Nicole Tweena smiles when I asked her how she got started with crafting.
“I don’t really know, crafting is just something that I’ve always done and always loved. I had a lot of women around me making things as I was growing up so it became second nature”.
As she grew up and got assigned embroidery and sewing projects in school she began to realise that not everyone was “making things”. Ever since her realisation she has always felt incredibly privileged to have a creative and mindful activity at hand. It also planted a seed inside that would later bloom into a flourishing online business.
Destroyed toys turned into an online crafting material shop
Before her business idea was in full bloom, she needed another insight. It came from playing with her homemade toys together with her children. The toys always seemed to get teared apart and she realised that the materials from the local shops that she had used weren’t good enough.
As events unfolded she began to see the a whole in the market. If she had a hard time sourcing good quality crafting materials, that probably meant that more people like her were facing the same problem. Thus she decided to order about a meter of each colour of wool felt and stored it under her couch. The stock was settled. Now she just had to open her own Etsy shop to be able to sell the limited supply that she had stocked up on.
Word of mouth can work magic…
By word of mouth she got increasing attention for her quality crafting materials. In 2015 she outgrew her living room into a proper studio to be able to expand her offers. Today, three years later, she has outgrown also her studio and is on the hunt for an even larger premise.
It’s incredibly inspiring to hear that what started as an inherent passion and innocent play with her kids, turned into a flourishing business that gave her a dream job while serving other creators around the world. Nicole believes that what made her clients come back to her shop is her eye for high quality and good selection of supplies.
“I don’t want to compete with the average big supply shop. Instead I want to carefully curate my shop to the clients needs. As I am a lifelong crafter myself I know what my clients need and make sure to get them that.”
What would you change if you were to start your business today? we asked her.
“I would take help sooner and collaborate more with others sooner”, she answers. Today she has a friend helping her with orders three days a week and have outsourced as much as she can to online service providers. Regarding collaborations she explains that to work in team is something she really loves. It’s also something that easily goes missing when you’re a creative entrepreneur working for yourself.
Want to know more about Nicole and CloudCraft?
Make sure to press play on the episode and listen to the full interview! After having listened to Nicole’s passion for supplies make sure to check them out on Cloud Craft. Charles and I have been using her materials since the early days of our embroidery journey and we couldn’t recommend them more! This is also why we are excited to be able to partner with Nicole both through our website and with customised kits for our Online Master Classes on Charles and Elin Academy.
In the episode you will also hear Nicole talk about her passion project of making embroidery more accessible for children. She thinks that the embroidery trend will only continue to grow and so will the involvement of younger generations. If this project speaks to you then make sure to check it out their website and on Instagram at @stitch.pop as well as CloudCrafts’ own profile @cloud.craft.
If Nicole’s story resonates with you, you might like to check out this article: “What was your triggering point?”