Today’s featured crafter is Diane, read on to hear what she does, where it all started and what she hopes to achieve in the future.
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1. Who are you and what is the name of your business?
My name is Diana Hunter and my business name is dizaTIARAS. Di is the first 2 letters of Diana and the za is the first 2 letters of my Polish maiden surname which is Zak. Diza is also a Hebrew girls name meaning Joy.
2. What is your craft and how did you first become involved/interested in crafting?
I hand make tiaras, jewellery, wire wrapped jewellery, rosary beads and fascinators. I have always been interested in arts and crafts but family life prevented me from exploring what I really wanted to do.
3. Where do you find your inspiration for your work?
My family are my inspiration especially my sister. They have more confidence in my abilities than I do and are always telling me I can do it. Often they have ideas for me to try out and sometimes when I don’t feel inspired by what I am making I seek their approval of my designs.
4. What made/inspired you to start your crafts business? What did you do before?
Again I have to say my family. My niece was getting married and we were looking for tiaras for her. Because I had done a 2 year florist’s course starting in 1992 I knew how to manipulate wires. My sister told me to look closely at the tiaras to see how they were constructed and then try and make one at home. For the first few tiaras and combs that I made, I used fashion beads. Although the designs were nice I quickly realised that they lacked the wow factor that Swarovski crystals could give so I purchased some and that’s how it started. Before that I was a stay at home mum to 3 children as well as helping my sister to care for my mum who has suffered from many illnesses during her life. And before that I was a clerical officer in the civil service.
5. Can your customers have something personal created by you? Or are your items “stock only”?
I don’t have stock as such. I have samples for my customers to try on but I do have some items of jewellery i.e. wire wrap pendants available for sale but mostly everything I make is made to order. I am happy for my customers to change and alter all my styles to suit them be it by design or colour.
6. Do you have a favourite item/range out of all your crafted items?
My absolute favourite have to be my wire wrapped jewellery. I feel I am still learning with this art as I often surf wire wrapped jewellery websites and marvel at how a piece was made. I always feel like I have lost a piece of myself when I sell my wire wrapped pendants.
7. Where/how do you sell your items? Do you have a website/blog where we can see your work?
I sell my items on my website dizaTIARAS.
I also have a page on Scottish-Crafts.
I sometimes show my new items on my blog before I put them on my website. My blog can be seen HERE.
I also do wedding exhibitions.
8. If you could change one thing about your crafts business, what would it be?
I wish I had a room that was separate from my home, like a studio that I could use for my business as I feel that my family put up with a lot when I have customers coming to our home.
9. What are your plans for your future within the crafting world?
At the moment my craft/business is very much a hobby because of my responsibilities as a carer. Often my business dies a death from the end of October to the end of January – I would like the work to be steady rather than seasonal. I would also like to get more tuition in the art of wire wrapped jewellery. And maybe somewhere way into the future I would like a wee studio so that I can keep my home life separate from my hobby business.
Thank you Diane for taking the time to take part in our Featured Crafter article and for your very personal and informative replies 🙂