From craft hobby to business with Bumblebee Crafts
When Melbourne mum Louise, found her groove with motherhood, she started to get her CRAFT ON! Those precious moments of free time during naps and bedtime, began to be filled with creating and making. From jewellery to room decor - Louise loves it all. After a while, people started to notice Louise's creations and ask her if she was selling her items. The light bulb went on and Louise knew she could make the shift from hobby to business. Keep reading to find out more about how Louise turned a fun hobby into a business - Bumblebee Crafts. Plus, explore the exciting handmade range that Louise offers and the inspo behind them.
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Written by the owner of Bumblebee Crafts - Louise Smith.
Hi everyone! I'm Louise and I run Bumblebee Crafts. I’m also mum to a wonderful, fun-loving 2.5 year old and a part-time French teacher. I started up Bumblebee Crafts when I was on maternity leave. I found (believe it or not) some time to myself and allowed my creative energy to flow once again.
I have had a passion for crafts for as long as I can remember. I've dabbled with jewellery in the past and for many years I've always enjoyed making handmade cards for friends and family birthdays. I hate the idea of commercial, costly cards, with nothing unique about them.
When my son was born I decorated his room myself. I created fabric covered wall canvases along with coordinating fabric bunting and my very handy sewing mum also stitched up a few bits here and there, including pocket wall hangings and curtain tie backs. Very quickly and very affordably, we had created a wonderful baby room.
So after the months of sleepless nights, feeling like all I did was sit in an armchair with him attached to a boob, he got into a good routine and I had some time back for me. I started making silicone bead necklaces for myself, after seeing how expensive they can be to buy. I've since done a fair bit of research and found some lovely suppliers based both in Australia and overseas which allows me, I feel, to offer a very affordable range to my customers.
The silicone beads sourced by Bumblebee Crafts are 100% food grade silicone. They are free from all nasties, such as BPA, lead, cadmium,mercury and phthalates. So, although it's not recommended for children under 3 years of age, it doesn't matter if they play with mum's one during a feed. They can safely have a little nibble or suck of the beads .
The beads can also be washed in warm soapy water and left to air-dry, so if they get totally slobbered on (like my nephew did to mine a few weeks back) you can give them a quick wash.
I love the lightweight feel of the necklaces along with the love of the bright but also pastel colours, shapes and sizes available in the silicone beads. I wanted more than one. I wanted a variety to wear each day and people started, naturally, to comment on them. When I said I made them myself the reaction was always "Do you sell them? You should sell them!"
So I decided to take the plunge earlier last year and make it REAL. I started to create a bit of a stock pile, ordered beads in greater quantities and shapes and sizes and launched my Etsy shop with about 20 items. Since then I've branched out to include silicone bead keychains, a ‘LittleMiss’ range for girls 3+, matching ‘Mummy & Me’ sets as well as Gift Sets for Her with a matching necklace and keyring.
The keyrings are just amazing and have been flying out the door. Who hasn't had the trouble of grovelling through a handbag or nappy bag, searching for the keys with a baby in your arms or toddler screaming at you ... and for the life of you, you just can't feel them.
Well, the beaded keychains are again, lightweight and just make a pretty addition to any set of keys. Plus make them much easier to find! I'm about to expand my keyring range with the addition of small Tibetan silver charms and leather tassels for a bit of extra bling. I'm also considering lanyards after recently making one for a friend.
I've started up my card making again too. So, now, I've kind of got a full package available. Especially for baby showers for example. Get a necklace for mum, a beautiful handmade card and even a present for the ‘big’ sister, should there be one in the family. All items come gift wrapped in organza bags so really, the job is done!
I love that I can run this business from home while still being a mum. I can fit a few items in during a nap or quiet time and others after bed time. Otherwise when hubby takes our son out to the park, I get making too. I don need a whole heap of equipment out so it's quick to keep tidy and out of the way of sneaky little hands!
ABOUT BUMBLEBEE CRAFTS
Handmade beaded jewellery, keyrings, cards & gift tags.
Business owner: Louise Smith
Fav café: Rose Milk, Albion St, Essendon or Brother Hen,Pascoe Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds.
Coffee order: Champagne Tea
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