We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Makers of OHC specials, please say hello to Laura of Made by Lolly….
How did you become a designer/maker?
Although I studied Multi Media Textiles at Uni, I didn’t really know what to do with myself after I’d finished my course. I ventured out into the real world, but after 5 years working full time, I found that I needed a creative hobby and I started needle felting. It wasn’t long till I realised
I was far too impatient and clumsy for this particular pastime to be a suitable (or safe!) way to relax, so instead, I started cutting and folding felt sheets to create different shapes. Skip forward a few difficult years (that involved some major life-changes including a new job and a move to Yorkshire) and I found that I had a lot of time on my hands and lots more felt accessories than I knew what to do with! I guess that’s when I realised that I was a maker after all.
How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?
When I started, I had no understanding of business, of marketing or any clue about branding, so my business name was purely descriptive – lots of stuff made by me! Looking back, I probably could/should have chosen more carefully or more cleverly… However when I went through a major brand overhaul at the beginning of 2015 I decided to stick with it. On reflection, I think it was a good decision because I feel the words ‘made by lolly’ not only characterise the products that I sell but they also epitomise the business I have created!
Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?
As well as running made by lolly I work 28 hours a week as an administrator for Citizens Advice Bureau. On the surface, my two jobs look very different, but over the last few years I’ve really been surprised at how many of my creative skills I’ve had to use whilst at the day-job, and how much my administration background helps with my business!
How do you make time for it all?
If I ever do find time for it all, I’ll let you know! Life can seem very busy sometimes, but I’ve found that by streamlining my products and processes I am able to successfully manage my business in evenings and weekends. I have also recently discovered Bullet Journaling and have found that this really helps keep my to-do lists under control!
What’s your favourite thing about running your business?
Watching from behind the counter to see the smile creep across a new customers face the first time they encounter one of my products and realise they love it!
Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?
Creatively, I’m incredibly fickle and always love the newest thing I’ve made more than anything else! At the moment my favourites are the pieces of embroidery hoop art. They are so colourful and positive – and I get to work on a much larger scale than when I am making my felt brooches!
Describe your business in three words
Very, very colourful.
We certainly agree that your creations are very, very colourful Laura – and we adore them! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Made by Lolly collection in store now.
See you at the shop x