The Handmade Seller Interviews are back, yay!
And to start us off, we have an interview with a UK-based woodturner called Mel, from Bluebell Woodturning, who produces beautiful products including live edge bowls, fruit ornaments, bottle stoppers and necklaces.
Now I will hand over to Mel…..
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m Mel, I’m married and I work from my home-based workshop in Dudley, West Midlands, England, creating turned items on my lathes… and when I’m not doing that I like to play Crown Green Bowls all summer long, go for walks and grow my own vegetables.
How did you get started in your handmade business?
Woodturning has been my hobby since 2003, and, having been asked at craft events if I had a shop, I opened up on Folksy in October 2014 and – to my surprise – sold three fruits and a bowl only hours later. I was hooked – and humbled that complete strangers wanted to buy my stuff!
What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?
I’ve always liked to work with wood and, having joined a local club (Black Country Wood Turners) in 2003, the joy of revealing what is under the bark has never left me.
Apart from crafts, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I do all my own DIY except electrics, and I enjoy reading crime novels and quizzing as part of a local pub team.
How long have you been creating art/crafts and how long have you been selling online?
I’ve always made things, right from a model cooker when my two daughters were young to now producing turned items and display stands for craft fair days. I’ve been on Folksy since October 2014 and opened an Etsy shop on 21st February 2017.
How many different places do you sell from?
I sell on Folksy and Etsy, as well as at Bernies Café’ (4 Main St, Ingleton, Carnforth LA6 3EB) which sells great food and has been stocking my work since June 2016. This is working out really well, since he gets a lot of tourists being in the Yorkshire Dales.
What’s your biggest non craft-related ambition?
I would like to win a Bowls singles competition with my family watching, including our grandson Lewis who I hope will take up bowls in four or five years time – he’s only 18 months old now.
How did you come up with your shop name?
I love Bluebells and it seems to evoke a sense of wellbeing for people and is easily remembered.
What is your favourite part of your handmade business?
Wrapping up orders – I get a real buzz sending things out, receiving feedback, and the walk to the Post Office gives me some exercise.
What are three tools in your workspace that you could not live without?
My lathes, turning chisels and Dust Bee Gone mask because fine dust particles can give you nasal cancer.
Any other handmade shops you’d like to recommend?
Yes, Dew Drop Crafts on Folksy – Julie is a lovely girl who gave me great support when I started.
More Tea, Vicar? on Folksy – Natalie makes lovely knit wear
JAustenJewelleryDesign on Folksy – Jacqueline makes beautiful one-off pieces.