What do you make? How did you get into it?
I make purses, bags, and apparel for crafty people. I also carve stamps for making custom fabric and other paper products. I sew dresses, plushies, and baby things. I make miniatures, fabric accessories, and mobiles.
I learned to sew when I was young. My parents also didn’t mind when I used to color, glue, assemble, or take apart things to make other things. I did these things starting at age 11 or so. I took that as a sign to continue working with my hands and imagination and I guess I never stopped.
Are you a full-time crafter? If not, what is your day job?
I am a freelance writer. You could say that I am a crafter 75% of the time.
What motivates you in pursuing this business?
The joy of making something with my hands. There is nothing else in this world that calms me more than crafting. Apart from reading but that doesn’t really put food on the table now, does it?
What are some of the challenges of maintaining a craft business?
In a handmade business, maintaining stocks can be tricky. If you’re a one-person factory like me, it is important to work your behind off if you want to keep up with the demand. Another challenge would be the lack of supplies. You see so many nice materials online but you can only dream of using them to make things.
What’s a new skill–craft or business–that you’d like to learn?
For the immediate future (read: this month), I’d love to learn screen printing. [We’ll bring Hocus next time!–Er, but that won’t be this month.]
What’s your most recent craft business milestone?
After months of reflection (and persuasion from well-meaning friends), I finally conducted a craft workshop. Looking forward to doing more!
What is your favorite lesson in your experience of your business?
Go with your gut. Sometimes, accidents lead to great products.
What craft business advice can you share with other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take advantage of free marketing tools (e. g. social media). Take nice photos. Join bazaars/fairs.
Um, if you were a craft tool, what would you be? And why?
A thimble, no doubt. I like to think I’m sensible yet full of whimsy. A thimble protects your fingers when hand sewing but can also be a fascinating item for our imaginary little friends. It can be a hat, a pail, a planter, or very large wine glass.
What can we expect to see from you guys at the upcoming Maker’s Market?
We’re finally launching our stationery line. The designs showcase my stamps (digitally printed for the notebooks but handstamped for the wrapping papers) and paintings.
Where else can we find your work?
I have two local stockists in Cebu – The Assembly in JY Square and The Chillage. [Can we consider the last remaining DIY or DIE shirt as stock in Manila? Hehe. That’s over at Craft MNL in Makati.]
Meream and a number of other handmade and local crafters and makers will be sharing the handmade love at our upcoming Mini Maker’s Market at Anthill Fabric Gallery in Cebu City from October 25-26. Apart from concessionaires, we’ll be having workshops! Meream will be giving a Holiday Stamp Carving workshop on the 25th. For details and registration, hop on over to Craft MNL.