From Holland and Italy, a jewel emerges

As you’ll be able to tell from the name, Tamara Van der Velden has Dutch ancestors and rather delightfully, MOOI means ‘beautiful’.  The exact word Tamara uses to describe the Murano glass jewellery she first saw in Venice.

What started on a romantic, pre-first baby surprise from her husband resulted in a business for Tamara. “Venice of course is a beautiful city, but I particularly fell in love with the glass workmanship on the island of Murano and the stunning glass jewellery and other glass items they produced. The pieces were beautiful, exciting, colourful, and refreshingly different and the glass felt warm on the skin. Needless to say I bought lots of jewellery!”

Independent Consultants

Back home, friends would ask about it and comment on how beautiful it looked and Tamara approached suppliers in Venice to buy gifts for them. When it came to returning to work after maternity leave, Tamara decided to look at another money making opportunity and started selling the jewellery at parties, markets, events, fairs and also online.

However that’s not the entire story. As working mum, Tamara does not want to work full time resulting in less time with her daughter so she now has independent consultants working with her that sell the jewellery in the same way.

That trip to Venice

Marketing

For this business model to work Tamara felt she had to put a bit more money into the business for marketing, the website, logo and of course more stock. “The cost of the website was minimal though as I used Wix.com which allows you to pretty much build the whole website for free until you are ready to go live and even then you only pay if you want to remove the Wix advertising to give the site a clean uncluttered look.”

Tamara set the whole thing up herself in just a few days and found it simple and straightforward. She recognises that marketing is going to be her main cost and invested time and money into it.

Tamara is still learning and social media is something she has to grasp next but for the moment, she is targeting other mums she meets who want to earn in flexible hours but don’t want to set up a business from scratch.

MOOI isn’t Tamara’s first venture as she already has a photography business and as with that business colleagues and peers can be a great motivator. “Of course when achieving some of your goals it’s nice to have people around you to celebrate with.”

Find out more about MOOI here www.wowthatsmooi.co.uk

Making the Leap from Hobby to Full Time Business

As published on UK Handmade Today, writer, crafts events organiser and trainer, Rickie Josen, examines how to make the leap from hobby to full time business.

Making the leap

Have you ever found yourself sitting at the computer, looking longingly at the beautiful photographs of lovely handmade creations made by those clever people who have managed to turn what they love doing into a full time business? Gone are the days when those people rush home from the office to finish a hem, frame a print or ice a cake and then spend the rest of the evening returning emails, packaging goods or updating blogs. Oh and then they have to change their work space back into a home and get ready for ‘work’ tomorrow. Those people have made the transition to doing what they love full time and getting paid for it - that’s my definition of true success. Want to know how they did this? Read on.