What to focus on…

So when I first started Bumble & Bees I had all kinds of ‘big ideas and grand plans’, both my children were going to be at school and they are very much my priority but I wanted to do something ‘creative’ and have an outlet for some me time and something that taxed me again whilst potentially bringing in a bit of an income which didn’t restrict me or pull me away for supporting the children or helping at school etc at anytime if needed. I initially wanted to make children’s toys and decorative items. Pretty dolls, wands and play things. However I quickly discovered it wasn’t that simple and if I wanted to do things properly and safely I needed to go down the route of CE testing and documenting everything I did and used etc. For me this wasn’t right and wasn’t what I wanted to do, I wanted to feel more free to create and chop and change what I did. I also had so many ideas for other things I really didnt know what to focus on.

I’ve always loved using felt and over the years made various things for my children and friends from felt. I started to explore and play around with different ideas and loved making mobiles and decorative accessories etc. Childrens hairclips and hairbands are so fun to make. I’ve loved creating my felt droplet hoops and particularly adding the personal initial with the liberty print fabrics (I LOVE all things liberty!! especially the floral prints!) Inspired by where we live and the gardens around us, felt flowers became a new fascination and I created a few designs that I loved working with. I still love making these and my felt flower brooches have been really popular.

Then shortly before Christmas I discovered Fimo again! As a child in primary school my best friend and I would spend hours making beads and brooches from Fimo, we would create all sorts and I loved working with the clay. I still have beads I made and several brooches my best friend Esther made me for my birthdays! So I bought a selection of colours and started playing around with it again, a old love was re-kindled!

Here is where my dilemma has set in, I’ve felt (excuse the un-intential pun!) unsure what to focus on. I really enjoy working with felt and it was the first thing I started doing with Bumble & Bees but I really love working with clay too and I’m struggling to find the time for both and also work out how they can ‘fit’ alongside each other. Childrens felt wall hangings and accessories alongside clay jewellery? Can I do both and make them work together!? I’m not sure? I want to really invest in my little business and I want to try and make something of it and to do that I feel I need to have a single focus/market and work with that. There are soooo many incredible makers out there and particularly childrens interiors and felt decor and I have serious doubts in my ability to find a place in that market. However with the clay, the response I have had from my jewellery has been wonderful and so encouraging. There are still masses of far more talented, experienced and gifted clay crafters out there but I think it excites me more and in the UK I think there is more space!? I dont know maybe thats just my wishful thinking! However I am feeling more and more that I should work with clay and really focus on that but feel a little sad about dropping the felt creations. Maybe I’ll keep the felt on Etsy as available but keep my Insta and main focus on the clay!? Oh I really dont know, but I think I need to make a decision soon!

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