Meet the Maker: An Interview with SiobhansCrafts
This month's maker is someone I can proudly say "I've met her! In real life and everything. More than once!" Sometimes it seems that friendships formed online are just that- online. There are so many wonderfully creative and lovely people that I have had the good fortune to find and befriend online but we are so far apart that our paths rarely cross. Siobhan is someone that I have had the pleasure of meeting but not only that, I have had a chance to see her stunning handmade products in the flesh and support her at her stall, not just online. That is a pretty special feeling.
1. Tell us a little about you and your business.
Well where to start? Hello my name is Siobhan Beaudin and I run a small business called SiobhansCrafts. SiobhansCrafts is my idea of Aladdin's cave for spinners, weavers, needle felters, knitters and crocheters. I am based just outside of Manchester in England and work from my studio which use to be our detached garage which last year we redecorated and transformed into my work space! I am currently doing a qualification specialising in dyeing and the chemistry behind how that all works which is very interesting and keeps me busy to say at the least – there is never a quite moment here.
2. What inspired your business name?
Good question and sorry for such a boring answer. My name is Siobhan and because I couldn't decide which craft I wanted to specialise in whether it be dyeing/ felting/ knitting I just went for the generic “crafts" at the send of my name as I felt Siobhan was unique enough.
3. How did you first discover your passion for your craft?
I have always been arty since I can remember but what triggered my passion for fibre arts was my GCSE art. I had taught myself needle felting and wet felting for my final piece which was a landscape of Holland. After I finished that qualification I had lots of left over wools which I had no use for, as a crafter I decided to find out what else I could do with wool roving.... turns out a heck of a lot! Spinning, dyeing and weaving to name a few. Down the rabbit hole I went.
4. How long has your business been running?
Back in July I celebrated my 3rd year of running SiobhansCrafts. It's amazing to see how far you have come especially as a maker because usually your so caught up in what your doing you don't get chance to stand back and see where you have come from. I've been running SiobhansCrafts since I was 16 and it's taught me so much. I've had mixed comments about how old I am and running my own business but we all have to start somewhere I am just lucky I found my passion early on.
5. What inspires your creations?
Everything. I love to pull inspiration from everywhere. My character mini skeins of yarn I use popular TV shows/cartoons to dye them to including My Little Pony, Monsters Inc and Adventure Time. I also use postcards a lot when I'm sourcing inspiration. My rolags (rolags are tubes of fibre used for spinning and felting) are all based on postcards and will either just be based on the colour all the way up to having the same pattern that's on the post card too!
6. What is your proudest achievement to date?
Getting into Yarndale this year! For me I love touring the country going to different yarn shows and meeting lots of like minded people all in the same place. Yarndale is probably the biggest show I have got into as an exhibitor and has always been on my bucket list of things I want to do as a business so when I got in this year it was a proud moment for me.
7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
Follow your heart no matter what. As a business owner you have to do what is right by you. You come first. I was told many disheartening things when I was growing my business but I was determined to show them I knew what I was doing. And look at me now.... I'm achieving my dream. It is a rocky road running any business but as they say hard work pays of and it really does.
8. What is your favourite make?
I am the most proud of my character mini skeins I hand dye as I feel you can really see the resemblance between the character and the yarn vs something that is the same colours as it. My favourite set is probably the My Little Pony set as they where the first set I created and having little girls come up and point to each mini skein saying “that's Flutter Shy" or “that's Rainbow Dash" - I absolutely love that!
9. What is the best feedback you have received?
I am really lucky and get lots of lovely feedback but the best has to be from people I meet at the shows in person telling me my stall looks fab or they like a certain colourway of yarn or the idea of weaving kits. Little things like that are definitely the best feedback I have had as you know it's been worth all your time and effort.
10. Is there anything you regret?
Not really. I'm really lucky I found what I love doing so early on I'm able to make the most out of it all.
11. What are your goals for the future?
One day I would love to have my own line of hand dyed yarns and weaving kits in shops... you have to be ambitious right?
12. What is the best part of being a maker?
Definitely being part of such a lovely community filled with friends and like minded people (who wont judge you for buying yet another spinning wheel even though you own 8 already!)
13. What is your least favourite job to do?
Skeining all the hand dyed yarns up. I'm a secret perfectionist so each hand dyed skein has to be neatly wound – no loose tie bands. I can spend hours doing this job.
14. What advice would you give your old self?
Don't worry what other people think. This was one of my big problems as I was starting up- “what would people think?” “are they good enough?“ Just trust in yourself because if you believe in yourself others can believe in you too.
15. What advice would you give other makers?
Short and sweet. Go for it!
To find out more about Siobhan and to see more of her incredible work, follow her here: