Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Isossy Children meets Grace's Favours

Isossy Children loves to meet interesting and fun new products and services for children around the world. In this blog profile we meet Simmi Duffin, founder of Grace's Favours, a wonderful range of fun felt fabrications for kids!

What inspired you to start your business?
I started my business in Autumn 2011 when my second child, my son Patrick, had just turned 1. I was suffering with Post Natal Depression and whilst some of it was improving, my anxiety wasn’t getting better, so my very supportive GP suggested I try occupying myself with something creative. I love sewing and my daughter was nearly 3 and was just starting to learn her alphabet. I made her a set of felt letters, which were a big hit with her and her friends. After a number of her nursery friends’ parents had asked me to make their children a set each, I put a picture on Facebook and friends started requesting things with the letters sewn on, like Christmas Stockings and I quickly realised I could keep doing something that made me happy and cover my costs (and not end up with a house full of felty fripperies!)

What have been your favourite client experiences?
I was asked by a customer who lives locally to make a custom 3D soft sculpture of a Subaru Impreza for her son for Christmas. It was one of my biggest challenges, but I was really pleased with how it turned out and what was absolutely wonderful, was that unlike most of my creations, which get delivered by post, she came to collect the car and the look on her face was worth everything to me. She was SO pleased and then she even sent me a card telling me how delighted her son was too.

What advice would you give to someone starting up in your industry?
Be true to yourself. I’ve seen too many people look at what others are having success with and trying to replicate that, but because it’s not something they have their heart and soul in, it doesn’t prove to be the great seller they imagined. You need to find your own style. Whilst it’s fine, in fact, great, to see what others are doing and to use their style to inspire you, once you find your own ‘voice’ it all falls into place and creating pieces you love will be so well received by your customers.

What are your long term goals?
I’m developing a range of patterns that customers can instantly download from my shop, which will teach them how to make some of the pieces that I sell. I’d still like to make the more complicated pieces, but there’s a limit to the capacity I have, as one person and I don’t really want to create an empire, I just want to carry on doing what I love, which is designing and creating fun pieces, full of colour and interest.

Isossy Children celebrates diversity through global clothing for children. Why do you think diversity matters for every generation?
We are now so much more able to travel and our nationalities are not as separated as they used to be, but that does mean that a lot of the cultural differences and the interesting things about different nationalities are getting lost, so I think it’s really important to teach our children and their children about diversity, how it came about, why it matters to us and how to embrace those differences. My children are an interesting mix of English, Irish & Indian and despite living in the very ‘English’ countryside; we celebrate the Irish & Indian traditions in the same way our grandparents did, so as to keep that heritage known to them.

What words of wisdom do you think every child should grow up knowing?
It’s better to try and fail, than not to try at all – if you believe in your dreams, you are far more likely to achieve them. 

Contact Details
Name - Simmi Duffin
Phone - 07739 568086
Twitter – www.twitter.com/gracesfavours
Blog – www.gracesfavours.blogspot.co.uk


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