Joanna Yeoman: designer, writer, indie crafter
Adventure is in the air! Joanna Yeoman is a wonderful blogger, crafter, and burgeoning business woman. On her blog Adventures & Tea Parties Joanna shares a whirlwind of ideas, crafts, and news about her hand-crafted accessories and jewellery business.
But what goes on behind the scenes? Jo’s here to tell us all about it in her own words!
I’ve given a quick introduction, but could you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
By day, I’m a 30 something Librarian who can live without chocolate but not cheese or avocados. I have an absolute addiction to both. By night, I’m the face behind Adventures & Tea Parties, a crafty blog and online shop selling my handmade accessories. When I’m not stitching or blogging, I can usually be found either knitting one of the many projects I’ve got on the go (I’m terrible for starting yet another knitting pattern!), playing geeky board games with my hubby, dancing round the house to my latest favourite song and experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. On warmer days, I can easily spend whole weekends in the garden planting seeds or out looking for birds in the trees.
I like to think that in another life I would have been a backing dancer for Tina Turner or a drummer in a rock and roll band.
Do you have a crafting motto?
My crafting motto is really my motto for most things in life: “just start!” I truly think there is a craft out there for everyone and that if you don’t try at least one, then you’re most likely to be missing out on something wonderful.
What was the biggest stumbling block to starting your craft business?
1. Dealing with negative feedback. The first bit of negative feedback I received was one of the most devastating things ever. I eventually learnt to use it positively, move on and keep going but that was a hard block to get over.
2. Getting my name out there and worrying whether people would take my business seriously or not. I still tussle with this but no one ever said it was easy! Although, on the flip side I honestly can’t think what I was doing before I started. It’s such a huge part of my life now and I love it!
Where do you buy handmade/indie-designed goodies?
I regularly shop direct from designers and makers’ website, as well Etsy and Notonthehighstreet. When I’m out and about I’ll always seek out independent shops in whichever city I’m visiting. In my local city, it’s got to be Niche and Watch.This.Space.
What’s your proudest crafting moment?
Designing from scratch and knitting an allotment for a competition. The vegetables could even be pulled out the “ground” revealing their roots.
Why do you craft?
Crafting is so important to me because it gets me thinking creatively and therefore looking at life with a totally fresh perspective. I also love the satisfaction of seeing an item/design/pattern come to life and having that wonderful feeling of, “wow, I made that!”
Crafty tools and tech you couldn’t do without?
I couldn’t be without my:
- recently purchased Brother Innovis 350, which runs like a dream, has a drop down bobbin, a knee lift and automatic needle threading. I’m not sure how I coped before I upgraded!
- 3 inch embroidery hoop for doing detailed embroidery on small pieces of fabric. Plus, it’s just the cutest thing ever!
- embroidery scissors for getting in where no other scissors dare to venture!
- jewellery pliers and mini screwdriver, which are incredibly useful when jewellery making.
- Nikon D3100 for vastly improving my product photos and giving me the taste for photography!
And before you go, how can we best get in touch with you?
I’m all over the place but I do tend to hang around on Twitter, Facebook, and of course my Gmail is constantly logged in awaiting lovely emails. All my contact details can be found on my blog over here and I’ll soon be on Instagram, so watch this space!
And psst. Don’t miss out on free shipping from Joanna’s Etsy shop for one week only! Info in the tweet below:
— Joanna Yeoman (@AdventuresTea) February 21, 2014