Creative Home Business Idea - Discovery Session

Creative Home Business Idea - Discovery Session

Author:Michelle Williams

Hello and welcome to this weeks Discovery Session, which is all about answering the questions that you've all sent in about starting your own Creative Home Business.
 
First of all, before I get started on the questions that have already been sent in, I just want to let you know and give you a little bit of a rundown of how these sessions will work in the future.
 
If you have any questions that you would like me to personally answer about starting your own baby casting or keepsake jewellery business, then if you could please comment below with the prefix #askMichelle. Or, alternatively, send us a message through our Craft Ecademy Facebook page and I will make sure that I answer all of your questions in a future Discovery Session, which we aim to hold weekly
 
First of all, just to kick off this Discovery Session, I want to thank everybody that has sent in questions. Today, we're going to be focusing on questions that have been sent in by Christina, Daniella, Donna, Grace, Karen and Jessica. Thank you everybody for all of your questions.
 
First of all, Christina wanted to know:
 
I live outside of the UK (in the USA) and want to attend your Baby CastingTraining. Is your Training available worldwide?
 
First of all, there's two answers to that question. We have two training options. You can either come to our studio and do studio training with us or, alternatively, if you can't travel for any reason, whether that be a logistical reason or maybe you've got childcare issues, then we do have a whole series of online training courses.
 
In answer to Christina's question, because you're in the USA, we don't have any studio training in the USA or actually outside of the UK. If you're in the UK and you want to come to our studio-based training courses, they are based in the South of England. We tend to offer two day workshops, which I'll go into a little bit more detail later on one of the other questions. However, if you're either outside of the UK and you want to get involved on our training, or maybe you're in the UK but you can't travel to the south of England; Maybe it's too far? Maybe you've got transport issues or childcare issues? then you have the option of studying our online training courses.
 
You can find out all about our training options, if you go to our website and you'll see a couple of signup options to get information on starting your own baby casting business or your own keepsake jewelry business. If you register for that information, it's a free guide, and you'll get information on all of our training options, whether that be for the studio-based training courses or the online training courses.
 
Okay, the next question Christina asks is:
 
Will I need any specialist equipment to start a baby casting business?
 
You will need some equipment. It's not what I would call specialist equipment. If you want to start a baby casting business, you're not going to need a kiln or anything like that, which would obviously be a higher investment, but you are going to need certain tools and materials.  
 
You're going to need impression material for taking the molds. You're going to need plaster for making the cast and certain polishes, waxes, paints and decorating effects and things like that. All of these items are availabe in our starter kits, which are available through our online shop. If you go to the Craft Ecademy website and go to the tab which says e-shop, and you will see all of our starter kits in there.
 
Christina's next question:
 
Where can I buy all of the equipment I need to start my Baby Casting Business?
 
Again, if you're in the UK or Europe, we do ship our Starter Kits to the UK and Europe. However, if you're in the USA, Australia or further afield, although we can ship outside of the UK and Europe, it's really not cost effective to do this due to the weight of some of the contents of the kit.  Therefore, I would recommend that you first of all, book onto the online training courses that you are most interest in, then if you are in the USA or elsewhere,  I will send you a link to suppliers who are more local to you, where you can buy all of your tools, materials and equipment.
 
There will also be, within the online training, an inventory of everything that you need. Not only will you see from the online training what tools and equipment you need, there will also be a course training manual, with an inventory of everything that you need. As I said, if you're outside of the UK, just send me a message and just say, "I'm in the States or the Philippines," as we've had this week, "Where can I get my equipment?" I will then send you a link to suppliers who are more local to you.  Christina, I hope that this has answered all of your questions, but obviously if not, please comment below and, again, I will try to help you with any other questions that you have.
 
Moving on next to Daniella, Daniella has said:
 
I'm interested in booking onto your Online Baby Casting Course, does the Training, include the starter kits?
 
The answer to this question is no, unfortunately not. The process for the online training and in fact, the studio training, is you book your training courses first, then, you will need to go to our e-shop at the Craft Ecademy, where you can buy your starter kits. We aim to dispatch those typically within 48 hours during normal office hours, Monday to Friday.
 
The next question from Daniella is:
 
Do I have to purchase the starter kits before I start the online training?
 
This is totally up to you, to be honest. Some people order their Starter Kits at the same time as booking their Online Courses, so, you can do that if you want to. However, you don't have to. Some people, first of all, book onto the online training, watch the training a few times and then order their Starter Kits. Again, it's really dependent upon your own budget.  Maybe you're on a limited budget and you want to buy the training first? Then save up to get the starter kit next month perhaps or something like that? It's totally up to you. Obviously the only limitation of doing that is once you start watching the online training, you are going to be totally excited and inspired and you're going to want to start practicing what you've learnt straight away. Most people therefore,  buy their Starter Kits at the same time as booking their Online Training, but it is totally up to you.
 
 
Do you offer any Business Advice and information on things like Business Insurance?
 
Yes we do. Are Courses are NOT hobby Courses, they are all aimed at helping women start in Business, and this is something that I'm really passionate about. I've been in business now for almost 20 years, since I first became a mum and it's given me that freedom and flexibility to work around my children when they were growing up.  It's a great way to earn a living if you're looking for a Flexible Business to run around raising your family. For me, it was amazing because I always got to walk my children to school, pick them up, cook their dinner. Never missed a nativity play or anything like that.  BUT, going back to the question, with regard to business advice and information on insurance and things like that, all of our training courses include not only training manuals, but also a business startup manual, which contains really valuable information on starting your own Creative Home Business. It's got information about HMRC, what you need to do to let HMRC know, different options for registering your business, the different legal structures, whether you want to be a limited company, sole trader and what you need to do in regard to that. There is also information at the back of that document on insurance brokers who you can speak to to get public liability insurance and any other business insurance that you need. That is all covered and included within the training.
 
 
Once I've completed the Baby Casting Training and learnt how to cast Baby Hands and Feet, can I then also cast pets?
 
The answer to that is absolutely, yes! Dogs, Cat's, Horses...whatever. Once you have completed our Online Baby Casting Course, the process of casting humans and pet's is pretty much the same, apart from one small thing.  Although our Online Baby Casting Training focuses on using a baby as the model, the process of taking a life cast, whether it's for a baby or a dog, is exactly the same. There's just one very small difference. That is that you will need to apply a release agent to the animal's fur to stop the fur from sticking to the alginate, which is the molding material. Don't worry because although we don't cover that little bit in the training, that's really the only difference. As soon as you're at the stage when you want to start casting animals, just send me a message through the help desk and I will tell you exactly what you need, what the release agent is, and how to use it. You can go away and you can cast your pets. As a pet lover, it's a really lovely thing to do.
 
I'm really interested in starting a keepsake jewelry business. Will I need to attend a workshop or do you offer any online training courses as I don't live locally?
 
You don't have to come to workshop training. Obviously if you want to, that is an option. As I said, all of our workshops are in the south of England. However, if you can't travel, then yes, all of our courses are available online. We actually launched our online courses back in 2010, and that was due to demand from all over the world from people that wanted to come on our courses and just couldn't travel. In that time, we've had 100% positive feedback on all of our online courses. I think that's not only due to the quality of the video courses themselves, but the support that is surrounded that.When you buy an online course, not only will you get access to the online training, you'll get training manuals, you'll get business startup manuals, marketing guides and you'll also get access to our online help desk. There will always be someone there to help and guide you with those stages of starting your business, and obviously learning all of the processes and techniques involved with the products that you want to make.
 
What tools and equipment will I need going to start a keepsake jewellery business?
 
For a keepsake jewellery business, there's two kits that you're going to need. If you want to do fingerprint jewelry, handprint jewelry and artwork jewelry, you're going to need our fingerprint jewelry starter kit and our artwork jewelry starter kit. I also recommend that you also invest in a small jewelry kiln.You can fire the jewellery without a kiln, but I don't really recommend it. Not if you want to do this professionally and turn out really good high quality results. All of those items are available from our e-shop. Again, if you go to the Craft Ecademy website and just scroll across the menu bar to e-shop. You'll see all of the starter kits and the kilns and everything listed there.Okay.
 
 I'm interested in starting a baby hand casting and fingerprint jewelry business. I'm willing to travel to the studio training. How long are the studio courses and where are they?
 
For the studio course training, as I've already said, it's held down in the south of England, actually in a village called Overton in-between Basingstoke and Winchester. They're run by our accredited trainer. Basically we offer two day workshops. If you want to learn 3D baby casting actually in the studio, they're two day workshops. The first day, we will cover 3D baby casting and hands entwined casting. The reason that we do this is because although it's lovely to learn how to cast babies' hands and feet, it's really popular to be able to cast a mother and a baby holding hands.We teach that because it's very, very popular. Parents love to capture the baby when they've still got that Palmar reflex instinct where baby grabs hold of a finger. They lose that reflex about six months of age. We like to teach you that life casting technique as well on the 3D baby casting course. That's day one, you're going to learn 3D baby casting and hands entwined casting. On day two, we teach you 2D baby prints. Yeah, that's the two day workshop where you're going to learn those three really popular life casting techniques. If you want to learn how to do the keepsake jewelry as well, then, again, it's a two day workshop where we're going to cover fingerprint jewelry, artwork jewelry and baby handprint jewelry, soldering, putting in gemstones and things like that over a two day workshop. That's if you want to come on the studio training as opposed to the online training. You can view all of the dates of the studio training by going to our website and just scrolling down to look for studio course dates. Alternatively, if you want to pop over to our website, register for our free guide on starting your own baby casting or keepsake jewelry business, and then you will automatically get information on all of the training options and the dates of the studio training.
 
I would like to start a baby casting business. I would like to know what the competition is in my area, how can I find out?
 
That's a really great question.  Of course, when you're starting any business, you should have a look and see what the competition is. There's a couple of things that I recommend that you do. First of all, a simple Google search, who is coming up if you search baby casting or fingerprint jewelry in your area? Also, when you're out and about, if you're a mom and you're going to mother and toddler groups or any sort of activity groups, are you seeing leaflets around? Is there anyone active in your area? The other thing I would really recommend that you do is go to www.thekeepsakeguild.co.uk and you can go and search there by postcode, by your local postcode, and see is there anybody operating near to you?Now, what I would say to you is that there will always be competition in any business. If it's a good business idea, there's going to be competition. It shouldn't necessarily put you off. Obviously maybe if there's somebody on your doorstep, then, yes, you need to think carefully about that, particularly if they're doing a very good job in the area. Of course, if you're actually already living in an area and you're not aware of anyone doing it, because they're not marketing it, then obviously that's an opportunity for you. I would recommend that you do go over and have a look at The Keepsake Guild, put in a postcode there. In that case, those will be people that I have trained and obviously because they're listed on the directory, they will be coming up on the search engines. Hopefully, as Guild members, they will be doing a very good job on marketing. That's a really good place. I suggest you go and have a look and see if there's anyone operating in your area on The Keepsake Guild map.
 
What space do I need to run a Baby Casting or Keepsake Jewellery Business and can this be done from home?
 
Yes, you can. When I first started, almost 20 years ago, I was literally working off of my kitchen table. There's a term called, I think, Kitchen Top Tycoons or something like that and that's about women that start businesses from home, operating from their kitchen tables. That could be you. That's how I started all those years ago.Actually that's how most of our business operators work. There's a few people that do have their own shop premises and studios. There's people that have got their own log cabins in the garden and things like that, but you do not need that. You can just start from home. As long as you've got an area, kitchen, access to water, electricity obviously for a kiln, you can do that or you can work in your garage. There's also some people that actually work in their garden shed. You do not need a lot of space at all.

What help and support do you offer in terms of marketing and developing my business after the training?
 
All of our training courses include access to a business startup manual, marketing guides. You've got a foundation of information, if you like, to get started. If you need extra help and support, then I do recommend that you come over and join The Keepsake Guild. We offer three months free membership to anyone that does our courses anyway. Membership then is £12.99 a month.Then, you get access to our private group where I do sessions like this, question and answer sessions on marketing and developing your business. Also, you'll get access to our private members' club which is a private Facebook group, about 100 other fabulous, amazing women that have all been on this same journey that you're about to take on starting your own creative home business, whether that be a baby casting business or a keepsake jewelry business. They are a wealth of information. If you go on there and ask any questions, whether that's to do with what's working for them in terms of marketing or what suppliers they use, anything like that, everybody is so helpful and supportive. Somebody will be there to help answer your questions. Obviously I also answer the questions, our accredited trainer answers the questions. We've got an amazing lady, Jade who helps with the business who also answers questions. Being part of that community means that you will, although you'll be running your business on your own, as an independent business, you will never feel alone. There will always be someone there to help guide and support you.
 
I was hoping I could have some more information about the handprint jewelry course. I'm really interested in doing the weekend workshop, but I couldn't see prices, dates or venues on the website.
 
I am so sorry, that is my fault. Basically, yes, all of the weekend courses, because we only run them once a month, so they fill up really, really quickly. All of the dates so far are booked. This afternoon, amazing Jade, who supports me with the business, will actually upload all of the forthcoming dates to the website. We've got some more ones. I think there might be a couple still available in June, but we'll be uploading the courses throughout the summer. If you want to, later on today or over the weekend, go to the Craft Ecademy and look at studio courses. You will see all of the new dates appearing for both the baby casting weekend workshops and, also, the keepsake jewelry workshops as well, the two day workshops that I mentioned earlier.Don't forget as well, obviously there's always the option of the online training as well. You've got the studio training or the online training. 

 

Links

http://go.thecraftecademy.co.uk/creative-home-business