Introducing another small business and extremely colourful guest Clare from The Colourful Crow!
“Hi, I’m Clare and I run the Colourful Crow. The other member of the Colourful Crow team is my good friend Hayley who helps with making our lovely creations and is our resident pom pom expert. We make gifts to make people smile, including ornaments, decorations and garlands.
I live in Sussex with my little family. My daughter who is 2 and a half, and my fiancé Steve. We have another little girlie on the way very soon! In between family life, I work from home running my small business and I absolutely love it.
I’ve always loved being creative and began sewing on maternity leave. After requests from family and friends for gifts, I decided to see if I could make a business from it and I haven’t looked back!”
Clare’s designs are full of colour and talent! I wanted to know what inspired Clare to make her beautiful garlands and hanging ornaments, “I’ve always loved helping people to be happy and found that making colourful gifts and creations that could be personalised put a big smile on peoples faces. I love colour and want to make the world a brighter and happier place which I hope our garlands and decorations do. I’ve always loved being creative and am inspired by the beautiful world around us, especially nature and the outdoors.”
I’ve been following and watching The Colourful Crow grow on instagram for a while now and am always in awe of Clare’s bright style and sleek photography! I wanted to know if The Colourful Crow had any photography training, its never to late to learn something new, right!? Clare said she hadn’t. Can you believe it!! She said “Photographer is another one of those hats that you have to wear…at least in the beginning of running a small business. I spend time teaching myself using online resources like YouTube and Skillshare, and I practice (a lot!). It takes a while to get a style sorted that you are happy with. Even now I find myself changing things to fit more with what I want The Colourful Crow to look like as a brand. It’s always evolving.”
As Clare mentioned owning a small business meaning wearing many hats! I should know and I totally respect all business owners small and big for getting involved in well… business! As I asked Makepeacemade in my last post I also wanted to ask Clare what it was like to run a small business and what advice The Colourful Crow would give. I thinks its really important to hear different peoples perspectives and this way we can all pick up some tips along the way.
Clare says “Running a small business is the best thing ever. It’s so rewarding, every little sale, review, like, comment, share on social media etc really does mean the world and we are so grateful for all of it. I have a little girl and one on the way very soon so it means I can work from home and work flexibly around family life which I absolutely love.
Of course, it’s hard as well. Running a small business means you have to wear so many different hats and try to be the best you can be at all of them. Whether that’s design, marketing, finances, photography etc. It’s a really steep learning curve, but the important thing is to embrace it all and to recognise how much you are growing and learning as part of the journey. We all make mistakes along the way and have days where we question what we are doing if something goes wrong, but if you love what you do, it’s important to get back up and keep going.
For anyone wanting to start a small business I’d say just go for it. There’s lots of anxieties and fear around taking that step, putting yourself out there and starting something new, and people might try and dissuade you from doing it. But if it’s something you love just follow your heart and make it happen. You won’t regret it!
Also make use of social media and the connections you can find on there. People are so supportive. We really found such a great network on Instagram. Everyone was so helpful and kind and we’ve made so many insta friends. Most of our sales came through social media in the beginning so it’s definitely worth making sure you have a strong presence on social channels. But, I would pick one channel first and concentrate on doing that right rather than lots, because it’s a lot of work and can be overwhelming.”
Thanks so much Clare for sharing all your advice and for being honest about the hardships. Talking business in the current pandemic I wanted to ask Clare if she’d seen a bigger demand during Covid-19 or if small businesses has struggled. Clare mentioned that the demand during Covid has actually been higher! “It’s a time when people have moved towards supporting small and local businesses more which has been really really lovely. I know a lot of people were anxious to begin with about keeping their businesses going, but customers have been so supportive and kind. We initially shut our Etsy shop because of postage issues and being high risk because I’m pregnant, but we had so many requests for gifts that we chose to open up again and I’m so pleased we did.” This is amazing to hear and I’m so glad while self isolating Clare’s been able to keep busy and happy.
The Colourful Crow has definately had their work cut out for them during lock down creating A special little rainbow bird. “We designed them with NHS staff in mind. I worked for the NHS as an Occupational Therapist for quite a few years and Hayley still works there so it really did mean a lot to be able to make something special for staff on the frontline.”
Enjoy your cuppa,
All Images on this post are copyright of The Colourful Crow, Hev’s Home Crochet has been given permission to use them for illustrative purposes.