Today's feature is a story about passion and ingenuity, two essential aspects of being your own boss.
You can absolutely turn a hobby into a successful business. It takes a whole lot of courage, elbow grease and learning to be confident, but it IS worth it.
This is why I started My Indie Life Blog. I want to share with you not only how I did it, but how other people are out there doing it too.
Let me introduce to you Lisa From A Twist of Somerset.
How did you discover a passion for vintage?
To be honest, I have always loved to craft and I am the first to confess that I am a bit of a Magpie, I like ‘pretty things’, but I actually discovered a real passion for vintage and upcycling when I became a single mum a few years ago.
After the kids had gone to bed I would be twiddling my thumbs, so in order to keep myself occupied I had a bash at doing up some of my old and mismatched furniture in an effort to make our little cottage homely, the more I painted the more hooked I became.
So I guess you could say that A Twist of Somerset is a true cottage industry, born from a few pots of paint in the corner of my kitchen.
What inspired you to start ‘A Twist of Somerset’ and how did you make it happen?
Once I had completed my own projects I had been well and truly bitten by the upcycling bug and I started to scour local boot sales and charity shops for my next fix. I reloved a few items for friends and family and sold a few pieces locally. My hobby was becoming my passion, I picked up new techniques and even started mixing my own paint.
Then the unthinkable happened and I was made redundant from my full time job - which I found very frightening - but at the same time felt it may be my opportunity to create a business doing something I loved.
I agonised over it for a time but came to the conclusion ‘if I don’t do it now I never will’, so I registered as self employed and ploughed all my energy into building A Twist of Somerset!
I opened an Etsy store online, rented a pitch in a fabulous local Vintage Emporium and met a lovely lady with a similar passion who now stocks some of my finished pieces in her beautiful shop.
What’s the most difficult part of being your own boss?
Other than not having a regular pay cheque I would say that the thing I find most difficult is taming ‘mind monkeys’, those little thoughts of self doubt and questioning; ‘am I going to be able to do this?’, ‘are my products good enough?’, ’am I good enough?’, ‘am I business minded enough?’....................
It’s a case of simply not listening to them, I am more than capable, you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and work hard enough.
How do you plan production, in that you do not know what you will find on your vintage hunts?
I also offer a commission service, so if I have a customer who would like a piece restored, upcycled or sourced, they will take priority.
Other than that I work on creative feel. I have a large stock of furniture of various shapes, sizes and time periods, all waiting to be reloved. I cherry pick from this and paint and create as I feel or as the current trend takes me. I try to run more than one project at a time so I can move from one to the other during waiting periods, for example, whilst paint is drying or glue is setting.
What is your next business goal?
I am currently focusing on building the business and the brand, filling my Etsy store and my other outlets.
Ultimately I would like to open a local shop offering pieces that have been salvaged and restored plus vintage items I have sourced for their complementary style