Sarah started crafting 5 years ago and has since turned her passion into a business through The Papercraft Girl. She makes and sells mainly flowers and bouquets, but also makes invitations and box cards, all out of paper!
Her crafting journey first began when her mum was diagnosed with cancer and she decided to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. “I kept it on as a hobby afterwards. It’s become a therapy for me. It helps me to relax and work on my mindfulness.”
With so many different types of crafts out there, we were keen to find out why Sarah chose papercrafts in particular. She told us; “You can do so much with paper and there are so many different types of paper out there. I once made a pink flower bridal bouquet and thought afterwards did I really make that?”
As well as feeling accomplished through what she makes, papercrafting also help Sarah emotionally. “Papercrafting relaxes and calms me. It helps me to concentrate. It’s not just my hobby and business, it’s my therapy.”
If you look on The Papercraft Girl Etsy store, you will notice that there are a variety of colours, styles and patters. When asked where her inspiration comes from, Sarah told us that it “comes naturally.”
“The main inspiration is the paper. I can look at a piece of paper and think of lots of different things to make with it. There is such a variety of flowers and materials which means there are no constraints for what I can make.”
She also looks at what her friends are doing and uses social media platforms like Pinterest and Facebook to gather ideas. “There is so much out there that I’m never stuck for ideas!”
Her orders can take from half a day to a few weeks to complete, depending on the size and how many flowers are used. “Small flowers take around a day to make, medium flowers around 3-4 days and bridal flowers take a little longer, up to a few weeks.”
“The bridal flowers take longer because they are much more intricate. They are usually made from lots of small flowers, which can be fiddly, and are finished with a ribbon to secure. I also have to wait for each bit to dry before doing the next step.”
As well as turning her ideas into papercrafts, Sarah also offers custom orders. This has become extremely popular with her customers, especially those planning a wedding.
“If you are planning a royal blue and white wedding, or you have a special theme in mind, you want to know that you can get flowers to match your colour scheme. I want to help brides and grooms take the pressure off planning their wedding.”
“As well as the bride getting what she wants, the guests also get a special reminder to take home with them. And unlike real flowers, paper ones last a lifetime!”
One thing that we really admired when speaking to Sarah is the way that she approached challenges in her life. Having fibromyalgia, a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body, hasn’t stopped her from achieving her dreams.
“Crafting takes my mind off my fibromyalgia pain. When I’m making things I’m in my own little bubble.”
Not only has she built up her craft business with many loyal customers, but she also helps to run a mental health hobby group on Facebook. Hobbies for Happiness for people who use crafting as a therapy for mental health issues, be it through making bracelets or drawing.
Sarah also enjoys reading books by writers like Dan Brown. Sarah also loves adult colouring: “my favourite is my unicorn book!” she told us.
“I have two children and spend a lot of time with them during the holidays. We might go for lunch or relax and watch a movie.”
Sarah also told us she enjoys watching Netflix when she gets chance and is obsessed with The Walking Dead. The next five minutes of the interview were spent discussing the latest episodes, so let’s move on before there are any spoilers!
2018 definitely isn’t going to be a quiet one for The Papercraft Girl. Sarah has applied for a craft stall at St Nick’s Market and will hopefully be renting shelf space at a local craft store very soon. “I also have plans to attend a wedding event in summer. This will be a great opportunity to make new contacts in the industry.”
“I will also be spending time building up my Etsy store and will possibly be expanding my range to include paper reefs.”
As we came to the end of our interview, we asked Sarah one final question about why it’s so important for crafters to have insurance. She told us that “sellers need to protect not only themselves but also the buyers.”
“If the post office was to lose a parcel it wouldn’t be anyone’s faulty, human errors do happen. But we need to pre-empt these situations.”
“By having insurance your craft business and your customers are protected, and the client will feel safe when buying from you.”