Rails and piles of clothes ready for people arriving

Clothes Swap – One Clothes Waste Solution

Did you know people in the UK have an estimated £30 billion worth of unworn clothes in their wardrobes*.  Plus £140 million of unused clothing (UK) goes to landfill every year*.  Landfill, not even recycled!  The clothing and textile industry is the second biggest polluter on the planet behind oil.  Shocking statistics, which are hard to put into context, I know!  

I’ve shopped in charity shops, at car boot sales or on eBay for years for the majority of my clothes (except my underwear 😉 ) but this year I’ve been doing things different.  A friend of mine organised a clothes swap at the beginning of the year, then another.

The concept is a simple one – you take along any clothes and shoes you no longer want, hang them up, then have a browse to see if there’s anything you’d like to take back with you.  Perfect.  The first time I came back with 5 items.  The second time I came back with nothing.  That was absolutely fine.  The clothes that are left are then donated to a charity shop.  The next meet up is in September but it’s going to be bigger as a few of us have also discovered the KonMari method so we have a few more clothes (and costume jewellery) to depart with 😂😂

15+kg of clothes ready for the September clothes swap. Handmade Haven

15+kg of clothes ready for the next swap!

Let me know if you and your friends do something similar.  It’d be nice to know we can make a tiny difference 💚

*Find out more at http://www.wrap.org.uk

 

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories, Pyrography, ivy leaves painted with dot work pyrography

Supporting Other Creative Artisans – Sylvan Stories

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Hogwarts Crest, paint and dot work pyrographyI first met Claire at the school gate, when our boys went to the same school.  I love the style she uses…dot work…as it’s different to the normal pyrography you see.  The above was a gift for my 40th birthday a few years ago as she knows about my love for Harry Potter.  Then I’ve bought the House Stark plaque, the reindeer decoration, the flower plate and the absolutely gorgeous ivy bowl.

It seemed only natural that I would ask her if she’d like to collaborate on something for my business, so last year these gorgeous little wooden decorations were finished, and they now appear on the large gift sets.  The wood she used for these ones came from fallen branches and some re-purposed table legs.  Perfect!  Claire is still on maternity leave at the minute but if you’d like to take a look at her other work, you can find her here and here.

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, Pamper Gift SetHandmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, zero waste decorations

Handmade Haven, Sylvan Stories Pyrographer, Gift Set Decorations, Pamper Gift Set, natural gift sets, zero waste decorations

Bulk buying nuts, suma wholesale, Handmade Haven

Home Life – Bulk Buying

Bulk buying from suma wholesale, 1kg, seeds, Handmade Haven

We make our own seed mix

 

Years ago we used to have a regular delivery from Suma Wholesale, where we would bulk buy things like nuts, seeds, shower gel, spices, loo rolls etc.  This month I’ve resurrected the delivery…whoop!  I don’t need to get the loo rolls anymore as I use Who Gives a Crap, but I can get all the other things I’ve missed.  I love that I can buy in bigger quantities, meaning there is a little less packaging to try and get rid of, and I can reuse the boxes for sending out my own customers orders.  I also love that I’m supporting smaller, more ethical businesses with my choices.

Doves farm digestives, Handmade Haven

Hubby’s favourite biscuits 😉

Having bulk deliveries means that you need to have an extra bit of space to store everything.  It also means that some things are cheaper than buying in a supermarket.  If you don’t need 6 or 12 packs of something, or you just don’t have the space to store everything, maybe you can start a local group, then you can share the benefits.  If the order is big enough there’s free delivery too.

Bulk buying, suma wholesale, cinnamon sticks, handmade Haven gift set decorations

Gift box decorations 😀

If you care sandwich bags from suma wholesale. Handmade Haven

 

Handmade Haven Draining Soap Bowl. Handmade, Stoneware.

Supporting Other Creative Artisans – Sessa Ceramics

It’s hard work running your own little business, especially when you have a family and you make everything yourself, but it does make me incredibly proud (if a little grey-er sometimes!).  The one thing that I commission someone else to make are my gorgeous soap bowls.  I met Kjersti at a local craft fair a few years ago, where I’d been admiring the goodies on her stall.

Handmade Haven Shaving Bowl Pale Blue

She made a sample for me, we’ve tweaked it a couple of times in between, but she’s been supplying my shop ever since.  I love that as self-employed business women we are able to support each other in this way.  When you hear of so many small businesses struggling it is very heartening.

Handmade Haven, draining stoneware soap bowl.

She makes the cutest little animals…Pop over and say hello to her on her Facebook page.  She’s attends many local events in and around Hull if you’re ever about.

Rollercoaster Make it Happen membership group

Community – The Rollercoaster : Make It Happen

A few weeks ago I talked about The Indie Rollercoaster group on Facebook, and I mentioned that I’d just joined the membership group run by the lovely Leona Thrift-ola. It’s been such an amazing week, so I thought I’d shout about it here 😁.

Each week we focus on something different, with Leona bringing in a guest to do a live chat. We have workbooks to go through, which makes us think seriously about what we’d like from our business and where we’d like our business to go. We’ve covered things like business plans, our own version of success, finances, copyright, social media, visibility and community. We work on the good bits and the bits that make us feel uncomfortable. This past week we were set a few challenges. We could work through these by writing a post, by making a video or going live in the group if we felt we could. I felt sick thinking about the latter two…I hate anything like that. But…by the end of the week I’d done three videos and I went live for the last challenge! I felt awesome!

I have learnt so much from this group..from the other members too. It’s like having your own cheer leading team, that is made up of knowledgeable, awesome peeps that are happy to share, hold and support each other. Each of us are on a slightly different part of the path, but we can see each other and reach out if we need to.

If you are looking to find some awesome support then I wouldn’t hesitate in joining the main group – The Rollercoaster of Running an Indie Business.  Leona is also opening up the membership group to new members in a few weeks, so if you want to push yourself that bit further (for your and your biz) I would wholeheartedly recommend that too.  Honestly, it’s the best thing I’ve done to help my business this year.

Community – Etsy Teams

Handmade Haven Etsy Lincs Etsy teamSome of the members at the July meet up

Anyone that works for themselves knows how lonely it can be. I don’t mind that as I’m a natural introvert, but sometimes you need to be around people that are in a similar position. A new Etsy team opened at the beginning of the year, that was fairly local to me so I joined up. It’s been fab! We meet up once a month, and we’ve just been accepted to have an Etsy Made Local event at the end of the year too, which is absolutely amazing ☺️. If you have a team local to you, do get in touch and join in…you’ll not regret it.

Join EtsyLincs here

Instagram @etsylincs

Blogtacular entry band

Brain-Melting Blogtacular!

Blogtacular 2018 Kat Molesworth Hello

Wow!  My first Blogtacular!  What an absolutely amazing experience.  This was my first ever business conference and what a conference it was.

Handmade Haven at Blogtacular 2018

There was the opening Keynote speech by Tiffany Han then three workshops (I chose SEO, Pinterest then Instagram Stories) and then the closing keynote by Anthony Burrill.  By the end I felt completely exhausted but inspired.  The room was full of awesome business women – and a couple of men – who were all there to learn from and support each other.

 

 

When I got back to the hotel I felt overwhelmed so I  went for a walk round London for a couple of hours, then slept the whole night!  My brain has been whirring since…I’ve got loads of notes, loads more to add to my to-do list, loads of new things to learn, but I’m so looking forward to working through them.  Tuesday was the first day I felt normal again (sorry to anyone who saw me on the Monday on the plummet down!)

Blogtacular 2018, event photos

Blogtacular 2018 © Will Ireland