Makingmart, the UK’s only online craft social marketplace, was founded by designer and maker Claire Garside-Kenny in 2019.
My name is Claire and I am the founder of Simple Sew Patterns and more recently the social marketplace for craft lovers www.makingmart.com (think Etsy blended with Facebook).
I wanted to share my story with you, fellow craft lovers and creatives because I hope in some small way it might inspire you to pursue your own crafting enterprises and projects. I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed success in my creative career, and I think that is mainly due to a growth mindset and a sheer grit determination to see things through! Though absolutely, my love for creativity is the driving force behind what I do and the belief that without creativity life is just too barren.
My first and most enduring craft love will always be sewing even though most of my time is now spent trying out lots of other crafts for Makingmart (all in the name of research of course). I remember the early days when I fell in love with the miracle that is a piece of fabric and some thread. I loved it so much that I found a way to share my own sewing pattern designs with other people so they could also experience the joy of sewing up a swing dress that was easy to make! But before I found a way, there were times when I really thought I never would.
One of my first orders which was really big, took me by surprise, and unbelievably my friend and I stayed up all night hand tracing around master patterns one by one because I didn’t have a way to print them out. Obviously this was total madness and thankfully I knew a man who owned a local printers who took pity on me and let me use his wide format printer. I hadn’t anticipated the demand for my patterns, and the lesson I learned from that was, I suppose, an obvious one – sort out your production suppliers before you start marketing!
I was fortunate really because in those days, around 8 years ago, there weren’t any companies offering wide format short run pattern printing for indie designers. There were just the big companies in America and China with large print run demands. For a small label that is way too much too soon and is just not viable. Not least because you don’t want to get stuck with 1000’s of patterns if the design doesn’t take off like you’d hoped. But you know what they say, where there’s a will there’s a way, and creative people generally think outside of the box to get things done. I would say without a doubt that networking and collaborations have always been my biggest route to market, two heads are much better than one.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been through the grind that is trying to market a craft business, it is definitely not an easy thing to do. There are so many things to think about, not least learning how to work smart as well as hard to avoid burn out. So that is why I have spent the last 18 months building and developing a social network that has the potential to make things SO much easier and much more streamlined for those of us building and running craft businesses.
Imagine a place that is dedicated to craft lovers, that has all of your social media tools on one platform that is a space for encouragement and collaboration between both makers and craft lovers. I believe that place to be Makingmart, the name really says it all. A market for makers.
What is Makingmart?
Makingmart gives buyers and sellers the chance to help each other through whichever journey they are each personally travelling, be it a personal creative development journey or a business growth journey, or a blend of the two. The Makingmart platform can offer support and scaffolding to every creative person in some way through connectivity and community. The tools are there, we just need to use them.
Why don’t you come on over and see what we have to offer. www.makingmart.com