Hello and welcome to the 2nd Candy Conversation. This week we are chatting with Leah Hill about the wonderful world of crochet!
- Name : Leah Hill
- Hometown : Merthyr Tydfil
- Craft : Crochet Accessories
- Company Name : Leah Hill
- Folksy : www.folksy.com/shops/LeahHill
- Email : email@example.com
- Hi Leah, thanks for chatting to us! Tell us about yourself!
I am 35, and have been married to Olly for 9 years. We have two dysfunctional dogs with very unique personalities that keep us entertained.
I have been living in Sheffield for the last 5 years or so and love it, we previously lived in Chester.
I went to Nottingham Trent University to study Decorative Arts which covered many mediums, I specialized in ceramics, and set up after I graduated but found that I liked to stay clean and warm, ceramics was just not where my heart was, but great fun.
- Have you always been creative then?
Yes I’ve always been creative. I used to spend hours with my Gran, she used to try to teach me to knit, and then my mum taught me to crochet, and I think I enjoyed this more. I still have the crocheted blanket that we made together when I was very small.
I am the only one in my family who is creative, and when giving them hand made gifts as presents, I sometimes think that they would have preferred something from M&S! But I persevere as I love it so much…as long as they say they love it to my face then that’s fine! My mum and mother-in-law are quite creative and very supportive, so they get more than their fair share of gifts.
- So, will you tell us more about your crochet accessories, and how you got started with your craft?
I currently crochet accessories from wool. I started making flower brooches, but soon wanted to expand. I did quite a lot of research and discovered that I could make things similar to the jewellery I loved, in wool. I love bright colours and very rarely use dark wools. I like colours that clash and stand out, making a statement on the person who is wearing it. I think jewellery has come a long way recently and it’s all about making a statement and standing out as an individual.
I have only been making accessories on a regular basis for about one year. I like the fact that I can create something anywhere, it’s a portable craft, from sitting on the sofa, to a holiday, I can make something anywhere I want, it’s very convenient.
I’m in the process of setting up a craft room in my spare bedroom, and when that’s complete I’ll be branching out a bit with a few sewing projects.
- Where do you sell your products, and how do you go about promoting your work?
I love making my pieces and am always coming up with new ideas and variations on what I have, but I’m not the best at promoting or selling them. I’ve had a few stalls where I have sold the majority of my jewellery though. I have built up a network of contacts over the last year and they come back to me on a regular basis for gifts, I’ve had quite a few commissions through this.
I have set up a Folksy page – www.folksy.com/shops/LeahHill, and I’m updating this on a regular basis as I make new things almost every night. I have so much stuff it’s difficult to showcase it all!
I recently had a craft fair in my garden with a few other crafty people, we invited family and friends, I suppose it was more like a party! It went down really well and we will definitely be doing it again next year.
- So you can produce commissioned pieces for gifts if anyone is interested? (Just thinking ahead to Christmas!)
I have produced quite a lot of commissions for people, it’s difficult to cater for all tastes, so if someone likes something, I can change the colours to their taste. As I have said before I love working in bright colours which sometimes aren’t to everyone’s tastes!
(Have a look at Leah’s Folksy page and if you see anything that you’d like in a different colour to the items listed, you can contact Leah at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss other options and colours.)
- What’s your favourite thing about being creative?
I always have ideas that I want to put into practise, I have a scrap book where I keep everything that catches my eye. I just like to have crafty things around me. I have so many boxes filled with ribbons, buttons and beads! I remember when I was growing up, my mum had a tin box filled with buttons and I loved it, I used to play with it for hours, making necklaces and bracelets, I just like having creative things around me.
When I did my first craft fair I was so excited, it was the best feeling when I sold my first piece. It’s a lovely feeling knowing that someone has bought a piece I have created, I love speaking to the person, and hearing how enthusiastic they are about it, that’s such a great feeling, very addictive. I think that’s why I love doing craft fairs and not selling through shops, as the contact with the customer and the contact with other craft people is invaluable.
- What’s your favourite craft item that you’ve bought?
My husband recently bought me a blue ceramic bowl from a local potter, it’s lovely. I fill it with bright pink flowers. I tend to like a lot of things around me, every spare area in my house is filled with something. I love having things around me, I’m not very good at throwing anything away.
- Why do you love belonging to Craft Candy, and how have you benefitted from being a member of the group?
I first met Sarah Waterhouse (CC founder) at Woodseats craft fair, where we were both selling our crafts. I had only just started, and didn’t have that much confidence in my work. She gave me lots of encouragement, and I then joined Craft Candy. I was so excited, I hadn’t come across a group like this before. I love being part of it and enjoy meeting fellow members. I think that the reputation that CC has built up in such short space of time is amazing and I’m really happy to be a part of it. I’ve been on a few workshops and learned new skills, and would recommend it to anyone.
- And what are your plans for the future?
I have just taken over organising the Craft Candy Minis, which will be held on a regular basis at Bungalows and Bears in Sheffield. Christmas is just around the corner so I’m going to be making lots of things as gifts, and hopefully doing a few Christmas fairs. I like to keep this as a hobby at the moment and don’t plan on leaving my job, although that would be the ultimate goal. I’m more of a ‘slowly but surely’ type of person and like to do things at my own pace. I love being involved with Craft Candy and selling my things through a few fairs a year. I am happy with keeping this part time for the moment, but who knows what’s around the corner!
Good Luck for the future Leah, and thank you for taking the time for a chat!