Name of Business:
Tell us about your family.
I live in North Bucks with my husband and two boys ages 6yrs and 4yrs.
When did you launch?
CoolClay was launched in November 2005.
How did you go about getting started?
By chance really, I made a couple of personalised decorations one Christmas for my children. I love crafts and I love Christmas which got me thinking, maybe I could bring the two together, turning my hobby into a small part-time business which I could run from home. It seemed like a good starting point.
Before having children I’d worked in a factory as an Assembly Technician, I’ve always loved practical work. Whilst working in the factory I did a couple of courses at evening classes studying graphic design, another area which interested me and I’d often thought about trying to get into this line of work.
A few years passed I married my long term boyfriend and a few years later along came the children. I’d left my job just before my first son was born, I had no real plans to return to full time employment but always knew I wanted to do ‘something’, something I enjoyed, something I was interested in, something which would challenge me.
Launching CoolClay was a big step for me, but it bought the things I enjoy together, crafts, design, practical work and Christmas!
What has worked well about your business?
It’s a very low-key part-time business and I’m only really getting to grips with the business side of things 4 years down the line. It orginally started as a hobby, there’s alot to learn turning a hobby into a business. Its a huge learning curve. But overall I think the fact it started as a hobby has helped me greatly.
What has been your biggest challenge so far? How have you dealt with it?
My biggest challenge is my yearly tax return. I deal with it when I can no longer put it off.
How do you fit in work with the family?
When I first launched all my practical work was done in the evenings once the children were in bed. I often spent time during the day thinking ideas through, planning and researching. Its much easier now both children are at school, I can work during the day. Its still very much a part-time business which suits me and my family very well. 2009 will see the launch of new products making CoolClay a year round business, which I’m very excited about.
What advice would you give to someone else wanting to work in this area?
You have to love it, be passionate about what you choose to do. Its certainly not an easy way to make money. Its actually very very hard to make money from a craft business. Many many hours are worked for little monetary return. Personally for me, its not all about money although more would be very nice! Ultimately I’m learning to run my own business from home, its my goal to make CoolClay a success.
Your website link: www.coolclay.co.uk