Journaling has always been a great way to calm your mind, release stress and just keep memories intact. Sure there are some great mass produced journals out there but have you ever seen a beautifully handcrafted journal? Allow me to introduce you to Eve and her Business – Lost Book.

Please tell us a bit about yourself and one interesting fact.

I’m a mom of three older children, and married to my love.

I have always loved books, reading, and writing. I would stay up late and sneak-read my latest novel (usually fantasy fiction). Now my teens do the same! In school, I found nothing more exhilarating than a stack of blank paper with which to pour out creativity. I like that I can recreate that for others.

Where did your business idea come from?

I’ve journaled since I was 13. It was really hard to find creative journals with covers that inspired! I started recovering my journals. Then I wanted pages to match the covers, so I learned how to bind. And since you can only keep so many….

How Does your work reflect your personality and overall approach to life?

I think my love of books and fantasy shows up on my journal covers and pens. I love to upcycled objects and add small fitting details to my work. The mystery/adventure kits involve my love of storytelling in an involving and creative way. I also love how things are done in the old days. This the quill and inks were a great, applicable edition to our store.

How do you balance parenthood with your business?

I have always struggled with this. Many times I’ve not gotten the balance right. I’ve even tried to stop crafting but I’ve realized that it’s part of who I am. My kids are teens now making it easier to manage my time, but they still need me and so does my hubby. I try to set designated times to focus on them. I take breaks from crafting and tackle housework. I take days off for fun times with them. They in turn try to involve themselves more in my crafting too: they come to shows, help me load items, listen to me obsess about the whole process, and love me in spite of me.

What would you say has been your biggest learning curve since beginning your business?

I think I’m still learning it, haha! Creating is natural, but the business end of things is harder. It’s like having two jobs: one to make things and one to sell them. I like them both, actually. I especially like the one on one interaction with customers at shows.

Where do you get inspiration for developing new products?

I get new ideas everywhere! Trying to keep up with them is the problem. Customers give me new ideas, found objects inspire new thoughts, yesteryear and it’s fascinating gadgets, nature, and need. Once I made journals, I needed to write in them. I was dissatisfied with the random pens in the house to write in my nice journal, so I created new lines of pens: the bead pen, the metal pen, the different styles of feather pens, and the authentic quill and ink.

How long does the average item take for you to create?

My journals take anywhere from 1.5 hours on up. The classic book journals usually take 1 hour whereas the metal journals (made from upcycled pop cans) can take 2-3 hours or more. Sometimes the creative ideas come quickly and other times, it takes a while to get the creative juices flowing.

Do you have a favourite item in your store?

Many! Particular journals and pens, but especially the metal journals-the colours!

What is the story behind your business name?

I dreamed that I was in an old bookshop, desperately looking for one specific book (which I had no idea what it was-I’d know it once I saw it). Finally, I found it! It was the last and rare and tattered copy of the Bible. Definitely a lost book in our society and a treasure beyond compare.

Can you describe your process and how long it takes to produce a piece?

The metal journal:

  1. Find an upcycled book cover in the color I desire. Cut out the pages (these are also upcycled).
  2. Tape the inside binding.
  3. Select, wash out, and cut a pop can to lay flat. Choose a design to emboss. Either emboss by machine or by hand.
  4. Color the metal with inks, embossing powders, paint.
  5. Glue metal to cover, add book corners, details.
  6. Print pages, sew, glue. Cut pages to size. Add book bands (those colored fibers on the ends of the book binding), add ribbon bookmark.
  7. Glue into book with end pages, add details. Sometimes I guild the page edges and distress the book edges.
  8. Add business sticker and price tag.
  9. Photograph and list online.

Describe your work-space and your top tools are.

I am slowly talking over our basement! I have 4 work tables, and a sewing/printing room. I hope to turn the third room into a small shop to sell locally. In my studio, creativity= mess. I usually spend the first few minutes of my day reorganizing before diving back into it.

My top tools are scissors, my utility knife, my embossing machine, and my paper stack cutter.

Do you receive many custom orders and if so, how much input do clients have?

I receive some custom orders which the customer has much freedom to input. I do have a knack for fitting a product to the client, though and appreciate it when clients value my creative input as well.

Do you ever make anything for yourself?

Yes, but not enough. I often snag a journal or pen when I need it but rarely just make one for me. I make other things in the house like handmade soap (yes, we crafters are usually creative in multiple fields!).

Do you have a favourite designer? Who is it and why?

Most of the designs that catch my eye are eclectic. Tim Holtz of the scrapbooking world has great style. Another inspiring artist is Tammy Kushnir who published The Elemental Journal.

Any advice for a new Handcrafted Maker who is setting up a shop?

The hardest thing to overcome is your own despair/discouragement. Look at what things are selling on the market today. Some of them are crap! And they’re selling! If they can do it, then there’s no reason that your beautiful creative ideas can’t sell even better!

What is your bestselling item? Why do you think it is the most popular?

My best-selling item are my creative journals. These are journals made from upcycled book covers and found objects to make a whole new look. I believe these are most popular both for the new finished lol but also for the creative ways old objects are used (a broken earring and piece of metal, a shell and beach glass). There’s also nostalgia attached with these objects.

Are you managing wholesale accounts and attending markets alongside your direct sales? If so, how do you balance your work day?

I’m not currently doing wholesale but I am attendant markets. Truth be told, you can only direct your focus one way, fully. So during market season, my online shop slows down a bit. My hope is to generate enough business via shows that I can do mostly online business in the future.

Do you have a home studio or do you work at another location?

I work at home. It can be distracting some days, but honestly I need to be distracted out of myself and my work. I can be entirely too focused, haha!

Do you have other hobbies?

Writing (I’ve got one fantasy fiction manuscript done and an working on the sequel), knitting, spinning yarn….

Do you do this full time? If not, how do you balance your day?

I consider it a flexible full time. I have chronic pain that prohibits me from work outside of the home, so here I can manage my time around my health and my family’s needs.

What has been the most challenging aspect of being a creative business owner?

Lack of startup funds, having to dig up info on how to sell online (no money for all those advertising to make you rich online!).

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year? No limits! Where would you like your business to go?

My hopes are to be able to make more sales online, repeat sales, newsletter. I’m hoping to do more shows next year and streamline that whole process. It would be lovely to be more publicly and locally recognised, for sure. Also, I hope to have my in house store, up and running.

Red or White?

Red! All that I do creatively involves colours: bright vivid colors. I think I’m part magpie or something, lol.

Come visit Eve at our Made in Canada Market on September 23rd or pop by and give her social channels some love!

Etsy: www.LostBook.etsy.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelostbooks
Instagram: @the_lost_book

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