Next in my Inspirational Women series is the brilliant Emily Burt. Crafty folk in the blog world/twitter may be more familiar knowing her as Handmade by Emily. I often wonder how I ended up following certain people on twitter, but I'm so very glad I stumbled across Emily when I started blogging as it's been so exciting watching her turn her dream into a reality.
I caught up with Emily to find out all about her exciting new venture - Shipshape Studio.
You are about to launch Shipshape Studio. Tell us a little bit about it. What is it?
Shipshape Studio is an independent creative venue and boutique. It’s a friendly space full of vintage and homemade treats where you can come and learn to make all kinds of different things, meet like-minded folk and shop our range of vintage and handmade home, fashion and lifestyle products. We’ve created a space where people can feel comfortable, like a home from home, as we know that it can be a bit daunting coming to a new place on your own. We also want people to be inspired to create and design something for themselves so we’ve got lots of inspirational books and gorgeous fabric to kick-start the creative process. As well as creative and crafty workshops, we’ll also be hosting community events such as short film festivals, exhibitions and regular craft nights. We are launching our bricks-and-mortar venue and website with an opening party on Friday 18th November and an open day on Saturday 19th where you can try some free taster classes – I am so excited!
I don’t know if there’s just one answer to this question. I think the main thing is that I have a strong sense of the shortness of life. My father passed away when I was young and my mother has struggled with serious illness. About a year ago, my partner, Adam, fractured his skull about a year ago, just a week before we left our little cottage in Brighton and were set to move to London. It’s things like that which make you think. You never know what’s around the corner so I think it’s important to grab life by the horns and do what you really believe in. Life’s short and you’re the author of your own story. It took Adam a few months to recover properly and it gave us a lot of thinking time about what we really wanted to do, and it was this!
|Adam and Emily are embarking on this venture together!|
How did you go from getting the idea to open a creative space to making it a reality?
A heck of a lot of planning, late nights, and then planning again. And faith that I had the ability to make my dreams work. I think that that is a really important thing. If you don’t believe in yourself then it is difficult to see all your dreams come in to fruition. The support of family and friends has been invaluable too. When things seem insurmountable a hug and a pep talk can do wonders.
Following your journey on twitter has shown you've had to work very long hours to get this project off the ground. Were there times when you questioned what you were doing?
My goodness, yes, there have been a lot of long hours! I suppose there have been times we’ve both thought ‘What are we doing?!’ but those emotions have actually been very useful. They make you sit down and really think about everything. When I face a problem or a bit of panic strikes I find it really useful to stop and think about things logically. Little in life is insurmountable so stopping to revaluate and problem solve is a very useful way to stop things from mounting up. I like to tackle each problem as I face it so then I can resolve things and move on.
|A sneak peek of the studio|
What can the general public expect from Shipshape Studio? What will be on offer?
Lots of creative things! We will have an online and instore shop selling craft kits and supplies so that you can get making at home. We will be selling felt and vintage fabrics in a whole rainbow of wonderful colours and patterns. Cute and quirky vintage haberdashery pieces such as unusual buttons and pieces of trim so that you can embellish your project or give new life to a piece you already have. We’re also going to be offering a carefully selected range of pieces from some of our favourite illustrators and designer-makers that we’re sure you’ll love as much as we do! Oh, and we will be carrying our range of design-led own-brand home and fashion accessories. I’ve been working on them for a few months and can’t wait to share them with you! We’re hoping that our bricks and mortar venue will become a hub of creativity with a strong crafty community. We’re located in a little courtyard off High Street in Northwood, a leafy part of Greater London near Harrow, so are easily accessible from Central London and Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
I'm going to carry on writing my personal craft and lifestyle blog, Handmade by Emily, which I really enjoy, but we're also going to have a Shipshape Studio blog where we'll share news, behind the scenes info, crafty tips and lots more.
The first thing would be to plan, think and really test yourself. Think about what sort of personality you have. Different people are suited to different things, and there are so many ways to approach the same thing, so really think about where your strengths lie. Never lose sight of your dream but be prepared to make the right compromises and keep thinking. There are many different ways to realise a dream so keep trying until it becomes a reality.
Shipshape Studio opens in Northwood, Greater London at the end of the month. Be sure to get down to the open day on the 19th November for a sneaky peek of what's going on!
You can find out more about Shipshape Studio: