A new feature just for the blog!
For a long time, I've been pondering how to share more stories of people who inspire me. I host 2-3 interviews a month on the podcast but have always been a little sporadic about doing so on the blog. I think I felt more at ease with interviewing in 'real time'.
Well, that's about to change and my first '15 Mins with' guest is the perfect person to help me launch this new feature. 15 minutes with Francesca had me itching to make, create and cheerlead others who do too. Francesca couldn't be more perfect for today's playful moment if she tried. She's just launched a kickstarter to encourage everyone to get creative and she gave me 15 minutes to find out what the We Make Collective is all about:
Please introduce yourself and what it is that you create.
Hello! I’m Francesca. I write the DIY/Crafts blog Fall For DIY which is place to explore my hands on side and my life long love of making. I have always believed in combining craft with design to create something that is desirable and useful, and this ethos is a recurring theme throughout my blog. I create anything and everything from jewellery, fashion and accessories to easy artwork, furniture and interior DIY’s. I’ll try my hand at pretty much anything and I’ll always find a way to write about it on Fall For DIY!
You have founded the 'We Make Collective', what is the idea behind it?
I decided to start We Make Collective after meeting far too many people that don't believe in their own creativity. Creativity is something we practice and learn. Not something we're gifted with. This idea is one that many of my readers also feel strongly about, so in response to this need for easy access to skills, materials and inspiration I am launching the We Make Collective - a site to share what we do and what we love online and in real life. We Make Collective will bring together: the bloggers, the makers and the dreamers. Anyone with just the glint of creativity in their eye in a new way to boost each other’s creative journeys.
How are you collaborating with other women and supporting them in their making?
We Make Collective is all about collaborating and working together to increase creativity. We’ll be collaborating with independent businesses to stock the materials kits. Our first box of goodies comes from two indie businesses run by incredibly creative women. Working Clasp is a laser cutting service and Rebecca makes off the rack jewellery as well as bespoke pieces. We’ve worked together to design and create a travel loom for the first kit. We’re also working with Kim Smith from Alterknit Universe in Bristol. We’re hoping to include some really interesting recycled yarns to use on the loom. It’s all very exciting! As well as working with other women to create the kits we’re enlisting the help of some of my favourite bloggers to inject masses of creativity into the site. Each kit will include exclusive access to tutorials created by these amazing women to encourage ideas and experimentation.
The site is also going to include a section to share links to how you have used the kit. Whether you write a blog post about it or just take a photo on Instagram you can share with our community and help inspire others. I really want to create a hub of ideas that we can all work from and interpret in our own ways which will hopefully help more people find their creative voice.
What have you learned through establishing this collective?
We’re just getting started and I’m sure I will have so much yet to learn, but so far to biggest thing I’ve learnt is that so many people are scared of getting started. I can really connect with this feeling. Even during this project there are times I have put off jobs because I’m scared of the results. But the more I put myself and We Make Collective ‘out there’ the more positive feedback I receive. I hear more ideas that can make the Collective stronger and I find better ways to help others make those initial steps.
What can we expect to see from the collective? How can people join in?
We’ve just launched our Kickstarter campaign to welcome on board the early adopters! Everyone who signs up here is guaranteed to receive one of our limited edition, first ever material kits. They will also be sent their kits a week earlier than everyone else with full access to the We Make Collective project site before anyone else. Once the Kickstarter has finished we will be selling a very small amount of kits to anyone who missed their chance. We will need a cut off point so that our partners have time to put together all the beautiful materials in time for sending out!
We completely understand that some of you might want to source your own materials - which is totally fine of course! Once the site goes live for everyone will have access to a few of tutorials for free and if you want even more there is the option of paying a small subscription to get full access to the whole site!
You have such a strong voice from your online home, Fall For DIY, how has your making and sharing your projects with the world helped you develop that?
I’ve been blogging now for almost five years in total. For a long time I was terrified each time I pressed publish on a blog post. I always loved sharing the projects but I was scared people would think I wasn’t good enough. Over time I started writing more and my readers started commenting more on the posts. This really helped me realise that even though it was scary to do, opening up and showing my personality was the best way to reach out to and connect with my readers. Even though I still find it difficult I try to write each post from a personal place.
What does the term maker mean to you?
To me, the term maker means anyone with an idea. You don’t need to be well practiced to be a maker you just need to start making! Everything else you learn along the way.