I’m happy to be here for a second month with Sunday Showcase!
For the first showcase this month I had the opportunity to interview Hayley Burne, aged 31 from Cornwall in the UK, owner of Hayneze Homemade. I got in touch with Hayley through my friend, Maxine, who owns Caitlyn’s Closet, the bonus showcase for March. You can find the Caitlyn’s Closet showcase HERE.
Hayneze Homemade make handmade bespoke jewellery and have recently started to expand into accessories too, such as hanging decorations and bookmarks. They use an assortment of materials and techniques, as Hayley loves to experiment and try new things. They also make custom jewellery for customers as well as selling their own designs.
Here is my interview with Hayley…
When did you start your business?
I started in September 2015 but became official Febuary 2016 when I decided it was something I really wanted to pursue.
What made you decide to set up your business?
I’ve always been creative and enjoy making gifts and cards for friends and family. Soon friends started asking me to make things for them and they encouraged me to start selling my makes and share my love of crafting with others. I’ve always wanted to work for myself so decided to go for it!
What do you do and what products do you sell?
I work part time in a supermarket but my passion is my crafts and my page. I sell mainly beaded jewellery and charm bracelets and earrings but have recently expanded into light catcher ornaments, greeting cards, bookmarks and plaques. I also have other projects waiting in the wings, but handmade jewellery is still my main range and passion.
What products seem to be your best sellers?
My beaded cameo necklaces and charm bracelets seem to be my most popular makes, customers love being able to have a custom piece made just for them. Another top seller at the moment is a new release of customised sparkly wood pendants that I have collaborated with another page to create (Purple Addiction Designs)
Who are your biggest competitors?
I think selling handmade jewellery is tough to sell with so many cut price versions available online. But I find that all page owners I’ve talked to so far seem to be really friendly and all understand the hardships of starting a small business. The support I’ve come across is overwhelming.
How do you advertise your business?
I use personal recommendations and social media to advertise. I have an Etsy page too which helps get my name out there. This year I plan to find local craft events to attend, as well as taking part in online market events each month that I organise with 5 other pages.
How would you recommend your business to potential customers?
I would let them know that i can adapt any piece to their requirements. I love custom pieces and i let them know what a passion of mine it is and how much care and love i put into every order.
Did you have any problems when starting your business? If so, how did you overcome them?
Time is always an issue as I work part time, but through organisation and finding a decent accounting program I was able to find a balance. The hardest thing I’ve encountered so far is the reach available on social networks but I’m slowly overcoming that.
Do you recruit? If so, what are the benefits?
I don’t recruit but I do collaborate with another page for one of the ranges on my page and I collaborate with several pages to organise market events.
How do you decide on your designs?
I have a notebook that I write ideas in and then, on my days off, I sit with my materials and I just start making things. I may start with a theme in mind or an idea from a customer but the creativeness comes in going with the flow for me, so far I’ve had nothing but positive feedback.
What has been your favourite piece to work on?
I’ve had a few but my top 2 would be my crystal glass butterfly light catcher and my beaded cameo pendant necklaces. Each time I make a version its different and unique. I plan to expand both ranges in the future.
Are there any offers on your products running at the moment?
No, but on my Etsy page if you type in the code “Haynezethankyou10” customers will get 10% off their order. After that, they will then receive a code in an email for another 10% off their next order.
What has the experience of owning a business been like for you?
It’s been busy but rewarding nothing better than positive feedback from a customer. I have a new found appreciation for small business owners. I work from home and the paperwork side is still crazy so must be mental for shop owners but one day I hope to have my own shop.
Below I have listed the Facebook and Etsy pages for Hayneze Homemade.
Thank you for answering my questions, Hayley! It has been a pleasure interviewing you. I wish you well in your business venture.