I have always had a strong interest in arts and crafts including pottery, mosaics, stained glass, jewellery making and garden design. Following the birth of my third child I felt the need to improve my work life balance and sought a new challenge that would allow me to use these creative skills. I knew I wanted to have my new babies hands cast and framed like I had with my daughters. I searched high and low and finally found a local company but sadly they had seized trading.
To cut a long story short after lots of chats, dreaming and contemplation I bought the company’s remaining stock and equipment and spent around a year perfecting my technique. In the Summer of 2011 ‘Times to Treasure’ officially launched.
‘Times to Treasure’ specialises in three dimensional life casts/sculptures for all ages, but primarily children and babies’ hands and feet (although I did my first babies bum last week!). I also produce beautiful hand crafted personalised silver fingerprint, hand and footprint and art work jewellery. These are quality keepsakes that last a lifetime.
I started ‘Times to Treasure’ for around £250. It was an affordable option in the beginning and I have put a lot of money back into the business, with new stock, branding, business cards and training in other areas such as the silver finger prints and producing my own jewellery range and designs in silver. This enables me to have a product to sell at craft fairs and markets as well as promoting the keepsake jewellery and casts.
I have a website which I’ve never felt happy with so I have ploughed most of my online efforts into Facebook. I have a growing customer base and very active page, which I can quite easily sell and promote my products from. I also network a lot. There is a thriving craft business community in Dorset and everyone is so supportive of each other. It’s also great to have people who have been where you are or are they now that you can talk through concerns, ideas and basically ask advice from.
I eventually moved by business from the kitchen table to a studio in my garden (above). It’s important at the end of the day to be able to shut the door on the business instead of trying to eat breakfast around drying casts! I do however find that working from home my time management isn’t always the best. The run up to Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day it can feel like a full time job for 10 people! It’s crazy and manic and at the same time the best!
In November 2014 I won the Wessex FM Made in Dorset Award. This has to be one of the highlights of running my own business. It’s an overwhelming feeling and experience winning an award for a business which is solely run by you and celebrates your creations. I cannot thank enough my customers for all their support over the past 3 years.
Find out more about Grainne and ‘Times to Treasure’ on Facebook www.facebook.com/TimestoTreasure.co.uk