Lucy Booth is hoping to have success sewn up with her new business venture which is celebrating its first anniversary. The Brighouse mum-of-two was fed up of juggling a busy job and family life so she decided to take a leap in the dark and turn her hobby into a business making craft items for the home.
Since her first tentative steps making cushions for friends, her business - Crafty By Name - has gone from strength to strength and she is now hard at work on Christmas orders.
Lucy, of Houghton St, was working as PA to the Dean of Huddersfield University when she realised that family life was suffering.
“I loved my job but with two young children - Emmy and Reuben - there just never seemed to be enough time for family life. I was leaving the house at 7.30am and getting home at 6 four days a week and I constantly seemed to be chasing my tail.”
Lucy has loved sewing since childhood when her own mum taught her needlecraft skills.
“I kept my hand in and when I couldn’t find a Roman blind I liked for Reuben’s bedroom, I decided to make my own.
“Then I made some cushions for my friends, which were a success, and it made me think that I might be able to turn it into a business.
“I have always been quite creative and I came up with a few ideas such as cushion letters, personalised bunting and accessories which i thought might sell well.”
A former pupil at Brighouse High School, Lucy studied at York St John University, doing a drama degree and specialising in stage management.
“It’s been a steep learning curve but I love it,” said Lucy. “It’s great being able to work when the children are at school and nursery and, though I get busy times with orders to fulfill, my life is nowhere near as stressful as it used to be.”
Lucy has set up a workroom in her attic and spends a lot of time sourcing colourful, eye-catching and attractive fabrics.
“I have built up a good relationship with fabric suppliers and I go to Huddersfield, Shipley and Bradford to find attractive designs. It is worth looking for something a bit different.”
There has been a huge surge of interest in handmade crafts - and TV programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee and Kirsty Allsopp’s Home Style have given a boost to the idea of ‘make do and mend’ and traditional skills.
“There has been a definite revival of interest in crafts and people are looking for unusual and different gift items these days. It all ties in with the idea of shabby chic and nostalgia.”
Lucy also makes bags for dance kits, wedding favours, and bunting for weddings and parties - which is available to hire. Her cushion letters are very popular as christening gifts and birthday presents for young children.
In the build-up to Christmas, 30-year-old Lucy will be busy making Santa sacks, rag wreaths and festive bunting.
“I’m learning a lot about what people want and which designs sell well,” said Lucy.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s gone. Some of my designs have even been sent out to Canada, New Zealand and Australia which is great.
“It was a bit of a risk leaving a secure job but I’m so glad I did it. My partner Jason Ellis has been very supportive and it’s been a good move for all of us.”
Lucy’s website is www.craftybyname.co.uk