Creative Crafters- Hanging By A Fred

Image: Hanging By A Fred 

Tell me more about your craft?

What is it? When did you find out you were good at it?

I make a wide variety of products from climbing rope and paracord.  From statement jewellery to homeware, pet accessories and a range of survival gear.  I started out three and a half years ago after my dad died.  I started playing with his old climbing rope in a creative response to grief, I wanted to make mementoes for the family.  I discovered I was quite good at it, well, at the very least, I enjoyed it and wanted to learn more and develop my skills, which I have done over time.  I am not formally trained in any way; I just make what I like and basically ‘play’ till something appears.

Why did you decide to turn into a business?

I had taken voluntary redundancy from the museum service I previously worked for and had cared for my dad full time until his death in February 2015.  Ultimately, I had nothing else filling my time.  I applied for jobs, but employers are not forgiving of a career break such as that, so I decided to create my own job and set up Hanging by a Fred.

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Image: Hanging By A Fred 

Tell us more about the process, the step by step process of your craft-

From the concept to the final product.

 I really wish I could haha, a lot of my designs have knots at the heart, climbing knots, to echo the material that they are made from.  As I said earlier, I just make it up, I sit at my bench with a pile of rope and beads and just play.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

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Image: Hanging By A Fred 

Where do you sell your product?

 Online, at events and markets and in a variety of shops and galleries across the country

 Have you noticed a rise in crafters and people buying creations?

 There had been a strong shift in the ‘shop local’ and ‘buy handmade’ movements.  This trend had been increasing year on year and was wonderful to meet other creatives across the country, sharing our passion for our crafts and being able to create a life out of this was a bonus.  However, things have changed.  People are no longer spending in the same way, perhaps increased financial uncertainty, Brexit, sheer bad luck?  All I know is that my artist and trader friends are now struggling, some businesses have had to close, even HBAF’s future is hanging in the balance.

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Image: Hanging By A Fred 

What is the crafting industry like?

 It is tough, I am not going to sugar coat things for your readers haha.  We work incredibly hard, long hours, days/nights/weekends with no sick pay, no pension and no security.  We do this madness for the love of our craft.  On the flip side, the people you meet who share your passion for creativity and have that quirky soul, there’s nothing like it.

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Image: Hanging By A Fred 

Do you recommend people starting up their own crafting creations and turning it into a business?

 I say follow your dreams!  You never know until you try.

 Visit The Hanging By A Fred Website here 

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Etsy 

Not on The High Street

 

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