We couldn’t do a series of blogs about our suppliers and makers without featuring the amazing Zoe from @toocutecrafting. Zoe is one of our incredible tutors at Happydashery and hosts the majority of our creative workshops here. As well as a designer and tutor of multi-discipline creative workshops, Zoe is also a published author and has written and co-written a number of books, including the brilliant, ‘You Will Be Able To Crochet By The End Of This Book’, and the ever so slightly niche, ‘When Doves Craft’, that features 10 projects inspired by the Artist, both of which are available to buy at Happydashery.
Too Cute Crafting is all about helping people live their best creative life, through teaching crafty workshops, sharing inspiring craft-based content, and working with brands to inject some creative and colourful fun into their campaigns. Although I’ve been running Too Cute Crafting for about five years now, before that I owned and ran a handmade jewellery business, so I’ve been involved in the craft community for a very long time! I’m a big believer in the benefits of crafts for improving mental health and wellbeing, plus the joy of making something with your own hands is second to none.
Please can you tell us about your inspiration for your business?
It really was just born out of a love of all things crafty, and wanting to share that love with other people. For a long time ‘craft’ has been a word that conjures up images of old ladies in church halls, knitting and sewing quilts (definitely not slating the granny crafters, I bloody love a traditional craft!) But I wanted to show people that crafting can be cool (does anyone say ‘cool’ anymore?!) and you can make things that are on trend, and that you’d actually want to use or have on display in your home.
What is the most enjoyable thing about your business?
Definitely teaching people new crafts.
What are your top tips for anyone wanting to start their own creative business?
Just go for it! There will always be a million reasons not to do the thing, but you’ll never know unless you give it a go. Also, don’t let the idea of a need for ‘perfection’ get in the way of just doing something. You can learn and improve and make changes along the way. It’s your business and you can do whatever you’d like - just because other people have gone down a particular path doesn’t mean you have to follow.
How do you get yourself out of any creative slumps?
I think it’s easier if I tell you what I don’t do when I’m in a creative slump, which is go online and compare myself to others! It’s a guaranteed way to make you feel worse, because you feel like everyone else is so much more creative/has an endless supply of creativity/what’s the point in you even bothering? Then I try and get outside and do something in nature which is an endless source of inspiration. Plus being outdoors helps blow away the cobwebs and stops you trying to force the creativity which, for me at least, never works. Finally I do some mindless crafting, like abstract stitching, or a very simple crochet pattern. I feel like I’m doing something creative but without the pressure of trying to be overly creative.
What songs feature most on your playlist for when you are working?
My music taste basically hasn’t changed in the last 10-15 years, so lots of Jenny Lewis, Tegan and Sara, Fleetwood Mac, Beyonce, Regina Spector, and Los Campesinos is usually involved. Plus any and all 00s RnB is my guilty pleasure.
What do you like doing in your downtime away from your business?
Definitely a huge thrifting fan - if I’m not working I can usually be find scouring local charity shops and car boot sales for bargains. I’m slowly recollecting the toys I had when I was a kid in the 90s, much to my mother’s dismay! My biggest hobby though is crafting, which means the lines between work and play do get blurred sometimes! I try to keep my work and personal projects separate though, as it’s nice to craft for myself without feeling the need to create content around it.
What is next for your business?
My main focus for this year is to continue to grow the current areas of my business, holding more workshops and craft events so I can get as many people crafting as possible. But I’d also love to create some digital content to go alongside my workshops, for people who can’t attend in person - I’m actually working on a crochet video course at the moment, and hope to also create some of my own crochet patterns as that’s been a big goal of mine for a while now!
To find out more about the @toocutecrafting workshops we host at Happydashery, click on this link