I’m very excited to be able to bring you an interview with a very lovely lady. Emma from ‘The Yarn & Craft Shop‘ has recently taken over an online yarn shop. Do pop over and have a look; the site is very easy to navigate. She has some lovely yarns as well as patterns, books, and a gift and kits section (I have to admit, I am very tempted by the cute crochet hooks roll!). I follow her on twitter (@lemonade_yarns) and have admired the personal touch she adds to what she does; so it was a privilege when I recently had the chance to interview her and to find out a little more about her and her passion for all things crafty.
BB: What crafts do you personally enjoy doing?
Emma: I love all things crafty really – anything that involves a needle and thread, some wool or some fabric! I also really enjoy Origami. There’s something very soothing about folding paper, and something so magical about what that flat square turns into when all the folding is complete.
BB: What’s your favourite craft?
Emma: My absolute favourite craft has to be crochet!
BB: When did you start crafting?
Emma: I’ve been crafting for as long as I can remember! One of my earliest memories is making earrings out of tiny pieces of coloured paper and sticking them on my ears with blu-tack! I also have very fond memories of sitting in the garden in the summer holidays with my sister, French-knitting like crazy, trying to get a long piece of woollen rope than her!
BB: Who inspires you with your crafting?
Emma: So many people inspire me! Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are brimming with talented, creative people and I get a lot of inspiration from them. Closer to home, my Grandmother, Grandad and Aunt are all huge inspirations to me – the tapestries, crochet and needlework they have done, and that my Aunt still does are beautiful works of art and I aspire to be as good as them.
BB: Do you read any other peoples blogs and if so, which ones?
Emma: I dip in and out of a lot of blogs – I’m finding I have less and less time these days to loose myself in a new blog for hours on end, but if I see someone has tweeted about a new post they’ve written, I’ll always pop over and have a read. The blogs that I just must read and that I subscribe to so I never miss a post are Coco Rose Diaries, Attic 24, Skulls and Ponies and What You Sow.
Some questions about the shop:
BB: So how did you come about the Yarn and Craft Shop?
Emma: I came about the Yarn and Craft Shop quite by accident really! It was one of those things that just came along at exactly the right time, and I just knew I had to do everything I could to make it happen. It’s all thanks to Lyndsey at What You Sow really, because she was the one who told me that her friend was selling her online yarn shop, and Lyndsey knew it was my dream to run my own shop, so she was the facilitator in all of it!
BB: How long have you been doing it?
Emma: I first heard about the shop in November 2012, and I signed the papers on February 2nd this year, so all in all nearly 6 months. Those 6 months have absolutely flown by!
BB: Are there any changes/changes of direction you’ve made?
Emma: I’ve made some pretty significant changes to the shop, starting with the look of it, and then selling off a lot of old, discontinued yarns. Now I’m concentrating on buying in new products whilst selling off some things that I no longer want to stock, such as the scarf yarns and a few other bits and pieces. Originally I wanted to continue expanding into other crafts, but for now I think I’ll concentrate on the yarns, and then branch out when it’s really got going.
BB: What has been the biggest challenge?
Emma: The biggest challenge is second-guessing what my customers want! It’s so hard being a very small online yarn shop and competing with the big guns like Deramores, but I think that I offer a much more personal service than they do, and I will always do my best to source yarns for my customers, and help them choose colours and things. So as long as I continue to do that and people shop with me because they appreciate that level of service, then I’ll be ok!
BB: What have you enjoyed most?
Emma: The best thing is getting to know the regular customers and establishing a rapport with them. It also really makes my day when I receive an email from a happy customer or see photos of a finished project which has used yarn bought from me
BB: Where would you like the shop to go in the next few years?
Emma: My ultimate goal is to own an actual bricks-and-mortar yarn shop. I’ve been scouting out locations for years now, but it’s still a little way off yet!
BB: Have you any words of wisdom you can give us (preferably to do with your experiences of owning your shop but it doesn’t have to be!)?
Emma: Running your own business is hard. I’m on a steep learning curve every single day, but there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. If you want it enough, and you have a passion for your products then go for it!
BB: I was very excited to hear about the new online crochet course you are now selling (with Ali Campbell). Are there any other sneaky peaks you can give us into new and exciting things coming up in the shop?
Emma: Aside from some new products that will be arriving very soon (MillaMia and some beautiful wooden crochet hooks and knitting needles I’ve sourced from India) I will hopefully be running some crochet workshops in Cardiff and also offering one-to-one lessons for people wishing to learn to crochet, or those wanting to improve their skills. Exciting times!
Thank you so much Beth for offering to feature me on your blog. I have really enjoyed answering your questions and I hope that I can inspire people to follow their dreams x x
Thank you so much Emma for for answering my questions. It’s been lovely finding out more about you!