Updated: Apr 12, 2018
We love to support and promote Nantwich local businesses. This week we are proud to have Kate the creator of Bunkles, Boards & Buttons as our guest blogger. As you may have spied already, we have recently done a shoot with some of her beautiful hand painted wood slices.
I’m Kate. 32. Originally from Staffordshire, I moved to Nantwich, Cheshire, nearly 10 years ago, to be with my lovely, now husband Mike. I have a beautiful and crazy two year old daughter Aubrey. I have a background in law and housing, which could be pretty stressful and I never imagined I would have my own crafty business later in life! I love to cook and a bit of crazy dancing when I get the chance to go out. I spend most days with my daughter, feeding ducks and “helping” my daughter on the slides at soft play. I craft all evening, usually into the early hours of the morning. The saying “Day dreamer, night thinker” very much applies to me.
When I was expecting Aubrey , I knew I didn’t want to be away from her everyday. My parents worked long hours when I was younger and I wanted to try and maximise the time I could stay at home. I quit my job in housing and didn’t really have a long term plan at the time but assumed I would get a serious office job. When Aubrey was turning 1 I decided to make her a birthday chalkboard. I had no idea what I was doing but wanted to give it ago. I had a few people ask me to do their children’s boards, so I decided to start a little business.
I wasn’t from an arty or creative background but I’ve always been told “I think outside the box”
(I think that’s code for quirky). My business Bunkles’ Boards and Buttons was born! It was named after my daughter Aubrey - also known as Bunkles, Bunk Bunks, no idea why, it’s just a nickname that was created during sleep exhaustion when she was teeny tiny that stuck. During the two years I’ve been in business it’s been a huge learning curve. I’ve had to get my head around social media, art techniques, photography and sourcing materials. It can be a bit of a headache at times trying to get it right but I’m loving creating new things.
I opened my etsy shop just over a year ago. At first I tried to wing it but this year I’ve taken it more seriously and it’s starting to build momentum ! Although most my sales are still directly though Facebook, I’m now getting international orders though etsy, which is pretty exciting. I’m also getting new customers discovering my makes! I love that customers can see all my products clearly, it’s easy to see prices and select colours etc. Etsy is fabulous to use as a seller and a buyer, most my profits go back into buying other crafters fabulous makes ! If you want to see my shop go to www.bunklesboards.etsy.com and let me know what you think!!
My most popular items are probably my logo boards and my fairy dreamcatcher.
I don’t know anyone else who makes wood slice dreamcatchers! Each one is hand painted, so no two designs are identical. You will always have a truly unique purchase.
My advice for people starting their own business, is to think of something unique, something memorable to market. Part of the excitement of having my own business is knowing I’m the only one that makes certain products. It keeps my brain thinking and brings me great joy to know people are purchasing my own designs. Don’t be scared of failure, or slow sales at first. The reality is that it takes time to build a brand but you will get there through trial and error. I’m still learning everyday and there is still much room for improvement. At the moment I work long hours but hopefully it will get easier when Aubrey is older and it’s less of a juggling act. I’m lucky to have met some lovely people through crafting. Support and advice is essential. Make sure to learn through feedback - good and bad. Most of all whatever you do in life, make sure it brings you happiness.
You can purchase these boards on Etsy