I think I've been crafty all my life. I still remember when I was about 6, I took off all my dolls clothes and did all the altering to suit my eyes - cutting, sewing and drawing. LOL. My mommy was half excited, half angry about it! At 13, I became my sister's hair styler (without learning it) and I made her very unhappy several times. Since the age of 14, I started to cut and sew my own school clothes with my mom's very old sewing machine (again, no proper learning LOL) and even made some for my friends. I guess I was lucky that people around us were pretty tolerant :-)
But everything started to get serious when my oldest daughter turned 2 and her hair started to get longer and beautiful. As every proud new mama, I loved to dress her up and I loved all the beautiful hair bows all over Ebay US. So full, so round, so many layers, colours, so pretty! I could not find anything closer to it here in the UK, and the international shipping rate was so high! And most of all, the seller who had the bows I liked the most didn't ship outside the US! GRRRR! So I was determined to learn to make them myself. I then bought a set of bows instructions online. Here are one of my very first bows (dated 7th august 2007)
And here is how I did a month later (picture dated 3rd Sept.2007)
At first, just to make bow centers and hair clippies, I created a ribbon rose fold which lately became rather popular. I loved those ribbon roses so much, I made so many of them and mastered my technique. That's when my online friends started to tell me to venture into the bridal market. Below is one of my first bridal bouquet with satin ribbon roses:
And very soon later I started to have bouquet orders. Custom orders are however very challenging. This lotus bridal bouquet was my first bouquet sale. That lovely lady came to me and she just wanted a lotus bouquet in hot pink - I've never made a lotus stem and had no idea how I should do it. But I could not let that promising first sale slip out of my hands. So, what I did was brainstorming, google searching for images of the real flowers and making my own sketch. I was so lucky I could perssuade her to go with my plan and when she received it, she really loved it.
Since then, I started to explore more materials I could use, more types of flowers I could make. I 've learnt a lot through trials and errors. Below is the picture of my first hair flowers sale. It was actually an Etsy Alchemy. A lovely lady posted a picture and said she wanted something similar for her wedding. I was so glad she chose me. I tried to make her something similar to the photo but I added my own twist. And she loved it much more than the original version!Now in my ETSY and FOLKSY stores, you can find many types of handmade bridal bouquets, hair fascinators, boutonnieres, corsages, brooches, even necklaces etc with all types of materials. And also E-books on how to make some of my signature's flowers and ribbon sculptures. I never can thank my customers enough. They built me up and they've been a great source of inspiration!
Want to know how other EART TEAM member got started? Follow our Thursday BLOG RING @Michelle's Charm World's blog.
Have a nice day everyone!