How long have you owned Handmade Design?
“I took over the running of Handmade Design back in October 2018. I can’t actually remember life without the shop - it feels like I’ve had it forever! I don’t mean this in a negative way... I’ve loved every minute of it!
What is the scariest thing that has happened since you’ve had the shop?
“Aside from being hit with a pandemic, the scariest thing was probably the day I launched the online shop. Having an online shop as well as the bricks and mortar was always my vision. I first started building the website back in October 2018. I spent every minute I could on it until I eventually launched it in May 2019. The day I decided to hit the button and make it live was so nerve wracking - would it work properly? Had I tested it enough? Would anyone even use it?
Looking back, creating an online shop for Handmade Deign was one of the best things I could of done at that time. It allowed me to quickly pivot the business when Covid hit and without it - we probably wouldn't still be here!
If you won the lottery, what would you do?
“I’ve never actually brought a lottery ticket so the odds of me winning are next to none. If by some miracle I did win, I would most likely set up a Dog Rescue Centre or something along those lines. I’m imagining something like the last scene in 101 Dalmatians! Oh and I’d treat myself to a holiday too!”
How did you end up owning Handmade Design?
“This is actually a question I get asked a lot! I always say it was a total accident but looking back, it feels a lot more like fate. After a rough 12 months or so, I walked away from my career to take some time out to re-evaluate what I wanted to do with my life.
I’ve always had a creative side so I started making and drawing, more as a form of therapy than anything else. Not long after, I went to Ashbourne for the day to do some shopping and popped into Handmade Design. After my visit, I decided to approach the previous Owner to see if she would be interested in stocking my work. I then began selling my makes there as well as working there one day a week. Fast forward a few months… I mentioned how I would love to have my own shop but wouldn’t have a clue where to start and that’s how the opportunity arose!”
What is your favourite part of your job?
“This is a tricky one so I’m going to have to give three! I love how I can speak to lots of different people each and every day. I get to crack jokes with strangers, be an ear to someone having a tough day and a familiar face to many. Over the last 12 months, I've definitely realised how important this side of the business is to me!
Another perk of the job is being able to surround myself with the most beautiful things made by the most incredible people. Being part of the creative community is amazing and you know that someone will always be routing for you!
The last thing and probably the most boring, is that I love analysing data and figures. This will probably come as a shock to most (unless you're one of my old bosses, then you'll totally get it) but I can quite happily spend an afternoon sat in front of my laptop playing around with spreadsheets and numbers.
Last question, what are your future plans for Handmade Design?
“I really want to grow our online shop. Eventually, I want everything that’s in the shop to be online with a fully integrated system. This is going to take some time but is definitely something I want to do over the next 12 months.
Later down the line, I would also like to open a second shop. I won't be doing this any time soon but never say never!