We LOVE supporting other small independent businesses and happy to support ‘community over competition’.
Indie Biz of the month is here to showcase another small creative business each month so we hope you enjoy reading about Kirsty from Paper and Smiles, a beautiful craft workshop heaven in the beautiful Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire!
*Kirsty has just launched the new workshop program - check out www.paperandsmiles.co.uk for the details!
We have known Kirsty for years - Ruth and her go way back to before their individual craft careers (like, 20+ years!) so we are thrilled to have P&S as our featured indie this month. Read on to find out a little bit more about Kirsty and her business...
Can you describe 'Paper and Smiles' in a sentence?
Paper and Smiles Studio is a craft studio which hosts craft workshops, groups and parties for people of all ages and abilities, the studio is also home to a craft kit shop and is packed full of Paper and Smiles cards, prints and gifts (as I am also an illustrator/maker).
Where are you based?
The Studio is located in the grounds of Woodborough Garden Centre, in thegorgeous Pewsey Vale in Wiltshire.
How long have has 'Paper and Smiles' been going for and how did your business start?
I have been running Paper and Smiles since 2015, originally selling lino printed cards and gifts, I started teaching lino printing workshops in 2017. I took theplunge to open the Studio in the spring of this year, it was one of those now or never moments!
What did you do before 'Paper and Smiles' and what motivated you to change what you were doing and start your own business?
Paper and Smiles started during my maternity leave, I was working as an accountant for a local council before then. I loved the people, but didn’t really love the job, it was something that I had fallen into after years of drifting without really knowing what I wanted to do with my life! I have always been an avid crafter, I made everything for our wedding back in 2004 and from then my box of crafty bits grew into a cupboard and then a room. I think our house breathed a sigh of relief when I moved it all into the studio this year!
How many people are involved in your business?
At the moment it’s just little old me - I do have lots of other lovely creatives coming into the studio to share their skills and passion with others, they are all fantastic, as are my family and friends who all muck in when needed – my 6 year old son Robert is often my helper in the studio, especially in the holidays, luckily he is as chatty and creative as his mum!
What do you enjoy most about running your own business and what do you really dislike?!
I love meeting people, teaching them new skills and helping them unleash their inner creative! I have been amazed at some of the glorious creations that have left this studio! I have been on a huge learning curve since I opened the studio – I’m usually a last minute kind of girl and I haven’t quite got to grips with forward planning yet – although I am trying to be better….the school holiday workshops will be planned by time you read this! (go check out the websitehere guys!)
What is your business dream?
I’m kind of living my business dream at the moment! I always wanted to run a craft café or something similar, I have lots of ideas about the future of Paper and Smiles Studio but at the moment I am just concentrating on getting myself established (and getting a bit better at forward planning)!
Do you have a target audience? If so, what kind of things do they like?
I don’t really have a target market – anyone who is interested in creativity! I have had all ages and types of people through the doors here from newborns to octogenarians!
Do you have any exciting projects/products/events in the pipeline or coming up?
I’m a big believer in people taking a bit of time for themselves, and a craft group or workshop is perfect for that! I’m hoping to start up some ladies’ craft evenings over the summer and autumn so that more people who work the daily 9-5 can come along and experience the studio and meet some other lovely people!
Tell us a fun fact or story about you or your business!
I am double jointed – you may spot the odd wonky arm or overly bendy thumb in some of my photos! Because of this I do struggle with some crafts – particularly knitting – my mum has tried (and failed) to teach me so many times, my wonky fingers are having none of it!
If you are a crafter, what are your favourite crafting hobbies?
I have got myself addicted to rock painting! We have found some lovely hand painted rocks on days out in the past and I wanted to have a try, once I started I was hooked and have shared my new hobby with groups at workshops and at school – my sons school has a whole path made up of pebbles that the children painted as part of Art Week this year, and there is now a dedicated pebble painting table in the studio, where you can drop in and paint a pebble to two!
We love lifting up other independent businesses and Paper and Smiles is just fab! We love the sound of their dedicated rock painting table - so we are currently planning a The Make Arcade summer day trip to go (with all our children in tow!) to visit Kirsty and see her beautiful rainbow filled studio, paint some rocks and buy some lovely plants!
Go show Kirsty some love by visiting her Instagram and Facebook pages!