Meet The Maker: Cristina Riches
Bird’s Party is a unique online shop selling crafts and designs. I was lucky enough to interview Cristina about her online shop, blog and crafts.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I’m great thank you!
How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?
I started a crafts business after my children were born. With each of their birthdays, I felt the need to get involved hands on with the decor, baking etc. The blog http://www.blog.birdsparty.com came as result of wanting to share my new found skills with other moms. I learned through experience, trial an error and watching others online.
Have you always been into crafts?
Yes! My grandfather was an inventor and sculptor, and my dad was a painter and sculptor also, so I guess I have the "creative" gene or at least the passion for it!
If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?
My dream project would be to use my resources to grow and expand my brand and open a high-street store.
What equipment do you use for your work?
Mainly a computer for designing my artwork and printer for printing out all my printable party decorations.
What tools or materials could you not live without?
Paper puncher, craft knife and hot glue gun!
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
I started blogging back in 2010, so Facebook used to be a huge part of my marketing, but nowadays Pinterest and Instagram are my personal favourites!
Who inspires your work?
The fashion and movie industry, but also other online creatives! I adore Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/birdsparty.
Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment?
I'm still in love with my daughter's Unicorn party I styled last year:
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?
Growth is always welcome! But engaging with a vibrant and passionate community is key for me!
What are you currently working on?
What’s your typical working day?
Wake up, make breakfast for my kids, drop them off at school, then back to my desk for breakfast while checking emails. Then it's fulfilling orders from my shops ‘BirdsParty.com’ and ‘BirdsParty.fr’ and social media planning.
After lunch, it varies a lot. It's either photo-shoots or prepping for one, meetings, shopping sessions for props, crafting, baking, prepping blog posts or editing photos.
What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?
Marketing is not my forte. I'm a scientist and engineer by trade, so I often struggle with anything to do with marketing!
Do you have any exciting plans for this year?
Just keep doing what I love! There's nothing more exciting to me!
Do you have any advice for anyone doing craft fairs?
I did a few craft fairs, but I never saw any huge return. I'd much rather spend the time and cash working on my online marketing or other ways to get my business out there!
What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?
Be unique! And create for others as well as yourself! Creators (and I'm guilty of this too) can spend a lot of time and effort making something that we love, but that may not appeal to others. If you intend on commercialising your crafts, then you need to make what people want.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to do crafts?
Just do it! You'll learn as you go along with each experience. For instance, I learned how to sew watching tutorials online.
Anyone can craft! You just got to find your niche or passion, and for that, you need to try your hands at many crafts!
Editing my online party magazine, coming out in Spring! You can view the magazine here ‘http://www.birdspartymagazine.com/’.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
You can take a look at her wonderful shop here ‘https://www.birdsparty.com/’. She has some wonderful items in stock.