[Classic Becca with:] is a business series interviewing entrepreneurs focusing on the what, how and whys of being a creative business owner or working in an unusual career.
Karen Davey Contemporary Home Furnishings
Describe yourself in a few words…
I'm a wannabe entrepreneur, have my fingers in many different roles and work projects. I am quite reserved and really need to focus on my self belief and confidence in my own abilities.
Tell us how you first got into your business…
I've always wanted my own business, but had no idea in what. After a very stressful time at work, I sat down with a borrowed sewing machine and made a book bag, having not sewn for 25 years. I was immediately hooked, and handed in my notice at work the following week. At my first event, I had a stand at the Royal Cornwall Show, a massive three-day event with excess of 100k visitors. There was no going back!
"As well as my own business, I co-run a craft co-operative shop called Winifred and Mabel in Wadebridge"
How do you balance your working week?
As well as my own business, I co-run a craft co-operative shop called Winifred and Mabel in Wadebridge, which has around 20 handmade businesses making and selling their products. I also manage a quirky, handmade gift shop in Padstow 3 days a week, so I'm not really one to balance my working week! I do ensure that I have one day a week off, and also take time for walking, swimming and pilates. As well as two older teenagers, a husband and a cat at home.
Describe your workspace…
I work from a 14ft x 10ft garden shed. It used to be my husbands motorbike shed, until I persuaded him that he didn't need such a large space. I then had lighting, insulation and heating installed. It's crammed full with lampshade making components, fabric and random sewing stuff that I have collected over the years. I have a funky blanket covering my boring office chair, I made this when I was around 10 years old, so it's lasted a while. It was the one and only thing that I have ever knitted.
What inspires you?
Living by the Cornish Coast, I often take myself down to the local beach in the quieter seasons and take in the surroundings with all my senses.
What is your favourite thing to make?
My favourite thing to make is lampshades. They are relatively easy and quick to make, and I still get excited when I finish making one.
What’s been the proudest moment whilst running your business to date?
Apart from winning #sbs in February 2012, I would say it was opening the craft co-operative shop in March 2014.
What are your future plans for your business?
Future plans for my business include doing more of the same. I would love to develop my website and look at other online outlets, but I much prefer making to selling.
If you are interested in taking part in this series please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your business and links and a little bit about yourself.