I am delighted to introduce to you today Rachael from Forever Cherised Papercuts. I only wish I had found Rachael when my son was a baby! These foil prints are just beautiful and also mess free, what more could you ask for?!
1. Where do you get your inspiration?
Before I started Forever Cherished Papercuts, I was in full time employment, working as a primary school teacher. So needless to say, each and every Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s day etc, I had to put together a design to appear on the cards to go with each celebration. Low and behold, most of the time, I’d fall to the ever so trustworthy hand or footprint. They just seemed to tick every box, a personalised card, unique to the child and could definitely double up as a perfect keepsake.
It was only when I gave birth to my eldest daughter, who is just about to turn four, that I really started to think about prints as a business idea. It was our very first Christmas and I decided to print her teeny tiny feet 14 times to make cards for our loved ones. Trying to do this so many times, with a wriggly baby proved quite difficult. I thought to myself, surely, there must be an easier way to do this. So, I scanned her best set of footprints into my computer and had a mess around (that’s all that it was at this stage) and discovered that I could edit her prints to create templates.
This was so exciting, but I didn’t really understand where I could go with it as a business. The idea was there, but I put it on the back burner for a while as I had to go back to work. Two more children later, (yes, I had three children under the age of three at one stage) and I found myself on Maternity leave again. I started to research different quotes and thought about how I could incorporate my obsession with printing hands and feet into something that I could sell, and more importantly, something that people would want.
2. What do you create?
When I first opened my Etsy shop, I only sold Papercuts, but in the past couple of months I have found an even greater love, foil. I absolutely adore foiling foiled footprints. There is something so satisfying about pulling off the foil to reveal those little prints. I am now left with a tricky situation. My business name is Forever Cherished Papercuts, and yet I’m leaning more towards the foils. Do I change my name?
3. How do you juggle being a Mum and a maker?
This by far has been my hardest challenge yet, and to be perfectly honest I don’t feel as though I can fully put my all into my business and this stage in my children’s lives. I am in the most fortunate position where myself and my husband have decided that I can leave work as a primary school teacher and focus on spending quality time with my three little ones whilst they are so young. My eldest has just started nursery this September, and I just pray each day, with fingers and toes crossed that my other two decide that they need their naps at the same time. On the days that they do, I set to work straight away. If I don’t manage to squeeze in any crafting time between, feeding the children, school runs, tidying the crazy amount of toys that always seem to cover my entire downstairs floorspace, changing nappies and preparing activities, I work when I put my littles ones to bed. I learnt very early on, that no matter what time I put my children to bed, they always seemed to wake between 5am and 6am, and not a minute later will they sleep. So, I set their bedtime to 6pm. I know it may seem very early to some, but it works for me.
4. Why do you do this?
I absolutely love creating something so pretty, out of each and every set of prints that I receive. There is something quite satisfying about it. The long-term plan, is to hopefully turn it into a full-time career and not to return to primary teaching. Although, I loved the actual teaching of the children, the planning, marking and assessing took over far too much of my time outside of school hours. The hours that I should be spending with my little ones. I guess my priorities completely changed the minute I became a mum. So, for the time being, I’m working around my children to build up my business, and once my youngest starts nursery, I’m hoping that it can become a full-time job. I’m not naïve to how much work goes into running your own business, and I am definitely not work shy, but I feel as though it will allow me the flexibility to work around the school runs, school holidays and those dreadful sick days.
5. Best piece of advice for other mammas
Do what you think is right for you and your family. Don’t allow other people’s judgements to have an impact on how you parent. We are all different, have different opinions and choose to raise our children with different morals and values. I raise my children as vegans and have come across a lot of criticism, especially from close family members. I have stood strong with my decision and completely respect that others don’t agree. As long as you are doing what you think is best and right for you, you are doing an amazing job.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did. To see more of Rachael's beautiful work you can follow her here:
Facebook & Instagram @forevercherishedpapercuts
If you are a Mama who makes and would like to be featured, please contact me for more information!