Today it is my great joy to share with you an interview with Vanessa Scott-Hayward from six0six design. Vanessa has a very unique touch she infuses into her paper based products. She also offers us some insightful views on running a craft business. For this all I thank her.
How long have you been a crafter?
I honestly don’t think there was a time when I wasn’t a crafter. As a professional I set up my design business in 2011 but as far back as I can remember I have been making things. Some of the most vivid memories of my childhood are of playing in my dad’s workshop, turning offcuts of timber into towns. Having an idea and the process of turning it into something tangible is one of the most satisfying feelings that you can have.
What are you making? Tell us about your favourite crafts, whether they are for business or pleasure?
At the moment I am working on a new range of Comic Book Pens which are an extension of my Hand Covered Pencil Sets. I always have so many ideas bubbling away in my head; the challenge is to pick one.
I love using materials that have a history to them and a lot of the designs in my business stem from this. The vintage maps that I use in my Keepsake Boxes, the novels in my Wedding Wreaths and the dictionaries and comic books I use all have their own stories that I think add an extra something to the finished piece.
Crafts that I love for pleasure are felting and knitting. I love the tactile feel of working with fibres. Both are time consuming crafts but therapeutic in their process and I use them to relax. I’m the type of person who always likes to be busy doing something so I like to have a personal craft project on the go. At the moment I’m working on a crocheted blanket and making a skirt for my 91 year old grandmother.
Tell us about a colour you really love?
Blue. Blue always reminds me of summer, blue skies, days by the sea.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love to trawl flea markets, charity shops and second hand stores. I have an ever growing collection of vintage books, old magazines and maps. The shelves in my studio are filled with boxes of slides, old film reels, clock movements. dried leaves, seed heads. All these things become a part of the process. My studio is a place of inspiration with all my collections surrounding me.
But mainly an idea will start in my head, I’ll sketch it out, sometimes leaving it for a week or a month. I’ll think away at it and then I start working on prototypes. I love to work in 3D, making models, samples. It gives me a real feel for the idea.
Something you wish you knew when you started your craft business?
You cannot do it all yourself. At some point you need to learn to delegate.
Put in place systems for your accounts. This one I learnt the hard way after I was faced with an entire year of receipts in a drawer. I use FreeAgent now and it’s a lifesaver.
Record everything: labour sheets, your time on projects, your ideas and methods.
If it’s not working there’s a reason. Sometimes no matter how much you love to make a particular item, it may not be a viable product for your business.
The things that scare you are normally the ones you need to do.
Have an email list. Adding a Mailing List sign in option should be one of the first things that you do on your blog, website, facebook page. I use Mail Chimp and recently upgraded to the paid option so that I could send out autoresponder emails.
What is the best thing about your business craft?
Being my own boss, having creative control of what I make.
Getting to wake up every day and go to work, my business isn’t just a job it’s part of who I am and I love it.
To find more about sixosix design, here are some more links: