I am have been really looking forward to this feature all week because it's from such a lovely lady that I met over on Folksy. Sharon from Oddsox has kindly agreed to answer my many mnay questions.
1. Where do you get your inspiration?
I’ve always loved crafting. My Mum & Gran did a lot of dressmaking and knitting when me and my sis were little so there were always bits of wool, fabric, buttons, lace and stuff in the house. So I s’pose the interest in materials and making started quite early. I’m inspired by craft, designer toy and sock creature books, craft fairs, art museums, sculpture parks, graffiti, pets, the zoo, pebbles, second hand shops, boot fairs… lots more but out of breath now! Flickr is also a fantastic place to lose a bit of time browsing other peoples work. It’s a place to be visually greedy!
2. Describe your work space?
I have two – the one that looks and feels like a workspace - the attic. And ‘downstairs’! I usually have a ‘project bag’ on the go that gets dragged about from garden to dining room to living room. I usually leave quite a lot of mess around me too.
3. When and Why did you start your crafting business?
By accident really and quite recently. After being given a sock monkey book by my sister a few years back I really wanted to have a go. Me and my partner both made some but I didn’t stop. The house kept filling up! We even took them on holiday to the Lake District one year and did some photography with them! Then I attended a craft fair that my brother-in-law helped organise and promote through his design agency. Lots of people asked if I had an on-line shop or website – which I didn’t so that’s what started it!
4. What is your most favourite item that you sell?
I quite like the DollySox at the moment. I also love the amigurumi stuff but it takes quite a long time to make. The two big pieces I had in the shop have gone so replacements are on my very long to do list!
5. Where else do you sell?
Folksy is the only shop I have, I’ve done one craft fair so far and have sold quite a bit to friends/colleagues and people they’ve recommended me to. I have another fair booked for November.
6. Do you do craft fairs and do you think they are a good place to sell?
My first Craft Fair was in March. I was nervous because I new there were going to be a lot of really good artists attending and I thought I’d be out of my depth! I was completely shocked at the reception my creatures got! I think there were more adults purchasing for themselves and other adults than for children! I sold three quarters of my stock. So do I think they’re a good place to sell – well that one certainly was! It prompted all kinds of other unexpected interest too. An enquiry about placing some items in the local museum exhibition space, a college teacher asking if I’d like to go in and do a sock creature making session with the students – plus I’ve had a number of repeat sales to people who visited the fair – one from a lady opening a ‘real’ shop. I don’t expect I’ll always be that lucky - the venue and publicity makes an enormous difference. This one was in the Town Hall and I was jammy enough to have my Sock Gardeners featured on the front of the posters and programmes – so that helped! They’re ugly little chaps and I took them along – amazing how many people wanted to buy them! But I can’t spare them – they’ve got a Sock Garden to keep tidy!
7. Describe your style in 3 words.
A bit mad!
8. What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished an Amigurumi commission for another Folksy lady. She sent me a pic of the cat colours and helped choose the wool and make decisions about his face. I have a couple of songbird orders to make with special Happy Birthday messages. I always have at least one sock creature in my project bag and I’m working on a stripey amigurumi cat. Oh yeah, and I have a 9-5 day job as a project manager at a design agency too!
9. What is the weirdest thing about you?
I’m sure other people think my obsession with socks is a bit weird – can’t go near shops without seeking out socks – even in the supermarket!
10. What 1 item would you like to buy from another Folksy seller?
Henry the sausage dog! He’s just perfect.
11. Where is your most favourite place?
Quiet Greek islands and home.
12. What is your favourite book?
I enjoy lots of fiction but here are some of my favourite coffee table books…
13. What is your favourite film?
Oh no I can’t say just one! All Tarantino, Withnail & I, Romeo & Juliet, As Good As It Gets, Seven, Leon…
15. If you could do anything for the day what would you do?
I’d repeat a day from a Greek holiday. Me and my partner went to a beautiful, quiet pebble beach and spent most of the day making pebble pictures and sculptures. I loved the idea of people just happening across them for the next couple of days until they either got washed away or knocked down!
16. You are a Superhero, what is your power?
I’d be a shapeshifter. I’d quite often be shifting into the shape of a life-size sock creature. What a laugh!
She has a wonderful blog called The Sock Garden, well worth a visit with a cup of tea and some cake.
Thanks so much Shaz for doing this interview for me, especially on such short notice!!