On today’s #mamaswhomake I am delighted to introduce to you Michelle from Miss Shelly Designs, who makes the most gorgeous range of decorations. My favourite has to be the pompom koala! 🐨❤️
Hello Michelle, 👋🏽
Where do you get your inspiration?
My main source of inspiration for Miss Shelly Designs has always been my children. The business first started when I made some toys and cushions for my babies nursery. I then wanted to make them a Christmas decoration to mark their first Christmas and things evolved from there. My handmade Christmas decorations is what I’m best known for and I make a variety of decorations from sloths to dinosaurs! Almost every decoration I make is influenced by what my children like. If there is a particular animal or creature they’re fond of I then try and make it into a decoration. For instance my littlest boy is into penguins at the moment so this year I’ll be making a penguin decoration, it’s very cute!
What do you make?
I design and make a range of products but like I mentioned before, I’m best known for my quirky, handmade Christmas decorations. These are personalised so they make lovely gifts at Christmas time. I also design a range of handmade cards, many come with key rings so they’re a gift and card in one! My most recent products are a range of embroidered wall hangings. They are hand embroidered using felt and I use 3D details such as pom-poms and bow ties. They again can be personalised and they look great in kids bedrooms.
How do you just juggle being a Mum and a maker?
It’s been very hard juggling being a maker around my children but some how I’ve done it! That’s the best thing about what I do, I’m my own boss so if one of my children are poorly or have a random inset day I just don’t work. One of the bad things is I work nearly every evening, even if my children have been at school/nursery I still find I don’t have enough hours in the day and I’m always playing catch up. It was really hard when they were little as they were at home more, I could only work at nap times and in the evenings. I have an incredibly supportive family who help me and when I was on maternity leave with my second baby my mother in law took over the business for me.
Why do you do this?
Sometimes I ask myself why I do this, our family life would be a lot easier if I was a full time, stay at home mum. I’d be on top of all the life-admin, the house would be spotless and I wouldn’t be rushing around so much BUT I wouldn’t be happy. I started Miss Shelly Designs as I needed a creative outlet and something for me. When I had my first child I felt like I’d lost my identity a bit and I was just ‘Josh’s Mum’ So I created the business slowly and I absolutely love what I do, I feel very lucky to be able to juggle the business and my family.
What is your best advice for other Mamas and crafters?
My best advice for other Mamas and crafters is just to be brave and go for it! Open an Etsy shop as your first step and see how it goes. Don’t be put off if it takes a long time to sell anything as like most business it may take a while to grow. Just keep creating and let the ideas flow. Soon you’ll evolve and products you first started selling will probably be quickly replaced as you find your feet. You have control with your business, if it gets too much then shut your shop or extend waiting times until you’ve found your feet again. I’ve learnt the hard was that there is no balance with your work and home life so don’t constantly beat yourself up trying to find it. Just do what works for you.
To to find out more and see Michelle’s latest design please check out the links below.