Tell us a little bit about your business.
Hello, I'm Sarah Bennett and I'm the owner of MayCrafts, which I launched online in 2012. I create bespoke, handmade items from personalised patchwork quilts to wedding cushions and sell craft kits!
What is your background? What led you to start your business?
My background is in translation but I moved from crafting words to crafting fabrics as my family life has changed. Having covered all the beds, sofas, chairs (and any other furniture!) in my Guildford home with my designs, I began making similar items for family and friends and for local church fairs. Then in 2012, I took the step of branching out further and set up May Crafts making special personalised and handmade items.
How do you balance work and family life when working from home?
It can be hectic! But my family are patient and challenge me to try different combinations of patterns and fabrics. I have a strong Christian faith and feel blessed to enjoy my work and to share the gift of creativity. We always make time to sit down and eat as a family and the children are good at stepping around fabric and ‘Mum's next project’!
Luckily my children are happy to be `seasonal workers` during peak times such as Christmas - whether packing parcels, printing labels, making up craft kits or making cups of tea.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
I love receiving feedback from my customers when they open their post and see their handmade item for the fist time. When the customer is happy, I’m happy and the hard work has paid off!
I also enjoy teaching others to sew. I've recently introduced some sewing kits, which I tested on my Brownies. It is a great way for children to get creative and make their first felt craft.
What product that you offer are you most excited about?
I enjoy creating the personalised quilts and cushions. My customers know they are getting a unique, one-of-a-kind handmade item that they can’t get on the high street and that will last for many years to come.
Making keepsake and memory quilts is such a privilege. I'm happy to take my inspiration from my customers and be guided by them to create something special for them that honours the memory of a loved one or keeps alive a memory of times past from cherished fabrics.
What is the strangest thing you have made for your customers?
The strangest? Well the jabot for the town crier was certainly unusual but the strangest has to be the 6ft long caterpillar for an Alice in Wonderland party. I understand he put a smile on lots of people's faces.