Thursday 2 August 2012

Making A Living From A Passion For Craft - Featured Artisan Candace of Paper Polaroid

"Do you think we could do this and sustain a living?" "Yes!" Candace and Erik of Paper Polaroid

Yesterday i came across something wonderfully inspiring which i thought i share with you today - its the story of how Candace, owner of three Etsy shops, turned her craft passion into a home business that supports her and her family. She tells it beautifully, so here, in her own words, is how it happened:

"I was so convinced that I needed to share my love for paper crafting with the world that I signed up to be a teacher at JoAnnes(the craft shop). I think I only had three students total, but that did not make me stop going. The students that I did get to teach were so pumped up after the class, it got me even more thrilled about paper crafting . I held craft classes at my home. When I visited my mom out of state, I asked her to invite a few ladies over to craft. I would spend hours at night, too excited to sleep, dreaming up ideas and concepts I could teach. I remember my husband, who has always been supportive and on board with my sometimes 'wild' ideas asked me one night, 'Do you think we could do this and sustain a living?' and without hesitation I quipped, 'YES!'" 

"We were not making any money at all from my crafting classes, the money that came in went right back to purchasing materials for the next gig. Having an etsy shop was on my bucket list of things to do, so one day I just did it! I had $10.00 in my pay pal account and I decided to make that grow without dipping into my family's budget. And it began to grow...and grow. It grew into something that could sustain a living." 

"Last summer we decided to close our restaurant and Erik (my hubby) and I now work from home running our 3 etsy shops:

Meadow Tea

Matrykoska Dolls Set Of Four Italian Stone Coasters by Meadow Tea


Fox Bottle Cap Necklace By Sideshows

Paper Polaroid

Set Of Seven Gingham Mini Pinwheels By Paper Polaroid

"We have been amazed to see the response our pinwheels and garlands have gotten. We've been featured in Shape, Good Housekeeping, Brides, Cosmo Australia. We have had celebrities purchase our party decor, been in the shop front window of Ralph Lauren NYC store." 

Custom Pinwheels By Paper Polaroid For Ralph Lauren NYC

"Companies like MAC cosmetics and Coldwater Creek have purchased our items to be used in photo shoots. We've even been in a commercial (well our pinwheels have)."

"One of the full circle moments for me came when I got a message that a few of my heart garland photos were to be purchased to be used as craft ideas in shops around the country like JoAnne's and Michaels."

Birthday Banner Children's Vintage Storybook Pages by Paper Polaroid

"We have sold items to every state in the country and many countries around the world. I am convinced that God answers prayers and honors dreams. My number one dream has always been to be a stay at home mom and my husband made that happen at the birth of our first child. I have never had to leave my children to pursue my other dreams. God has blessed Erik and I to be able to do what we love and do that from home. We are grateful and would tell anyone who is interested in a craft business to be original, be prepared to work hard, and to follow your passion!"

Wow, A truly beautiful story and one i'm very glad to have read as it has boosted my belief that i too can turn my crafting passion into a successful business. Thank you so much Candace for allowing me to share it here today, and for being such an inspiration!

As i'm sure you will have noticed Candace has an infectious enthusiasm for her crafting and is also a very talented lady - two things that i'm sure have played no small part in creating the success she enjoys today. If you would like to keep up with her crafty news she has a FACEBOOK PAGE and also a BLOG (with lots of lovely free printables!)

Her three fabulous Etsy shops, Paper Polaroid (gorgeous paper pinwheels, garlands and favours for every occasion), Meadow Tea (beautiful Italian stone coasters), and Sideshows (delightfully quirky bottle cap necklaces) are full of wonderful fun filled creations and well worth a visit.

I'll leave you with one of my favourites... :)

A Tree For All Seasons, Set of Coasters By Meadow Tea

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Thanks so much Natalie for your gracious feature...your blog is amazing as is your etsy shop...excited to drink a spot of tea on my handmade mug made by you! Much love and thanks, Can.XX

    1. thank you for your kind words Candace :) x

      i'm really glad that i found your wonderful shops on Etsy and got to read about your story - it has been so inspiring to me and i'm sure lots of others will enjoy reading about it too :)

      p.s. your mug is winging its way to you as i write this! x

  2. What an inspiring story. It goes to show self belief goes a long way. Thanks for sharing.
    Ali x

  3. A lovely post, no wonder it inspired you, it's a great story and goes to show what you can do by working hard, never giving up and believing in what you do.

    Jan x

    1. thanks Jan, i completely agree - Candace sets a great example :) x

  4. This is such an inspiring story! I am also intrigued by the whole having separate stores for different types of goods. This is something I may consider myself in the fullness of time.


    1. thanks for commenting Sarah :)

      i've thought about having more than one shop at some point too... i'm guessing its probably quite a bit more work to promote them!

      Natalie x

  5. I have to say Natalie I have had a lovely evening this evening, first of all reading this post, then following the links to your other posts contained within it. Thanks so much.

    In fact, I have published a post all about my evening with your blog. You can read it here:

    Thanks again,


    1. awww thank you Sarah! i love the blog post you have written and am amaaaaaaazed about how much you have achieved in one evening!!! i'm really glad that you have enjoyed your trip to my little corner of blog land.... thank you so much for letting me know all about it, you have made my day! :)

      warmest wishes

      Natalie x


Your lovely comments are much appreciated x