Friday, 25 May 2012
Designer Interview: Claire Mackaness
Hello! Where can we find out more about you?
I'm Claire Mackaness owner and designer of Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness
What do you make?
Handmade gifts and home wares from vintage and vintage inspired materials
Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere. People, places and the tinterweb. I am a huge fan of blogs and have a massive blog roll that if I don’t settle down to look at every night can easily stack up to hours worth of reading!
What tips do you have for generating ideas for designs?
Keep your eyes open and listen to your customers. If they are after something in particular see if you can design something to suit their requirements.
How do you record your ideas?
Mainly in my head to be honest, but I do have a notebook and like to take sneaky pics on my iphone when I am out and about!
What tips do you have for motivating yourself?
I have to admit it’s monetary! Since biting the bullet and going self employed this year, I have to keep a roof over my head and food on my table. I also enjoy the freedom of working for myself and seeing my children growing up and the thought of going back to working for someone else fills me with dread!
Do you have any time management tips?
I have a clip board which I work from on a weekly/daily basis with all the things that I ‘must do’ on it for the week. I then fit in my ‘would like to do’s’ and my ‘should do’s’ around those important jobs
I wrote a blog all about it which has had a huge amount of visits called ‘How to be Superwoman’ http://beautifulthingsbyclaire.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/how-to-be-superwoman.html
What’s your workspace like?
I’m planning a studio blog soon so watch this space
Where can we find your designs for sale?
On my website (although I am naughty and don’t keep my shop very well stocked), at craft fairs (see the events section on my website), via facebook and also on folksy www.folksy.com/shop/artyfartymack but again I am terrible at keeping it stocked. Best thing you can do is visit my facebook page where I take pictures of everything I do and just shout. 9 times out of 10 I’ll have something in stock for you and if I don’t well then I’d be happy to make it.
Do you have any top tips for other designer makers?
Stick at it. It’s not easy, it’s far from a quick win financially but if you persevere you will get there. I’m not there yet in fact I have a long way to go, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!