Monday, 17 October 2011

Interview with Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness

How did Beautiful Things by Claire Mackaness start?

Beautiful Things was launched in March 2010 as an offshoot from my card making hobby business.  My Mum bought me a small sewing machine for Christmas with the idea being I could sew on my cards, which was the fashion at the time.  I soon realised I could make things with it too and started making bunting and basic items.  Since then I have self taught myself how to make all sorts of things and the cards have taken a back seat.  I do still make them to order for some of my old regular customers though.

How did you get into crafting?

I have been crafty since I was tiny, my Mum will tell you I often went off into my bedroom for hours on end and appeared with something creative.  One of my best creations was an entire plane made from cardboard boxes and a Biggles hat made from a bobble hat with socks stuck in the sides for flaps!  Mum and Dad have a picture of me flying my plane in the garden somewhere but I’m not sharing that with you!  Professionally I have been crafty for about 10 years, starting with cards, then glass painting, moving onto contemporary works of art, Soap making, back to cards and then onto sewing.  Let’s just say I get bored easily!  I am sticking with sewing now though as there is so much variation with it and I love that I can create almost anything I like.

How often do run craft classes and what do you teach?

 I run classes on an as and when basis.  As long as I have enough people interested in learning something I will put on a class.  I hope as word spreads and when my website is finally finished (watch this space) I will be running a lot more.

When did you start the Knights way community market?

The Ingrave Community Market was started in September 2009 as an opportunity for me to promote my wares locally and encourage other like minded crafty types to sell theirs.  I gave it up after 2 years simply because I had a new addition to the family and my business had grown.  Something had to give and I couldn't give the market the time it needed anymore.  The Community Centre is keeping it running for now though so hopefully it will continue on to be a success still.

Tell me about the collections you have coming up for Mesh and The French Quarter?

 I have some new scarves coming soon to MESH as well as hopefully some re-purposed clothing in the new year.  French Quarter are getting some lovely winter bags as well as some luxury evening bags too.

Do you have any other projects do you have coming up for different shops?

No projects planned, but I have my fingers crossed on a few more that I have approached recently. Obviously if you own a shop and are reading this and think I could make something for you, do get in touch!

Where can we catch you next?

 My next craft fair is at the Reading Rooms in Billericay High street on Sat 29th October and then I will be at St Marys Church Craft and Gift Fair, also in Billericay High Street on the 12th November. That’s my last event for the year then as I am then off on an extended holiday until mid January so it will be the last chance you have to buy from my stall.