Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Get Crafty for Cash! HAVE You Dreamed of Turning Your Hobby into a Money Spinner? MARIE TURBILL Meets the Crafty Mums Doing Just That

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Get Crafty for Cash! HAVE You Dreamed of Turning Your Hobby into a Money Spinner? MARIE TURBILL Meets the Crafty Mums Doing Just That

Article excerpt

MEET Louis, right, an oversized stuffed bear, named after a much loved family pet.

He was the first teddy bear made by mum-of-two Brenda MacKinnon.

Little did she know that Louis was just the start.

"Making bears started as a hobby," explains Brenda of Northallerton.

"My daughter was collecting Charlie bears and it got me wondering if I could make one."

With high praise for her efforts she says people were asking if she sold them. "I started thinking maybe I could."

Today Brenda's Button Bears are available from her own website - www.collectorbuttonbears.co.uk - on www.bearpile.com and at bear fairs.

"It can be difficult to let them go," she says. "But there's only so many you can keep."

Louis, of course, remains at home, an honorary family member.

Sales give us such a boost SEEING her handy work feature in a fashion shoot was a special moment for mum-of-four Joanne Howey.

"The model was wearing one of my pieces, it looked amazing and I couldn't believe it was one of mine," she says.

Picture by FAYE TODD The Darlington mum-of-four makes and sells bespoke jewellery and bridal accessories - check out Facebook's Elsca Bridal Accessories and Jewellery.

What started as a hobby is now showing potential as a budding future business.

"I spend more on materials and beads than I make at the moment," says Joanne with a laugh.

"But if I could make a business out of it, it would be a dream come true."

Remembering her first sale, Joanne says: "You do worry is it good enough? But then to sell something is so exciting. To see people buying things and saying how amazing they are makes you feel good."

SEEING her work showcased on a national stage was a proud moment for Diane Watson.

The textiles designer from Hartlepool showed her unique range of Naughty Dog cushions at last week's Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester.

The annual event brings together hand-picked exhibitors excelling in their craft. …

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