“The term blogger is such an elastic one. I have a very high readership on my blog, so I am able to work with brands creating sponsored content.”
“I am fussy about who I work with, so I need to have multiple income streams, I write for craft magazines, present events and teach workshops as well as having written a craft book. I like that my working life is filled with variety.”
Nicolette has been crafting since an early age and this is something that has turned into a passion in later life.
She told us that the “importance of creativity to wellbeing and educational success is a long-time passion of mine. I have written about it in magazines, I have spoken about it at conferences. Making and living a creative life is an intrinsic part of who I am.”
Before launching her blog, Nicolette trained in social care and spent over a decade working for councils, non-government organisations and charities.
“I was working for a homeless charity in Manchester when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My partner worked away we didn’t live near friends at the time, so I had no support network.”
“I needed a focus. Answering emails at work was the extent of my IT knowledge so learning how to put a blog together and edit the theme, as well as creating content, was the challenge I needed to help me get through cancer treatment. It took my mind off being ill.”
Nicolette continued her blog as a hobby while working full time in the third sector and she said it was and still is a “wonderful feeling” to know that she has “created something that someone is willing to spend time reading.”
As well as blogging, she is also an author, journalist, Channel 4 TV crafter and chef. We asked how she got into these careers and she told us that: “The people at Endemol were putting together a show called Superscrimpers and they had seen my blog and I was given a screen test at my home, a very surreal experience, and I was invited to cook and craft for the show. I did that for the duration of its run.”
“After that I started to get asked to write for more magazines, talk at events such as The Festival of Thrift and The Ideal Home Show. I was also given the opportunity to write a craft book.”
When it comes to her favourite type of craft, she told us that is has to be “embroidery without a doubt.”
“I love both machine and hand embroidery but if I was asked to narrow down further, I would say hand embroidery.
It’s clear when you visit her blog that Nicolette is extremely creative, and we asked her where she gets the inspiration for her products. She said: “Necessity is the mother of invention they say. I like to have a unique home and making things myself. It could be nature, the colours from a trip, or I may fall in love with some fabric and create something just because I had to use it.”
As well as covering craft ideas, Archie & The Rug also covers food, interiors, lifestyle, travel and style. Nicolette writes about these things as the blog has always been a reflection of her own life and experiences.
“The recipes I make is the food we eat, the things I make are in our home or the gifts I give. I travel a lot and that often influences the food I create, the crafts that I make and even my outfits.”
“The home I am renovating is filled with homemade items and all of this reflects how we as a family live our daily life. I like to think my blog takes a holistic approach to creative living.”
Outside of her career and blog, Nicolette makes time for the things she enjoys as so many of her hobbies became her job so “it is vital to have downtime activities.”
“I love to read comics and novels. I recently took part in a chain book event, so I now have 14 books from strangers. It’s fun to read outside of my comfort zone.”
“I also love music, although, since having children don’t find time to play anymore, I still love finding new music. My partner and I listen to music and watch old anime series.”
“We are both so busy it is nice to have these things we can enjoy together.”
As what we can only describe as a great interview came to a close, we had one final question for Nicolette. We asked why insurance is important for any crafter to have and she told us: “There are some many things that can go wrong in the world, but they don’t have to be disasters if you are properly prepared.”
“Anything from having stock stolen to someone getting a rash from your product. There are a number of things you have to consider when you move from hobbyist to professional and insurance is one of those essential things you shouldn’t overlook.”