Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #47, ThePenguinTheory
Our latest CraftBritannia Shop of the Week owner, Claire of ThePenguinTheory, talks to us about her cute and quirky handmade fashions.
Describe your “typical” working day or week
I don’t really have a “typical” working day/week as I do shift work at a pub. Most mornings start waking up my boyfriend with a cup of coffee though. I try to work all my crafting around my shifts, although this sometimes proves difficult when I’m working 40+ hours a week, and often leaves my boyfriend feeling a little left out. I make sure I put some time aside for him on my days off 🙂
When you are not doing Etsy related things, what are you doing?
Usually going on fun dates with my boyfriend, meeting up with my sister or working.
What was the first piece you ever sold?
I think it was a pair of earrings, at a hobbies fair. My first sale on Etsy was a mens tie.
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t get stressed over the mistakes you make. Learn, unpick, start again.
What material do you most enjoy working with?
Cottons. They’re easy to work with and can come with some gorgeous and fun patterns!
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
Glassblowing. I have a friend whose uncle makes the most amazing sculptures out of glass and it’s always been something that intrigued me. I used to love walking into his house and seeing all these beautiful objects dotted around. It is just amazing what can be made.
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
My sewing machine. As much as I try to sew by hand, ! really am terrible at it!
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
My family and friends who support me. My mum bought me my first ever sewing machine, as well as the one I have now! My sister is always coming up with great ideas and giving me direction. My boyfriend helps me with the photographs and organisation, plus he tells me off when I procrastinate. My work friends are always asking about my products as well as some of my customers! And last, but not least, my friend Katy who is an amazing artist and also partner of The Penguin Theory.
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
I’m sorry if it sounds bigheaded to say this, but my Cape! I made it myself and it was my first big sewing project. It came out just how I wanted and really gave me confidence to plan even more adventurous items for the future. I do, however, own an amazing steampunk necklace which was my first purchase from Etsy – it’s just stunning to look at and I’m always complimented on it.
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
I have actually made some really big plans, with the help of my sister, which should all kick off in May. I’m making some brand new items which will hopefully streamline my shop and give me more of a brand image as well as expanding on some of the current items in my shop. I also will be playing with screenprinting in the near future!