20 Mar 2017By Mark Hayhurst
You have become a craft ambassador with Create and Craft TV, tell us about the new partnership?
As Ambassador for Create & Craft I will be co-hosting some new live shows with new and existing brands. I’m also developing some brand new products especially for Create & Craft, the first ones will be launching soon. I’m also working on some video content and tutorials for the Craft Academy Hub, a fantastic resource. I’ve been asked to mentor and work with some of the new companies coming to the channel as someone who’s been there and done it and grown a company very fast. I’m really looking forward to helping others and mentoring them through the process.
You are also an ambassador for a number of other brands - how much do you enjoy this work?
I love it, for me it’s all about sharing. I love to find new ways of developing or marketing the products so they are really versatile and being shown off in the right way, and then finding new ways of using those products so for crafters and makers, you really are getting versatility and value for money as well as trying new things!
You are on the board of directors for the AFCI UK – what do you bring to the table and what do you want to achieve?
AFCI UK is a great organisation, I had so much help from Craig when I was starting out that it was a very natural thing for me that as soon as I started to have some success I wanted to give that back. It’s so important to keep passing things along, growing and sharing, it’s how we grow the industry as a whole! As a designer initially when I joined, the first priority for me was establishing the Designer, Educator, Blogger category and creating their own set of benefits and event. I’ve worked hard on that for the last two years and it’s been amazing to watch it come together and the designers jump on board and get the recognition and jobs they deserve. As Head of Events, I also oversee the One Big Show as well as Creative Exchanges. Every year it gets bigger and better, it’s a fantastic resource for our members and we put a lot into getting it right so that everyone gets the help, support and connections they need, as well as having fun of course!
What drove you to set up your own business?
Fear! Seriously though, I had been made redundant from a job I liked but that wasn’t my passion. I had £40 left and it was right in the recession when 300 plus people were going for jobs. I thought if I didn’t do something myself I could easily have been in trouble. I decided to try something I loved instead, I had nothing to lose!
What is your biggest business achievement?
Opening my office in LA last year, it was something on the ten year plan and I did it in five, I love it there!
You have written a number of books – why did you start writing and how much do you enjoy it?
I’ve always written stories and I love to share the things I learn so it’s a very natural thing for me, it wasn’t really a decision, it just happened very organically. I absolutely love it and have lots more to come!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere! I read everything I can, magazines especially, I love them! Attend lots of shows all over the world and ask loads of questions. Curiosity is key!
If you could offer your younger self some advice what would it be?
Don’t worry so much what other people think, it’s something you only learn as you get older unfortunately!
What’s your earliest memory of crafting?
Colouring in with my mum, we lived in this freezing cold flat, in winter my mum would move the sofa close to the heater, make a big pot of tea and we’d snuggle under a duvet and colour in - she’d do the left page because she’s left handed so it was easier for her and I’d do the right page. I had one of those giant boxes of Crayola crayons with all the colours, I was living the dream!
What is the one craft tool you would save in a house fire?
If you had to pick just one craft above all others what would it be?
Papercraft, I love paper cutting and folding and making things from paper, it’s just so versatile.
What do you do to relax?
Art journal! it’s very therapeutic.