Introduce yourself, who are you and what do you create that is a bespoke keepsake?
I'm Laura, a single Mum to Rose who was born 2 months early in September last year. In the 'real world' (where people make money and leave the house to go to work!) I work in the social care arena. I've just finished a stint with CAMHS for the NHS and I now work as an Independence Worker. My aim is to do my Masters in Social Work next year. In the meantime, in 'Laura's world', I make unique personalised gifts and keepsakes. These can be anything from fridge magnets to tiny 7cm x 7 cm canvases. Whilst at college studying Art, I developed a technique which allows me to transfer photocopied images onto most surfaces - this has given my work a slight edge as although there are a lot of gifts out their which personalise, there are not many which involve a photo which are purely handmade. My new tag line is 'Putting the person into personalisation'.
How and when did you start creating what you do?
The first attempt was back in 2001 at art college. We were encouraged to experiment extensively with all sorts of different media and in fact, my first attempt was a chair covered in 1950s Barbies! Interesting fact for you: everything has to be done backwards, even the writing! I started trading on Facebook only last month, and it's going very well.
What is your favourite thing about making keepsakes?
I love the physicality of what I do. Every item has to be soaked over night (at least) and then the process to reveal the image begins. This is my favourite (or most feared) part! Although I have an idea about how the image will turn out, the proof is when I start to work into the picture to reveal it, and every time it's a surprise. After that is completed, the image is sealed and embellishments are added, so my work station is quite a production line - I love to see how items are coming together.
What are your most popular/ best selling items?
My Christmas baubles have been a hit, as have my wooden letters. (shown below)
Are you planning to introduce any new products to your range?
I have so many ideas but unfortunately my brain works quicker than my hands! I'm doing some trinket boxes at the moment, and I want to do some money boxes and mirrors. The beauty of the way I work is that it's applicable across so many different levels, so although I do a lot of baby products, the same process could be used for Wedding Favours/Anniversaries, Birthdays, Graduations etc. Basically I can transfer onto anything that someone desires, except glass.
Do you have an online shop/Facebook page/Etsy shop? Where do you think most of your sales are generated?
My website www.ring-of-roses.net is under construction currently, and I have been touring the local nurseries. Combined with facebook, sales have been fairly equal and steady! The more I network, the more sales I get from my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ring-Of-Roses/294407373910590 - but I find it hard to devote the time to that, and do the making (and look after Rose!) I'm thrilled that people enjoy and want my items.
Finally, if you have any special offers or incentives please share them with us!
I have a quandary of the week which is posted every Friday at 7pm for 24 hours. It's a question and the person with the most likes on their answer gets 20% off their next border. Last week's question was: If girls are pink and boys are blue, what are grannies and why?