I’m heading Down Under this week to speak to the lovely Joy who has written a brilliant e-book aimed at stay at home mums who want to start their own sewing business from home. Surrounded by business since she was a small child, Joy offers a wealth of information and practical advice. I was also taken with her “folded book art” business, so I had plenty of questions to ask! Welcome Joy….
Hi! My name is Joy, I live in Australia, I am a mum, wife, writer and freelancer, thanks for having me.
Congratulations on publishing your e-book about starting your own sewing business from home. Where did you get inspiration from to write this e-book? Who do you hope to inspire?
I wrote the book to help stay at home mums that are feeling deflated from “just being a mum” – I know the feeling all too well and I think the only thing that kept me sane was having something on the side to make me feel valued. This isn’t your million dollar income, though it could be, it’s more about providing a little more income without added stress.
You’ve been surrounded by business ventures in one way or another since you were young. Growing up, was your career aspirations business orientated or art orientated or did your dreams follow a different path?
Growing up my Dad worked for himself at markets and fairs so I was exposed to that life from about 3-4 years of age. I enjoyed it. I have always been entrepreneurial. My mum always said I could be anything I wanted when I grew up and I believed it. This led to me being 28 and having no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. I decided not to grow up, and keep with my folded book art but share more of my knowledge.
As I’m somebody who cannot knit or crochet and can barely sew despite 3 years of needlework lessons at school, I really am in awe of you! Do you find sewing/ craftwork therapeutic?
I personally am like you, I can do little more than basic alterations, I was working with a client to set up her sewing business when the inspiration for the book came to me, that you don’t need to be an expert to make money sewing.
I was mesmerised by the fantastic folded book art featured on your website & shop. Did it take long to learn? Is it a craft talent handed down by generations?
I would like to say it was easy, but when I started about 7 years ago there wasn’t a lot of information available. I purchased a tutorial for a basic folding pattern and with trial and error learnt how to create my own patterns. It is still one of my biggest forms of income. I decided to start selling tutorials myself because I was getting a lot of interest from the US but $40 for shipping was a killer.
Apart from the folded book art, you have also launched themed book jewellery. Sounds very fiddly to me! What pieces of jewellery or folded book art in general are your most popular sellers? Is there a difference in preference in Australia compared with, say the UK & USA?
The book jewellery is a bit fiddly, and it’s the only item I make in batches -the process of all the gluing is just too hard for single pendants. I have found that popular books make popular pendants. I am working with the Twilight series at the moment, and they are proving popular. Another of my best sellers is wedding confetti cones – in fact, this last weekend, I coiled and posted 250 of them to celebrate various weddings!
Are you looking at writing other e-books in the future? What topics would you like to cover?
I will be writing more books. I am following a business start up trend – things you need to know, getting started with wordpress – internet marketing is the umbrella genre.
What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors?
At the moment I am following author Dave Koziel, who is also an entrepreneur. I do like reading success stories and advice. I implement them and then write about how to model them for smaller businesses.
If you could visit any place in the world to give you art & craft or business inspiration, which place would you love to venture to & why?
Ooooh, such a tough question! I imagine doing a folded book art lesson in the castles of the UK or Europe would be amazing.
When you’re not sewing, blogging or running your art & craft business, what hobbies/past times do you enjoy?
My internet business/entrepreneurial pursuits are my hobbies. I love getting out there, learning the latest changes and helping others achieve their success. It’s a bit of a running joke in my household. I truly am earning doing what I love.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Normally in jeans and a shirt, something comfortable. We have up to 5 children home at any one time and much more than this is just too impractical for me.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I love vintage and used clothing so mostly I will purchase awesome finds on ebay or etsy.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
For the last 3 seasons I have not been able to find knee high boots I like – they are still on the list and I guess since it is nearly Summer here they will need to wait until next season.
Boots or Shoes?
I can’t make such a choice, it’s all about the heel! I am addicted to heels but I have no where to wear them.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you, your crafts & e-books.
It’s been a total joy to speak to you and I wish you all the best in your business ventures. I must say, your dream of holding folded book art lessons in a castle sounds good …. Thornbury Castle in South West England is now a hotel but it still has original features and lounges lined with bookshelves galore – I can imagine that being a good venue! Any readers got any good ideas of the perfect location? Do share, I’d love to know!
All photos have been published with kind permission from Joy Ireland.