We caught up with Dawn Bibby to talk all things craft! Find out exactly where she gets her crafty inspiration from, how she turned her creative passion into a successful career in craft, and what’s in store for the year ahead, and beyond!
When did you first discover you had a passion for crafting?
My mum was my biggest inspiration. I started crafting with her as a child – knitting, embroidery and drawing . I loved creating, and have many happy memories of the time we spent together when I was growing up.
What inspired you to turn a creative passion into a business?
My career just evolved from my passion… I really couldn’t image doing anything else ! It was just a natural thing while I was still in college; I started working weekends in a sewing and knitting machine shop, teaching people how to use the machines. I just loved sharing ideas and inspiring people to be creative, even at the age of 17!
You began by selling completed fashion and craft projects. How did the transition to selling crafting supplies occur?
At 21 I set up my own business selling knitted garments, and I soon progressed to hand painting on T-shirts . It was whilst travelling around exhibiting at craft fayres and shows, I recognised that there were two types of customers – those who wanted to buy the finished products, and those who wanted to create them themselves. So I decided to start selling the products alongside my finished items, and teaching people how to use them.
You’ve worked on various crafts over the years from fashion to cardmaking – what’s your favourite kind of project to get stuck into?
I love so many different types of crafts , I do love knitting and hand embroidery, so in my personal downtime it’s normally what I choose to do .
What do you do when you hit a creative brick wall… any tips for conquering crafter’s/artist’s block?
Honestly it’s very rare I hit a brick wall (lucky that I am, for that!) but if I’m overtired and uninspired, I search the internet or pick up magazines – or, of course, watch all the great ideas and inspiration on shopping TV!
When it comes to demonstrating and sharing your skills with others, what do you find the most rewarding?
I love sharing my ideas and just love it when people give feedback sharing what it’s meant to them. Seeing others happy and really enjoying their hobbies is my best reward. I also love to see people using their talents to create their own businesses or fundraising for charities; so many lovely people share their crafting journeys, and that really makes my job worthwhile.
Now that crafting has taken over your professional life – do you still use it as a way to unwind in your spare time?
I’m a craftaholic, so even when I go on holiday I have to take something with me – normally knitting or hand embroidery again, as it’s an easily transportable craft.
If you could give any advice to someone who’s new to crafting, but worried that they’re not very creative, what would it be?
Any new crafter should have a go at something that really takes their fancy, but keep it simple and take it step by step . There are many lovely starter kits available now and, of course, lots of great TV shows to get you started and inspired!
What’s next for you and the Dawn Bibby business in 2019 and beyond?
Next for me is to relaunch Dawn Bibby Designs in many different facets, alongside my existing brand – Dawn Bibby Creations, paper , card, dies, stamps and stencils. I’m also excited to be bringing some fabulous Screen Sensations in conjunction with the lovely Stephanie, and I’m working on developing new jewellery kits, my fabric panels and appliqué designs.
So it really is going to be a busy and exciting year!