Crafting at Your Fingertips
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Meet Zoe Arch Creator of 'Craft Candy'
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, I'm Zoe, a Northerner living in London with a passion for making and creating. This spring I launched Craft Candy, a craft/ making events listing website and Smartphone App, making it tons easier to find or even promote local events from church markets to making classes and workshops in communities.
What inspired you to start Craft Candy?
I started Craft Candy because there wasn't a craft and making event listing website. I use my Smartphone loads, I download Apps onto my phone and I regularly use social media and in this day and age it turns out I'm not alone. In fact social media and Smartphone usage is increasing year on year so it made sense to create a business which incorporated both, giving users the opportunity to access information on the go and share or comment on what they like or dislike.
Who is Craft Candy for?
Craft Candy Is for budding creatives and event organisers. The app makes it easier to find something new to learn and do in your community and if you run an event it's now easier to promote it. The simple advertising packages are pay as you go (no tie in contract) and Craft Candy even offers free advertising to events which are free to attend.
On your blog you frequently have 'guest bloggers' how does one become a guest blogger?
The guest blogger page is for people who have a great craft story, tutorial, event or information they want to share. We want to promote what others are doing and for start-up craft businesses the blog is perfect because it is free and helps to promote you. It's easy to put yourself forward just drop us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your story and tell us about any previous writing or blogging experience you have.
Have you always been interested in craft?
I've always been interested in making, whether that's baking, sewing, stitching, cutting gluing etc. From as young as I can remember I loved tinkering around with egg cartons, tissue paper, glue and pens. When I got older I studied Fashion at university and although I was taught to make clothing, I was terrible! However where I failed technically, I made up for by resourcefully cobbling things together. Over the years I've managed to refine a few of my making skills and I now apply them to things I really enjoy making, for my home, friends and family.
What is your favourite medium to work in/with and why?
I suppose I really enjoy being inspired by beautiful fabrics, but the internet has opened my eyes to crafts I had never heard of and different ways of using materials. I'm constantly referring to the Craft Candy Pinterest pages for inspiration, which mean my favourite mediums change on a daily basis.
How is Craft Candy different to other craft forums such as Ravelery?
Like many sites we aim to grow a community by connecting people, but Craft Candy isn't a forum, it's a listing website. We don't offer or give advice on the site, just point people in the right direction for great events. I created Craft Candy out of frustration as I was really struggling to find local crafty events and classes. I think many of the craft forums and websites complement each other, i.e. Raverlery is very niche, but I know the Raverley members will also use Craft Candy to find a market, a workshop to hone their skills etc. We hope to be a very handy resource in the Craft industry.
What are you trying to achieve with Craft Candy?
Craft Candy is trying to achieve two things, number one make events more accessible to all, it would be fab to travel to a place in the UK, click on the App and randomly find a local event to go to on the same day. Secondly, it is to link our social media with our marketing of events so users can quickly find and share information via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.
As a growing business will you always be looking for contributions to your database?
As a growing business we are always looking for great events to list on the website and App. Companies can now list their events on the website and App for free for a one month, and if they like how we can promote their events online and via social media. It's cheap to list more events starting from only £10! However, we are really proud of the Craft Candy free advertising offer - if you run a free crafty event, i.e. market workshop or club you can list it for free on the website and App!
What has the reaction been like since your launch last month?
Craft Candy is the first website and App for craft, so the feedback has been extremely positive. The App is free to download and over the next year we are gathering user feedback, to help to refine it for a new version next year.
When you aren't helping eager crafters what do you enjoy doing?
Are you referring to spare time? Wow I haven't heard that phrase for a while. I work 9-5 at a University as a Student Employment Manager, which means I help students and graduates find work, which in this climate is challenging but very rewarding. Otherwise I'm a typical 30something, seeing family and catching up with friends, which often involves making over a glass of wine or two!
You can check out Craft Candy here: