Mindfulness & Christmas Cards!

It’s time to give another big shout out to two lovely crafters who have contributed their fabulous products to our parcels!

We are lucky to work with amazingly talented crafters and handmade businesses, so today, I’m going to showcase a couple more of them – this time it’s the turn of “Claire Craft at Little Gestures” and “Kirsty’s Kreative Krafts”.

We asked the business owners to write a short description telling us a little about why they started their small business, and what it means to them.

Claire Holstead from “Claire Craft at Little Gestures” –

“Claire Craft at Little Gestures is absolutely delighted that the wonderful Smile Parcel have used my cards with one of my poems.

I have been creating little items with poems for several years now. The very first item I sold, was on eBay, and was a Rolo in a box, with a little poem.

I had to leave a full-time job after having a breakdown, and then after my husband had some cardiac issues, I decided to try and create a Facebook page to bring in a little extra cash.

I love trying to come up with unique items that can’t be bought from the High Street. Whatever time of the day (or night), an idea comes to me, it HAS to be tried there and then!

Fortunately, I have a very patient husband who is happy enough to take over the housework, while I sit ‘playing’ with my craft bits!”

You can find Claire’s products here: https://www.facebook.com/Littlegestures/

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Kirsty Trathen from “Kirsty’s Kreative Krafts” –

“Hi everyone, I’m Kirsty from Kirsty’s Kreative Krafts, I’m 21 and I live in Cornwall.

I have been crafting for 5 to 6 years and I first found my passion for papercrafts, when I did Fundraising for my school, and it all blossomed from there.

A few years later, I was diagnosed with Autism, and I also have dyslexia and learning difficulties, which means I can never have a full-time job. Crafting is my creative outlet and what makes me happy, and puts a smile on my face every day.

I love to be able to create and set myself new challenges to broaden my horizon.

Flower pencils are my most popular item I have sold, I make a variety of items from cards, sticky tape floral shoes, gift bags and many other things. I’m now experimenting with vinyl, which is very exciting for me.

I would like to build my business up, this is happening slowly thanks to the people supporting me and sharing my page on social media.”

You can find Kirsty’s products here: https://www.facebook.com/kirstyskreativekrafts/

Karen x

Autumnal Thank You…

Good Morning!

It’s about time I gave a big shout out to another two lovely crafters who have contributed to our parcels – we are so grateful and lucky to work with the best handmade businesses!

In this post, I’m going to showcase ‘JaJo Gifts’ and ‘Sarah’s Crafty House’.

We asked the business owners to write a short description and tell us a little about why they started and what their small business means to them.

Amanda Gilchrist from ‘JaJo Gifts’ –

‘JaJo Gifts started in 2013 while I was on maternity leave with my second child. I’ve always enjoyed making things and needed a hobby while away from the 9-5.  I started making a few items and people asked me to make them for them too, so my little business was born.

It is named after my children Jasmine and Joseph, and the products on offer have changed over the years, but have always had a handmade, self-designed element at their heart.

Starting at my dining table while working another job, things have moved on, I have a designated work area and we are currently a team of 4, and it is what I now do full time.

It gives me time with my family and the flexibility to work around them, and it brings me great joy doing something I love’.

You can find Amanda’s products here: http://www.jajogifts.com

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Sarah Williams from ‘Sarah’s Crafty House’ –

‘Sarah’s Crafty House started 3 years ago now, I’ve always been quite crafty and creative, making gifts for family and friends, so picking a name was easy, as that’s how my house is!

While in my previous job, we’d always have a giggle making light of things not going to plan, or at colleagues and their funny ways, and most days ‘that should be on a plaque’ would get said, so I did put them on a plaque as gifts, and everyone loved them. After about a year of doing stalls and orders for friends, I decided to do it full time, so now I get to do what I love, and get to spend more time with my kids.

Plaques are my best sellers by far, but I also make jewellery, some pyrography, printed bags, candles, the list goes on, I’m basically a craft addict!

I’ve been delighted to have my plaques included in the brilliant Smile Parcel, and hope they added an extra touch to everyone’s Halloween décor’.

You can find Sarah’s products here: https://www.facebook.com/sarahscraftyhouse

Karen x

Bunting & Bath Bombs!

A great part of working at The Smile Parcel, is being able to work alongside so many fabulous handmade small businesses and crafters. I’m going to showcase another two of them in this post, and this time, it’s the turn of ‘Beadies by Jo’, and ‘Bathing Beauties’.

We asked the business owners to write a short description and tell us a little about why they started and what their small business means to them.

Joanne Collis from ‘Beadies by Jo’ …

‘My name is Jo Collis, I am the owner, designer and ‘Maker of Things Beautiful” at Beadies by Jo. I started my sewing business in 2013. My sewing room is at home, just 100 metres from the sea in wonderful Ayr, on the west coast of Scotland.

Sewing and making gifts has always been a passion, and due to time restraints, remained simply for family and close friends. When the opportunity to expand my ‘customer base’ came along, I started my own business and grabbed the chance to do so.

My passion for beautiful quality fabrics governs my approach. The philosophy is simple and old-fashioned, by paying a little more, the enjoyment of an item lasts for ages after purchase.

One of my first popular ranges are my reversible dresses, having sold over 500 worldwide.

November 2013 saw a favourite addition – the ‘Table-Tent’…Beadies by Jo can now claim to have Table-Tents in houses from the UK to New Zealand!

I always have a note book and pen available at hand 24/7, to collect the ideas for new looks and lines’.

You can find Jo’s products here: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/beadiesbyjo

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Trishell Gill from ‘Bathing Beauties’ …

‘At Bathing Beauties, we have an indulgent range of bath and shower treats which have all been handcrafted using the finest quality ingredients. We are very happy and proud that all of our products are cruelty-free and vegan friendly.

None of our products (or ingredients) have ever been tested on animals, and never will be!

We are trying to do our bit for the environment too, so we limit the plastic packaging as much as possible’.

You can find Trishell’s products here: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/bathingbeautiesuk

Karen x

Calendars & Bunny Prints!

At the beginning of the year, I mentioned wanting to include some details from our lovely contributors in this blog. We have had the pleasure of working with some amazingly talented crafters and creators, and in this post, I’m going to showcase two of them – ‘Katie’s Cabin’ and ‘The Leaf Press’.

We asked the business owners to write a short description and tell us a little about why they started and what their small business means to them.

Katie Houghton from ‘Katie’s Cabin’ …

‘I have always loved to create and spent most of my childhood drawing, writing and making, so I’ve always had it in me naturally to be creative.

Katie’s Cabin started as, although I had always done various craft projects, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered from other health conditions, meaning I couldn’t work the regular 9-5 and so, I decided to use my creativity to make some extra money, and from there I have built my products and my etsy shop, and continue to build on this daily.

Creativity is part of who I am and I wouldn’t be me without it, so it makes me happy doing something I love, and I always get a buzz coming up with new ideas. It’s my anxiety buster and gives me a focus that I need in my life, and it’s a bonus when people seem to love my items as much as I love to make them’.

You can find Katie’s products here: Www.etsy.com/shop/katiescabinhandmade

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Suzy Dobson from ‘The Leaf Press’ …

‘The Leaf Press was thrilled to contribute a Quotes calendar to the January 2018 edition of the brilliant Smile Parcel.  It was my best-selling calendar for 2018 and I hope everyone who received it in their Smile Parcel liked it too!

The Leaf Press is run by myself – Suzy – from a garden studio in Suffolk, UK.  I’ve been creating both wedding stationery and gifts since 2010.  In the gifts range, as well as calendars there are personalised notebooks (for all sorts of occasions and hobbies), hand-bound journals, bespoke prints and quirky note cards.

Each gift and piece of wedding stationery is designed by me.  The majority – like the Quotes calendar – are printed and hand finished in-house.  I love having control of the whole process and chatting with customers along the way!

Designing makes me happy, and I like to think that my designs are fun and bring people joy – as well as having a functional purpose.  I hope the Quotes calendar made those who received it smile and I look forward to working with the Smile Parcel again soon!’

You can find Suzy’s products here: www.theleafpress.co.uk

Karen x