Who's who: Craft Candy

This month's Who's who comes from Zoe at Craft Candy, you may remember last month we went to the launch party for the app and had a great time, so here is more about Zoe and what Craft Candy are all about.

Who are you?
I'm Zoe, 9-5er by day and crafter and Craft Candy founder by night.

What do you do?
I'm the founder of Craft Candy, the UK's first craft events listing website and App for the iPhone & Android.  Craft Candy is all about community, so we've developed a craft events App which is free to download, the App is fitted with GPS listing local craft events in mile radius from where the user is standing. Craft Candy lists craft workshops, markets and clubs but what makes us just a little special are our creative Advertising packages. Each package includes social media, i.e. tweets, posts or pins depending on the package, to help to spread the event details further than our website & App.

Unlike other sites if you have a free event, i.e. craft market, knitting group or meet-up etc. you can list your event for free on Craft Candy, just upload the event details to the website and it also appear on the App.

I come from a crafting and making background and I understand the margins for making are tight, so I created monthly pay-as-you go advertising options to ensure companies aren't tied into a contract and starting from £10 even the smallest budget can list their workshop on CraftCandy.

How did you start?
I started as a blogger, blogging about local craft markets and workshops and over 18 months my blog grew and grew and it turns out I wasn't the only person looking for local things to make and do. Eventually I decided to take the plunge, researched the market, or multiple markets, craft, social media and the smartphone App market, (I'm not technical so it wasn't a quick process) to see how feasible my Craft Candy business idea was. 

Obviously I thought my idea was amazing, but being a start-up in a market which has seen limited marketing investment unlike fashion, car or technology industries and talking to people about my business idea who have never crafted before and just associated craft with old women was depressing and in the end I gave up talking to potential business partners or investors and I decided to go it alone and so I started saving. Eventually my partner Chris kind of took pity on me and told me he would consider investing if I completed a survey of businesses in the market, I did, the findings were great and now I have a business partner.

What's Next?
Over the next year we have three aims:

To grow Craft Candy across the UK, very early on, we dipped our toe by launching Craft Candy in London, but three weeks ago we opened it up to the rest of UK, the GPS in the App will now work anywhere where there is a craft event in England (which has been uploaded to our site).

The App launched on the 10th March and we intend for it to be a beta App, which means whist you are using it, we are keen to gather your feedback & comments to help to refine it, Good or bad we don't mind, we just want to improve its functions.

Finally, we need to grow our Shop Directory, once our users have learnt or developed a skill, they need supplies to do it in their own time, but where do they buy supplies?  Eventually our Shop Directory will have a comprehensive list of retailers to pick from.

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the beginning?
This is a great question, I hate regretting mistakes, but I love to learn from them, preferably other people’s mistakes rather than my own, but there have been a couple along the way. If I could go back and whisper advice in my ear it would be to get references when engaging with a company or freelancer to do work and to simply be patient.  

Patience is a virtue as they say, but we at Live it.  Love it. Make it. never have enough of it!  Craft Candy is such a great resource and so you should definitely check it out to put workshops on there or to find workshops in your area or perhaps if your spending a few days somewhere for work or whatever, you could see what is in the local area for you to check out!  We Love it.

Live it.  Love it. Make it
H & Sammy

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