Recycling can lead to creativity.

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Continuing on the philosophy of shopping it is interesting to learn what people do with items received from Jumble town/ Free cycle and swap shops.

I recently talked to Emma who owns an etsy store called The Gift Shed. Just last year Emma who is a gardener by trade decided to branch out and be creative and explore the market of personalized notebooks.

In the beginning her aim was to use up some odd supplies that had been lying around the house but then pretty bits of wrapping paper kept cropping up and were “crying out to be reinvented”.

As a gardener the winter months can be slow in terms of work and Emma saw this as an opportunity to let her creativeness flow. In her own words she says “ I started off with supplies that I already had to hand, and turned them into a profit”

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Each notebook takes her anytime from a half hour to several hou

rs to make. Of course this has become easier over time

Talking about where she finds the materials to do this she mentions that the wrapping papers comes from gifts received and that some people who have come across her work have also sent her some paper to recycle.

Commissioning items such as photo albums for weddings keeps her going and once the customer gives her a rough idea on the style and colors they would like shelets her imagination run wild.

Notebooks are not the only things she makes. Finding it hard to throw away favorite items of clothing she decides to give them a new lease of life by making handbags out of them.Her trinket boxes are made out of recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, which she gets her newsagent to save.So after all the work is it really worth her while and are these products what people really want.  Well talking to Emma I had no doubt about her success. In the beginning she remembers wondering if her items  would sell.

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“When I first started making trinket boxes I said to myself that I’d be happy if I managed to sell one every couple of months”. As it turns out she has managed to sell over 40 trinket boxes and just under 100 notebooks in 14 months..

She says “I’m slightly overwhelmed by the positive response to my products if I’m honest, but hugely flattered and, of course, extremely pleased!”

Looking into the future Emma wishes to continue her crafty business and offering words of wisdom to up and coming entrepreneurs she says the best advice is to know your market. She says, “I wouldn’t have sold anywhere near as much as I have done if I didn’t have an eye for what the customers want, and also for what they’re prepared to pay”

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