, but now it just sticks and I wouldn't have it called anything else!
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
I really love Flickr (flickr.com) and Craftster (craftster.org). They are both an inspiring community. I usually potter around the madeit.com.au forums every now and again as it is nice to talk to people who are also selling their handmade beauties.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
I think it is really important to create something which you are really passionate about. Make a shop that you would like to shop in yourself. It's really important to believe in the product you are making and selling.
Don't expect sales to come rolling in the minute you open your shop, it doesn't happen overnight but if you put the time and effort in, the hard work will pay off.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Promoting is definitely one of my weaknesses. I have a blog (oddsnblobs.blogspot.com) and twitter account (twitter.com/oddsnblobs) but that is about as far as I have gone.
My biggest promotion tool has been listing new items and relisting sold items every couple of days to ensure I stay at the top of the category pages. I have built up a great customer base so repeat business helps to also get the word out about my shop. Communicating with your customers is really important. That is one of the nicest things about buying handmade, it feels so much more personal!
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way? I don't think I have had too many but one thing I didn't do enough research on was postage. When I first started selling online I underestimated the cost of shipping overseas and think it was a case of trial and error until I finally got it right. That was definitely an expensive mistake.
What do you like to do besides creating? I enjoy just sitting back, reading a book and just watching my little man play and explore. It fascinates me to think what goes on in their minds.