Made By Mrs M

March Meet the Maker - Part 2

BusinessKate Marsden

The month is flying by! Here are days 11-20 of March Meet the Maker. You can read my posts for days 1-10 here.

Today's #marchmeetthemaker prompt is Post Run. So I pack up all of my orders with lovely tissue paper and stickers and things then walk down to the Post Office with them (it's just 5 minutes away). I got myself a Drop and Go account back at the beginning of December and it saved me hours when I was really busy on the run up to Christmas and through January. I usually go to the Post Office on the way to collect my son from school and I try to only go there in the week - but the novelty of sending stuff on a Sunday (we have a 7 days a week Post Office) sometimes sends me there then too!

Day 12 of #marchmeetthemaker is first sale... The first thing I sold to someone who wasn't a relative or close friend was a cushion in this original version of my Park Hill fabric (back in 2012). This fabric cost me so much to get printed that it was prohibitive for me to do more at the time. Made By Mrs M has definitely been a slow burner!

Day 13 of #marchmeetthemaker is Feedback. I always get quite excited when a customer leaves feedback - I also love the tales of who a gift will be going to or how someone plans to use the item they've bought (this is particularly good when people buy fabric - I love seeing what they've made!). The feedback always makes me smile, but sometimes (like this one above) it makes me giggle a little too!

Day 14 of #marchmeetthemaker and creative friends. I've been lucky enough to get to know lots of fantastic people through events I've taken part in over the last few years - whether they be markets like the fab Crafty Fox (or Renegade as shown here), exhibitions, blogging events (loved Blogtacular so much I'm going back!) or frequently people I've met on Instagram or Twitter - who Mr M kindly refers to as my "computer friends"!

When you work on your own it's really important to feel as though you're part of a community, and to have people to talk to when you need a reality check.

How is it already day 15?! Anyway, day 15 of #marchmeetthemaker is Inspiration. So many things inspire me, but here are some people and places and designs which I've consistently found inspiring for years and years. Clockwise from top left - London (this is the Barbican), Bridget Riley, 1950's textile design, Japan, The New Look, David Hockney, Scandinavia (this is a house in Reykjavik), Virginia Woolf and centre Sheffield (Park Hill). Special mentions for Sonia Delaunay and Bella Freud too (but I was struggling to fit more into such a small picture!). 

Well if you've read today's blog post (this one), and a lot of you have, yikes, you'll appreciate that today's #marchmeetthemaker is rather appropriate! Time to relax... I find relaxing very hard - I always have but now I run my own business I really can't seem to shut off. One of the best things for me though is to go out and have a pootle in the garden. My favourite job is mowing the lawn and doing the edges, but if I don't need to do that a bit of weeding and pruning will do just as well. I find being active out there far more relaxing than just sitting in a chair looking at it (although doing that accompanied by a nice glass of wine once I've finished working on it - admiring it all - is pretty good too!).

Day 17 of #marchmeetthemaker is photography - an ongoing and continuous project for me! Always trying to improve - I've been on face to face courses to get the hang of my DSLR, and online courses to improve styling. I take a lot of photos with my iPhone too. Never satisfied though so always aiming to improve (and continually embarrassed by the old photos!).

Day 18 of #marchmeetthemaker is Shelfie. This is the shelf in my studio which I use to photograph lots of products, tutorials and other bits and bobs on. The light tends to be really good - the shelf itself is white and so is the wall behind so it works well.

None of my actual helpers will thank me for posting their pictures on Instagram! So I thought for today's #marchmeetthemaker (the prompt for which is helper), I'd share something made by one of mine instead! My wonderful Dad made this unit for me (also serves as the shelf in yesterday's post!) - nowadays it tend to sit here in my studio and I use it as my packing station, but I also take it to events (when I'm driving to them - it's too heavy for public transport when I'm on my own) and use it as part of my display. It packs flat which is rather clever. He also made me a matching wooden clothes airer which lives in my studio and i take it to events like Thread to display my fabrics on. Oh and for the last 2 years my Dad and Mum have come to Thread with me to help me man my stall - nice to get a chance to have a proper wander around (and go to the loo!).

Today's #marchmeetthemaker is Sketchbook - so here's a fairly extensive collection spanning 20+ years! Some college sketchbooks and recent drawings. I tend to be a bit all or nothing with my sketchbooks and often go for months without touching one then go on to do them every day. I feel I should try to be more consistent but if I haven't managed it so far I probably won't.

Come back in early April for days 21-31 of March Meet the Maker and check out days 1-10 here.