Craft enthusiast Rachel Garner is hoping to bring ‘Hours of Fun’ to Liverpool and beyond. Rachel’s haberdashery and craft shop can be found online at www.hoursoffun.co.uk and retails both homemade items ready-made, and craft kits to be able to make your own bits and bobs and maybe save some money during the recession.
Having come from a family of teachers, 32 year old Rachel had always felt the pressure to pursue a structured career path. She found herself working in admin and HR, but couldn’t resist the pull of her true passion which was crafts and creativity.
“I have been making my own cards and other bits for 10 or 12 years now”, said Rachel. “I just love making things. When I completed my certificate in training practice through my day job and found I’d got a distinction, it got me thinking about what else I could use those skills for.”
A friend Rachel met through a cake decorating course told her how The Women’s Organisation had helped her to set up her own business. Rachel decided to get in touch and see if she could turn her hobby into a business. Having never done a business plan before Rachel was really grateful for the help from her business adviser at the organisation and said “The template they gave me was amazing”.
At first Rachel felt a little overwhelmed having never run a business before and said “after my first meeting I went home and said to my hubby ‘I just can’t do it’. It’s great to see where I am now. I couldn’t have done it without The Women’s Organisation”.
Rachel also attended training courses around book keeping and understanding tax and national insurance with the organisation which she found were “really useful and good for meeting other people”.
As well as an online store ‘Hours of Fun’ are going to be launching training courses in the new year, offering opportunity for adults to meet together to learn a craft such as card making, or to add a bit of fun to a children’s party decorating your own cup-cakes, or painting your own pots.
“My dream is to bring crafts to all ages to inspire creativity and home crafting” she enthused. “Crafts are really back in fashion. I think with the recession people are looking for cheaper options. Crafts can be the fun and affordable way forward.”
Reflecting on the currently popular show ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ with Kirstie Allsop Rachel said “Much like Kirstie I just love trying lots of different crafts and like to think of myself as a ‘jack of all crafts’, but my favourites at the moment are card making and felting.”
Having turned her dream into reality and launched her own business, Rachel said “It’s been a huge learning curve. I am lucky to have a good support network of family and friends who all have a variety of skills and have been able to help me along the way. If someone else were to ask me for advice on setting up a business I would say contact The Women’s Organisation before you do, attend all the classes for the information and the people you meet, and do it at a speed that suits you. I am a person who likes to carefully research things before jumping in. Sometimes in doing that I found myself making excuses to other people as to why I wasn’t pushing things along faster. But I have realised that it is better to go at your own speed and do all the research first.”
To find out more about Hours of Fun, visit their website www.hoursoffun.co.uk or email Rachel on Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
If like Rachel you would like to turn your hobby into a profitable business then contact The Women’s Organisation to see what free support is on offer on 0151 706 8111 or email@example.com