Spotlight

Bear Faced Creations

Can you believe that we are half way through July already? So far this year, we have had the pleasure of speaking to crafters from a wide range of handmade industries, from upcyclers and papercrafters to candlemakers and wood carvers.

 

In our latest Crafter in the Spotlight, we spoke to Lisa Bufton who is the creative mind behind Bear Faced Creations.

To begin the interview, we asked Lisa a bit about herself and her business. She told us that by day she is a medic for the ambulance service but by night she is an enthusiastic crafter. “My heart has always been in crafting. From a young age I have always crafted, and I enjoy learning new skills.”

“Recently I was lucky enough to be able to go part time at work, which has left me more time to craft. I love crocheting, sewing, jewellery making and altered art.”

For many years, Lisa was told she should sell the things she makes but she has never had the confidence to do it. Until now!

“Then I started making a few bits for family and friends and got really good reviews. So, I decided to give it a go. Working part-time now helps. Before I never realised just how much work goes into setting up and running a small business.”

With any new business, there are always challenges to face and Lisa has found that Bear Faced Creations is no exception. She told us; “The main challenge I am facing at the moment is making sure that I am making and selling legally. I like to make stuffed animals, and these must be CE tested by law to ensure they meet the required safety standards, before they can be sold. I have found this process very daunting but have had some great support from fellow crafters.”

“Another challenge I have found is trying to find something to make that is a bit different and will sell well. There are many similar crafters out there, so the market can get quite saturated. I have so many ideas floating around my head right now. My Facebook page looks very bare at the moment, but that’s because I am still in the infancy of setting up my business and getting my products together and tested.”

If anyone is starting the same journey setting up a craft business, Lisa has some advice. Do your homework first and make sure that you know exactly what is involved with the products you are wanting to sell.”

“But, most of all, don’t expect to make much money to start with. Businesses can take a lot of time to get established and begin to make money. Have fun, enjoy the process and try not to get too stressed. My business started off as my hobby, and I enjoy crafting.”

Bear Faced Creations stock a wide range of products, from bag charms and blankets to a cute and cuddly tiger teddy. Up until now, most of her products have been custom orders, where people tell her exactly what they want her to make.

“My tiger was made for a work colleague as a gift for her girlfriend, who loves tigers.”

“But I have plans to travel a bit more, so I would like to take inspiration from my travels and collect different items to craft with while I’m exploring. I have some lovely handmade beads that I brought back from Egypt a few years ago. I am heading off to Croatia in a few weeks, and I hope to collect some more beads from there.”

When she isn’t working for the ambulance service and running her craft business, Lisa is a “VW enthusiast” and has her own VW Beetle and a VW T2 camper van. That’s probably why she gets on with the CraftCover boss so well!

“I have done the interior for the camper van and am just in the process of planning the recovering of the seats in the Beetle. I also have a very small microlite caravan, that needs a full make over.”

“I also like to keep fit, running is my favourite, although I am currently injured so am having to rest at the moment.”

The future of Bear Faced Creations is looking very exciting. Lisa is working hard to reduce plastic waste and is “currently trialling new products which reuse single use items, that are usually thrown away after one use.”

“I am hoping to take my business further with natural organic materials and items such as washable make up remover pads, cloth sanitary wear, washable dish and body cloths, bees wax food wraps, reusable snack bags and sandwich wraps.”

“All of these products have been designed and are currently being tested by a team of testers. Once they have been through the testing stage, they will be put up for sale.”

We rounded up the interview by asking why insurance, like the cover CraftCover provides, is so important for craft businesses. Lisa told us that; “Craft insurance is very important, and hopefully something I will never need to use. But, knowing I have insurance if anything was to go wrong with one of my products gives me great peace of mind.”

“I would never run a craft business without specialist insurance.”

We would like to say a big thank you to Lisa for taking part in our Crafter in the Spotlight. If you would like to give her new craft business some support, head over to her Facebook page!