Over the past two years or so, Miss Artsy-Crafty has grown beyond what I could’ve dreamed. I’ve been so inspired by the opportunities I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the things I’ve learnt along the way. This blog has grown to be a place where I share everything I find beautiful, meaningful and interesting with the world and I’m so grateful to have to space to do this!
It’s been an exciting time, with the launch of Miss Artsy-Crafty Cards coming up, and reaching 1000 followers on Instagram, so I thought I’d celebrate by giving away a few lovely things from some of my favourite South African brands.
MEET THE MAKERS
Apostrophe Bath and Body
Apostrophe Bath and Body is a brand created by Katherine, in Durban. She makes beautiful cold-pressed soaps that are vegan and smell heavenly and are sure to make your skin feel like new.
Studio Melissa Louise
Amongst other things, Melissa-Louise creates amazing scented soy vegan candles right here in Cape Town. She also writes blog that always has such inspiring content and does creative consultations.
Jaynie of Hallo Jane creates beautiful pieces that make life a little more interesting. Her products range from jewellery to home décor as well as other things.
I asked each maker a few questions about hustling, creative inspiration and business. Here’s what they had to say:
1. What’s the most fulfilling part about being an entrepreneur?
Kath: “The most fulfilling part about being an entrepreneur is probably the freedom. It is so exciting to wake up each day and be able to work on my own goals for the brand and feel truly invested in something. Apostrophe feels like an extension of myself which is so fulfilling and drives me in an unbelievable way, if the brand succeeds I succeed so that is very exciting.”
Melissa: “It is incredibly fulfilling to see people enjoying a product that you conceptualized and hand crafted!”
Jaynie: “Choosing my own path and making the rules as I go. Love being creative everyday and being able to express myself and my passions on a daily basis.”
2. How do you keep hustling and stay inspired?
Kath: “The nice thing about soap making is that I have a formula and recipe that I repeat over and over, however each batch ends up unique, I also get to be creative with scents and colours. I then don’t feel too much pressure to always be churning out the next exciting thing because finding out what each batch will be like is exciting enough. I am also then able to take my time and create new bars when I am truly inspired. This usually stems from the scent that I want to use, I then think of its qualities and try and create a bar that ‘looks like it smells’ if that make sense? I do however make a huge amount of soap every day, even on weekends, and although it is something I enjoy I always have to be careful that it doesn’t become a chore, I do this by making sure I still have time to create once – off spur of the moment bars when I am feeling spontaneous and creative.”
Melissa: “Set mini milestones for yourself, celebrating and making a fuss of the small victories keeps me motivated to reach the ‘bigger’ ones… Staying inspired is easy, we live in a beautiful city, have an online world at our finger tips and are surrounded by friends and family who are truly inspiring!”
Jaynie: “I loose focus easily. So I try to set short term goals every chance I get. New project and the challenges that comes with them inspire me the most. Lots of tea and late nights. Being your own boss is not as glamorous as everyone thinks but it sure is rewarding in many ways. Makers know, we don’t work 9 to 5 and chill as soon as we get home. We work till the work is done. And that’s never… Lol!”
3. What do you find most challenging about the online market place?
Kath: “The main challenge with the online market place for me has been my lack of technological skills, haha, although I used Instagram and Facebook before Apostrophe, I definitely didn’t use it as much, so marketing on social media has been quite a new experience for me. I have really enjoyed it though, because I cannot believe the amount of creatives in this country, Instagram has really opened my eyes and also allowed me to meet all of these amazing creatives that are doing the most amazing things! I feel like every time I open my Instagram I am flooded with inspiration by local creatives, which is awesome. Another challenge has definitely been managing a website, with my aforementioned technological skills it has been quite a learning curve. I have however been lucky enough to be assisted by Shopstar who are always an email away when I have any issues.”
Melissa: “Generating traffic to your store, marketing and setting yourself apart, all of these things are closely linked. Marketing without a budget to do so can be tough, but social media is a great tool and it’s free, by having a good social media presence displaying your processes and what makes your product unique will set you apart from your competitors, by doing all this you will also be generating traffic to your store.”
Jaynie: “Getting everything off the ground at 1st was a challenge. But as soon as you get your target market that can relate to the brand and fall in love with your products, it becomes a beautiful place.
I (like many others) am very bad at admin and paperwork. That was always my most challenging part of the online business. Emails and admin. But luckily I have Carla now who has recently been promoted to online shop manager. And she is amazing. I get to focus on my strong points now and she one hers.
Advise for anyone doing online. I know it’s in our blood as creatives to try do everything yourself. But don’t do it. You will burn out eventually. Get assistance where you need it most. That way you can spend more time on growing your business and keeping it current and fresh. You will see and feel the amazing difference.
We are so blessed to live in a world that allows you to run your business from an online platform. That is something that I think that changed the whole game for creative people. And the possibilities that lay in it inspire others to take the creative path rather than the once society use to tell us to take.”
I hope these makers have inspired you to keep on hustling and to nurture your creative soul.
Watch out for the launch of the card range soon!