Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How are you Creating your way to Success? - Cheryl from Sew Can Do

·Welcome my weekly post about how different people are Creating their way to Success.
My aim in this weekly feature is to :
• Provide an interesting insight into other people’s journeys towards their own personal success
• Help contributors to this post by encouraging them to advertise their own blog, website or shop / market within their post.
• Share motivation and encouragement with as many people as possible who are looking to use their creativeness to work towards their own goal of success.
This week's guest is Cheryl from Sew Can Do:

Sew Can Do
My Shop: The Green Hedgehog

What do you create? 
I have a crafting blog, Sew Can Do, where I share my various projects in sewing, paper crafting, kid's projects, & edibles.  I also sell my whimsical wearables in my shop, The Green Hedgehog.

Why do you create?
I really love coming up with unique creations and get a sense of accomplishment when something from my imagination comes to life in a design.  It feels great to use my creativity in a positive way and to see it appreciated by others.  When I became a stay-at-home mother, I felt a bit like that role defined who I was and it was hard to see myself as something outside of it.  Working on my projects makes me feel that I have a part of me that is outside of my "mommy-ness".

Do you sell your creations? If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?
I sell my handmade wearables, as well as my own patterns in my online shop, The Green Hedgehog and through several online and brick & mortar shops.  I also do freelance contributor/designer work for various publications.  

Profitable is a relative term to me.  If my time was an hourly rate, then probably not hugely profitable for the handmade items.  It's easy for people on the outside to just look at the material costs when you have this kind of business, but factor in designing, fabricating, photography, writing copy, drafting patterns, shopping for supplies & shipping and there's a big expense of time to consider.  But I enjoy what I do and have gotten savvier on how to streamline things, so the money I make is a nice supplemental income.

What mistakes have you made or lessons you have learned?
Balance.  It's important to be passionate about what you're doing, but you can't become obsessive and make all your time about the work.  No one is paying you by the hour for all the time, effort & love you put into what you are doing, so don't short change yourself (or your family) in the effort to make a sale or get noticed.

Last Halloween my shop was still new and it was incredibly busy.   Much more than I expected.  I didn't want to turn down any business, but by continuing to take orders until the last minute meant I was working day & night and feeling frazzled at how to get it all done.  It's great to be busy, but being realistic on what you can do is key.  This year I plan to build up inventory earlier, set a reasonable cut-off date and stick to it.

Also, don't waste time marketing to everyone or the wrong audience.  Tap into what people want, not trying to tell them what they should want.  Finding your niche market and making the items sell themselves because of their originality & quality saves a lot of time and frustration.

What, to you is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?
This is a tough question!  The simplest answer for me is standing out from the crowd.  There are so many talented and well known crafters & designers out there, it feels like a huge achievement to me when my work is featured or someone buys it.  A year ago the thought of selling my creations hadn't even crossed my mind and being published in a magazine was just a fantasy, so I've felt pretty successful at how much has happened since then.

So what's next?
I'm working on some ideas for book proposals.  I'd really like to get a book published.  I'm also putting together some new designs for wearables and patterns.  I love brainstorming new ideas and seeing where they take me.

Thanks for having me over Jill!  I hope you and your readers will stop by my blog, Sew Can Do, & check out some of my crafting adventures:)


Lovely answers there Cheryl! Make sure you go and check out her fabulous blog - the pictures here are just a taster of Cheryl's amazing creativity and talent!

 If you would like to be featured one week, then do please leave me a comment and I'll get back to you asap with the details!

Thanks for reading! Do come back next week to see who is being featured then!
And come back later today to see what my clothes upcycling project is for day 18!
I'll be linking this post to many of the wonderful blog parties whose pretty buttons are on the bottom of this page.



  1. What a great post and a very talented love your creations Cheryl.

  2. What lovely creations. Great interview!!


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