How did you end up launching your own eBay shop?
“In 2003, I was undergoing treatment for a number of issues, including anorexia. I was 17 and very, very, lost, I literally didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and after I finished Sixth Form, I gradually deteriorated and ending up being admitted to hospital.
“While there, I started doodling and would use fabric pens to create t-shirt designs. I realised that I wanted to do something arty – and to do so, I had to survive. It gave me a purpose and something to focus on.
“I had always enjoyed art and making things, so pursing a creative career made sense. I’d also grown up around it, as my dad was a self-employed designer. I continued drawing and this progressed into me starting to make items – initially, jewellery and charms. People would always compliment me on them and ask where I got them from. These compliments led me to start selling my creations and eBay was the natural choice.”
When did you sell your first item on eBay?
“In the beginning, I didn’t have high expectations, I just thought I’d have a go and see what happened.
“It was really easy to get set up on eBay and the sales quickly started coming through. I began by selling handmade charm bracelets and from there added more and more to my range, with cushions and other home décor pieces.
“I am completely self-taught and many of the pieces I sell are inspired by items I made for my son. When he was born I started making things for him, such as little cushions and other items for the nursery. These types of items have consistently remained among my top sellers, especially cloud and cookie-shaped pillows.”
How have you grown the business?
“I'm constantly learning what works and what doesn't, and how to sew better and quicker. Every year there’s also a surprise craze that comes up – my moustache-shaped pillows being one example.
“Today, I have a number of designs that I'm really proud of and my shop is now my main source of income, so every sale is celebrated. I also like to think that I'm setting a good example for my two children by being able to draw, sew and make anything I want. I’m showing them different crafts and skills, just like my dad taught me.
“I love to see their reactions when I make something new, and I hope my customers have the same reaction when they open their parcels.”