Here’s the third instalment of my BLOGCAST series (click here for Episode 2), and this month I’ve been chatting to Beth from Beeze’s & Little B’s in Devizes. Beth is a HUGE supporter of indie businesses, through her shop and on a personal level too. Let’s find out all the goss from this lovely lady…
BLOGCAST Q1: So, first up, can you explain how we know each other….
We met back in 2017 when I opened my handmade gift shop, Beeze’s in Devizes – I can’t believe it was 3 years ago now! Anyway, since opening we have supported little indie artists, designers and makers by giving them a high street platform to sell their work from, and The Secret Crocheter was one of our original Beeze’s Traders
BLOGCAST Q2: And, spill the beans about what you do for a living and a bit about yourself….
I think I’ve spilled that above, but I guess it’s important to note that I STILL have that lovely handmade gift shop, and we are still going after 3 crazy years and a global pandemic! I’m a Cornish maid who has trotted about for a while, and finally settled in Wiltshire. My background is in hospitality management, but I’ve always wanted to be self-employed, so when I lost the love for working crazy hours late in to the night, I started making and selling jewellery as a side line to a ‘stepping stone’ job. I’d always enjoyed crafting and dabbled with trying new things and getting creative in between life chaos for years, but never felt I had the time to get really involved until that point.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I kinda lost the love of crafting for a business – I just wanted to create for the sake of creating, rather than it being on other peoples’ terms – so one day I woke up and decided to open a shop that could support creatives and get the best of both worlds! It was around 5 weeks in total from idea to opening, so it was a bit of a whirlwind but I didn’t want to wait and put myself off of the idea so I jumped in feet first, and I’m so glad I did! Since then we’ve had a re-brand, grown the number of small creative businesses we work with (now over 100!), and we have also expanded our range due to popular demand and opened a second shop, Little B’s, which is a kids’ clothing and gift shop with a focus on ethically sourced goodies.
BLOGCAST Q3: Can you crochet? Or are there any other crafts that you do?
I’m afraid I’ve never crocheted before – until recently fabric and needlecrafts didn’t really appeal to me. My main craft was always beadwork and wood/resin jewellery, but recently I’ve been learning to sew with a sewing machine, and have also found cross stitch to be therapeutic. It was totally by accident when I was making up some display hoops for the shop to show off our range of kits, as a useful but fun lockdown activity, and I found I went into a little world of my own with the cross stitch!
My Nan started crocheting when she retired, after years of being a knitter, and now she’s a crochet-aholic and the knitting needles are in the back of a drawer somewhere! She sells some of her Christmassy makes and birds of paradise, which are little beauties in the shop, so I do have a little connection to crochet in a roundabout way too!
BLOGCAST Q4: How does crocheting/crafting make you feel?
When I was making for business, I found it stressful, which for me isn’t what crafting is about, hence the shift away from that and into shop life. When crafting for fun, I could get lost in a craft hole for hours given half the chance – my brain tends to really shut off from everything else. I’d definitely recommend anyone with the ‘I’m not very crafty’ stance dabbling with a few different crafts and trying something new, there really is something for everyone and it can do wonders for your mindset and mental health.
BLOGCAST Q5: Finally, share an interesting fact about yourself that perhaps not many people know, or a claim to fame…!
Hmm… I have lost the ability to ride a bike!
If you haven’t been to Beth’s amazing shops in Devizes, Beeze’s and Little B’s, then you really must pay her a visit. It’s jammed packed with gorgeous cards, handmade gifts from those 100+ indie makers that she mentioned, and now a great range of children’s clothing and gifts in Little B’s. I’m so grateful to Beth for giving me the opportunity to sell my crochet makes and kits in her shop, and I’ve really enjoyed ‘playing shops’ and helping out when Beth has a day off!
It might seem like a funny time to mention the next part but I’m no longer a trader in Beeze’s. It’s difficult to say this without it sounding negative on either of our parts but in truth, it’s far from negative! Both our businesses have grown and changed since we first met in 2017 so it was only natural that our paths would take us off in different directions. Rest assured though that we are still great friends, and are big supporters of each other’s businesses. Any Christmas presents for this year that aren’t crocheted by me will be bought from Beth’s shops….sorry, is it too early for the C word?!