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Meet the Maker #2

I'm really pleased with this feature and we are only on week 2. I've been reading through so many peoples stories on how they got started crafting and I've been both laughing at their funny stories and welling up at some of their experiences. I love how crafting has become a haven for so many.

This weeks Maker is no different. And i'm very pleased to introduce Mirry, who is the proud owner of MirryMirry.

Hey Mirry and thanks for taking part in the feature. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? - My name is Mirry and i'm from Boston - the original one; home of the Pilgrim Fathers, the Mayflower & the tallest & widest parish church in the whole of the UK

I'm a quiet content soul with a passion for watching Columbo, supping drinking chocolate & heading straight for the woofers whenever i see one! I spent a whole year entirely bed-bound once & I'm also a wheelchair rider. My electric chair is called Mabel & boasts a discreet groovy basket under the seat where i can store my lipstick, phone & goodies & embarrassingly that was one of the reasons i chose it!

You seem to have a fantastic outlook on life. Tell me how long have you been crafting? - for as long as i can remember. But it didn't become a routine thing until disability hit hard about 15 years ago. I'm mostly housebound & crafting has become my daily antidepressant.

What are your favourite crafts/ways to get creative? - everything that i craft i love. If I don't enjoy it I can't do it. Hand embroidery is one of my passions, I have tremendous patience (so i'm told!) which this is essential for pieces that take many weeks and days. Being the kind of activity i can pick up and put down at any moment it works well for me. I love being at my sewing machine too, but my poor stamina doesn't allow me to go there as often as i'd like, but it does beckon and boy do I have fun.

I love hand embroidery and your right, it can be very time consuming. Tell me a bit about your store - My etsy store is stocked with only pieces i love myself. I have a small variety of things because i adore creating them all. I've been trying for a long time to get to 100 stock items but I just can't get there. As soon as I add more, more sell - i'm not complaining of course, I love my buyers, I owe so much to them for saving my sanity : ) 

How do you make your items? - My items are made by hand, by me, in my cosy little sitting room that overlooks my sweet English garden full of chattering visiting birds. I'm mostly home alone, with my two tiny fluffy pupsters (who are now 12 & 9) by my feet & a little Gladys Knight on the stereo (drinking chocolate too - there's always a drinking chocolate).

I try not to embroider once the daylight goes; even a bright lamp isn't as good as natural light & I need really excellent light if i'm going to stitch the best that I can. During those darker hours I will 'hoop' my embroideries, prep my etsy shop stationary & craft cards & enjoy a little knitting. It's also the time when i will free my flowers from the many presses & group them ready for listing. 

WOW, so your kept busy and put a lot of tome into your store. What is your favourite item you have made? - probably the custom wedding embroidery hoops. I created one initially for my niece - used her wedding colours for the piece, loved it so much, & it has since become a regular shop item.

What have you learnt about turning your hobby into a business? - Not to ever assume you will know what people want! I've been bowled over by which has become my most popular pieces, & surprised by other items that I thought would be a hit to only fade into the background.

And finally, What advice would you give other small businesses? - give your customers a genuine reason to want to come back to you. Be approachable, friendly & amenable - it's one of the few advantages we can have over the online chains. Price properly, it's ok to charge for your time. Don't be afraid to close for vacations (or a catch up), i'm often closed due to relapses - the longest closure being 11 months, & it has never once affected my sales. & of course, always enjoy yourself : )

You can find out more about Mirry and her makes by following her Instagram too :)