Handmade In Keswick at Craftfest

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Stalking Success - Ali Burdon - VeryBerry - and a giveaway


After (ahem) a short break since the last post in the Stalking Success series, I'm back with a piece about another seller who seems to be everywhere that I am on the internet.  Ali has a different story to tell in that she recently added a fabric business to supplement her handmade. Here's Ali.


Ali Burdon

After a highly enjoyable career working as an archivist (and going to far too many pubs...) in London, I had my children (twin boys) in 2003. They were both diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum when they were toddlers, and at that stage I decided I would not be going back to work, and would concentrate on finding ways I could be at home to be with them, and help them reach their potential. 

All of that coincided with me getting thoroughly into crochet and sewing, and I started my blog - veryberryhandmade.co.uk, and sell things that I'd made online (in my Folksy shop - Very Berry Handmade) in 2006. 
 

Discovering The Product

I started with hand-sewn and crocheted products, and I hope to continue with them, but I found requests to make the same thing over and over were sapping my creativity and so in 2012 I added to this and have diversified into a second shop selling small cuts of Liberty fabric at Very Berry Fabrics.

I love Liberty prints with a passion. I love the heritage of the product, and I love the fact that the history of the fabric and brand is firmly based in the UK, especially when in this country, the majority of the quilting cottons we use are from the USA and Japan. Liberty prints are gorgeous to use in quilting and making small accessories, but it is quite tricky (or very expensive - I think some Ebay sellers rely on people not being able to do the maths!) to get hold of small pieces or patchwork packs.


I think the bottom line is that I love beautiful yarns and fabrics. I love art, design and colour, and I try to be creative and make beautiful things that make the most of the gorgeous fabric and yarn that I buy. I like to try and follow my inspiration, so my handmade products are quite often unique pieces.  In my fabric selling business, I love to buy my favourite prints, and put together beautiful combinations of fabric that I hope will appeal to fellow designer-makers and quilters. I also really enjoy the pleasure that other people take in buying and using fabric from my shop.

Achieving Sales
The fabric sales started very quickly - over 400 sales in just a few months.


Getting Known
My promotion is through my blog (veryberryhandmade.co.uk) and on Facebook. I have tried to use Twitter in the past, but I have to say that I don't really enjoy the fast pace!  I have regular promotions, and also a presence on Flickr.

I have also worked with other bloggers to promote my fabric business with giveaways.  

(Ali's giving away some of her beautiful Liberty fabrics to all Found In Keswick Readers - details at the end of this blog - Lu) 

                                                           Becoming Successful

I want to feel happy that I am providing people with beautiful fabric at a fair price.   I hope I can provide a good value service as with lots of inspiration on my blog for people who want to sew Liberty.
I find great contentment in my life and work, and that works for me!  I have only been selling fabric for about 6 months now - I have high hopes for the business, but I do not have a lot of spare money to invest in it, so I am having to grow it quite slowly.

Its important that I maintain my creative integrity and I also want to maintain my standards - for me it is very important that my handmade products are professionally made, and the fabrics that I sell are beautiful, and that my customer service is excellent, and not ripping people off,  And I still need to have the energy to enjoy my family!

And now for the Giveaway

 

There are 12 pieces of gorgeous Liberty Tana lawn. 
If you have encountered Tana Lawn cotton before, it has all the strength and durability of cotton combined with the feel of silk. Each piece is 9"x12", which is the main size that I sell in my shop. You can use these gorgeous fabrics for quilting, accessories making, applique, collage.... the list goes on. My Liberty Inspiration Pinterest board has loads of ideas for people who are new to the loveliness that is Liberty Lawn.

Entry'll be by draw, and to enter, all you need to do is have fun, browsing through that gorgeous Liberty Inspiration BoardAli's fabric shopHandmade shop and leave a comment, here on this blog starting with the words 'I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...'. 
Oh and Ali says she's more than happy to post overseas, so all can enter. (I moderate posts rather than that trickey 'prove you're not a robot thingey' so if your comment doesn't appear straight away, please be patient, I will get to it. -Lu

So... what WOULD you use your VeryBerry Fabrics for?

SOZ - THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW FINISHED. YOU CAN STILL COMMENT IF YOU WANT, BUT YOU WON'T BE ENTERED FOR THE DRAW. 

You can see the result here 

194 comments:

Carolee Crafts said...

A lovely blog guest spot Lu and thank you for letting us get to know you better Ali. Liberty fabric well what can I say so timeless and beautiful

Kay said...

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics to make a beautiful bag out of hexagons. Thanks for the giveaway. VeryBerry Handmade is one of my favourite blogs to read and I have had lovely fabric from Ali in the past, really quick service too.
ks(dot)eyles(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)uk

instinctivemothering said...

Ooh what a generous giveaway! I'd use it to add to my little stash of fabrics that I plan to turn into a lovely liberty quilt one day when I have enough!

Joanna Townell said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make some beautiful jewellery gift bags. You see i make jewellery mainly but after reading these blogs and going on your pinterest board i feel inspired to create something different.

Paula said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...add into the crochet jewellery I make with fine threads, the fabric would be a lovely additional textile!
Paula @ PSpinkliliboo

Bea García said...

I would use my VERYBERRY Fabric to make a bag and a pouch... Thanks for the chance to win!
bea968{at}gmail.com

SewLittleToSay said...

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics to try my hand at making a cathedral window pincushion.

rainbowgoat83 said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make my first ever patch work quilt I have wanted to make one for a long time and since we are moving house soon I think now would be the perfect time to make one for my little girls bedroom :-)X

House of Pinheiro said...

'I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO make a beautiful quilt for my birthday

Lynsey said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...

Envelope myself in fabulousness, and never leave the sanctuary of my craft room xxx.

Hannah Robinson said...

Oh WOW what gorgeous fabric! Coincidence as I got out my sewing machine last night for the first time in ages!

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics... to make some cushions (you can never have too many) Lavender bags to slip into pillows, and maybe attempt a cuddly toy like the ones in the V&A museum.

Whether I win or not, it's been a pleasure. Incidentally the fabric in the top photo of this article - I have some of that! The name of the designer escapes me, but it is gorgeous fabric. :-)

Jenny Larking said...

I would use my Veryberryfabrics to make a lovely tote for travelling. I already buy Ali's fabrics and they are gorgeous. She is a pleasure to buy from as she is helpful, honest and caring and it comes across, even over the ether. jennylarking@gmail.com

Gina Clyde said...

I would use my Veryberry fabrics to make a blanket for my daughter's doll!

Very Berry Handmade said...

Lovely post Lu - thanks. Obviously, don't include me in the giveaway, lol.

Catherine said...

I would use my VerryBerry fabrics to make some little purses and a handbag. I think they look best when paired with a natural linen so I would use that to set of the beauty of the liberty prints. I wouldn't want any of these beautiful fabrics to go to waste so I'd use any little scraps left over to make pincushions!

Thanks for the chance to enter!

Carla teixeira falls said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...

To give to my wife and let her experiment and play. We love fabric, along with scrap-booking and soaps. With a Brazillian Mother-in-law who has worked her whole life in material Carla has a desire to have her mum teach her some patchwork and new techniques via SKYPE. COULD BE FUN!

Bonding of a kind I am sure!

DianneP said...

I would use my Veryberry fabrics to first of all drool over, then wear them out just feeling them, before using them to create some cathedral windows patchwork (if I could bear to cut up the fabric)!

lu said...
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lu said...

Thanks Caroline. They're gorgeous fabrics aren't they.

lu said...

That's good to know Kay thanks

lu said...

That would be funny...maybe

lu said...

Sounds good - maybe this'll start you off

lu said...

Joanna, I hadn't even thought of that! (Might have to sneakily steal that idea...)

lu said...

Another interesting idea -thanks Paula

Liz DandeliondD said...

I would use my Very Berry Fabrics to make a sewing pouch to keep all my supplies in.
Thanks for the chance to win.

Sarah said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO....... make a cushion cover with EPP hexes. I love Liberty! Thank you for the give away.

Anna said...

I would use my Very Berry Fabrics to make myself a patchwork zipped project bag to keep epp projects in, I seem to want to be starting all of them at the moment! Thanks for the give away!

Ginger said...

Oh, I would use the very berry fabric to make a gorgeous keepsake teddy for my wee one. Linen and liberty, fab! With the rest i think I'd just stare longingly at it.

Jane Whalley said...

Hi there, I absolutely adore Ali's liberty fabric and have used it for many things but I especially like using it to make my campervan cushions, so if I was lucky enough to win, I would continue to make the cushions! Great blog by the way and thanks for the chance to enter.

Jane Whalley from ellabella (all things crafty) on FB

Francis Paul said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO just stroke and pet and admire and wonder what to make with that gorgeous fabric :-)

stirandstitch said...

i would use my veryberry fabrics to...part of me would want to frame each one in embroidery hoops to hang as art because the prints are so beautiful, but my practical side would have me try my hand at some patchwork/linen zip-pouches like the ones i've seen on ali's blog.
ps - i have very fond memories of the time i spent wandering around the lake district many years ago. it's such a beautiful area with great energy.

Indianna said...

'I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...make a Liberty Love Happy Scrappy Tripalong cushion :o)

Julie said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make myself a tote bag.....I Think, but I could change my mind as I often do! Thanks for the giveaway.

Lizzie said...

First of all I would put it in my stash and admire it! Then make a mini quilt, maybe adding some coordinating plain fabrics. Fingers crossed!

heart of charnwood said...

I would use my liberty fabrics to stroke as a pet, before using them in some kind of quilty project! : ) Ange

Alli said...

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics to make a scarf!

I love reading Very Berry Handmade, so thank you for the fun interview and giveaway! :)

Karen said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make some more fabric baskets with. Great giveaway, thanks for the chance.

ClaireB said...

I would use my very berry fabrics to make a beautiful patchwork ipad sleeve!
Claire

Linda said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO make pouches for my various electrical chargers, I have decided that they all need their own pouch with their name embroidered on the front, this will then enable me to find the correct charger without having to take them all out of the drawer! lol.
I have been following 'Very Berry Handmade' on Facebook & via email for some time, she has some wonderful items.

Nati said...

I would use the liberty fabrics for a quilted iPad case. I love liberty and it is so hard for me to cut into it, but they have the most gorgeous fabrics, and ali's selection is gorgeous. Thanks for the chance to win.

Spiral Fountain Jewellery said...

Great post Lu, it's good to be reminded about how versatile fabric is.
Nicky

mogirldesigns said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to... Create a lovely new coin purse as mine is looking a little sad and the rest would go to my stash as you never know when you may need it. A great post, its good o see what other are up to in building there business

Jo Doherty said...

I would use my liberty fabric to make a quilt. I made my first one this year and I love it so I would make one for someone else to spread the quilt love!

makey vicky said...

After looking at them, stroking them, arranging them, rearranging them, I would use my veryberry fabrics to make something very tiny and intricate and special... maybe a little purse like the lovely where orchids grow one. x

lu said...
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lu said...

I could never have enough pouches!

lu said...

Thanks for your comment Bea

lu said...

Well this would get you get started, and if not, then Ali's got lots of little packs to set you off

lu said...

Haha. If only...

mrsmmakes said...

They are so pretty that I'd be tempted to keep them to look and admire! Cutting into them would be hard. If I had to make something I'd either perfect my latest project - owl softies, or I'd make small bags or purses.

Anonymous said...

I WOULD USE MY VERY BERRY FABRICS to start another lap quilt to match the one I made using Ali's gorgeous fabrics, for my mum for Christmas. The Liberty fabrics sold on the Very Berry site are just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

The anonymous comment above was left by Deborah as I don't have any of the apps listed on the "comment as" list, sorry.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Becky Butler said...

I would use my veryberry fabric to make a fabulous multi coloured infinity scarf like Anna Maria Horner's pattern. I love Ali's blog, it's really inspired me to mix up linens and bright prints a combination that looks amazing, and with all the different textures I'd never have thought to try it myself.

WandaFish said...

I would use my Very Berry fabrics in a lap quilt just for me! I adore Liberty fabrics and have got a small collection with the intention of making a quilt. This gorgeous prize would be just perfect to add to them - thanks for the chance to win :)
I love Ali's blog and work, and now she's introduced me to your blog too!

Amys Crafty Shenanigans said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO... make a small flower pin/brooch and a good size linen/Liberty zippy pouch to attach it to to add some detail. I think some homemade buttons would be a great way to use up some of the itty bitty scraps so I would make as many of those as I could too because I LOVE BUTTONS!! Fab giveaway cheers from Amy in London UK!!

barbara woods said...

every thing i get my hands on goes into quilts would love to win thanks

Deborah said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to...add to some I have already bought from Ali and make a quilt. It is gorgeous fabric and Ali's blog gives lots of inspiration.

syazwani adnan said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO make hair accessories for me and my dear daughter.

Thanks.

Syazwani
syazwaniadnan at gmail dot com

Dianne Neale said...

I've never used liberty lawn before, so I would have to get to know it first. But I think I would made a Henie cushion, and try to convert my husband to cushions!

chrissie said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to .... Add the appliqué parts to my new quilt that I have just started. It would be so nice to have some fabulous material to choose from.

Gill said...

I would use Ali's gorgeous fabrics to make a coin/frame purse and a zippered pouch!
Thanks for a fabulous interview with Ali!

SusanBonnar DottieDesigns said...

Fab blog post and a great giveaway!

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...give me inspiration for my new range of fabric and lace covered scrapbooks and albums.

lizzie said...

I would use my very berryfabric to create a purse for my friend Karen who I haven't seen for ages

SilentCompanions said...

What a lovely blog post! Thank you for the chance to win.

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make some things for my work space - I've only ever had scraps of Liberty before (nicked from my mum's immense fabric stash!) so big pieces would be a real luxury!

forrestandfinch said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make all my friends a 'mug rug' for our weekly craft, coffee & cake nights!

Michele said...

I WOULD USE MY VERY BERRY FABRICS to make a cushion!

A Time for Stitching said...

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics to tackle one of the projects in the Liberty sewing book I had for Christmas in 2011. I've followed Ali's progress in her blog for quite a while now and have enjoyed this interview. Most encouraging to me is that she has progressed well without getting bogged down in every social networking site going!
Teresa x

Marthamoo Beads said...

Ooh, what a great blog, I have just lost an hour, browsing your folksy shop....buying some fabric, looking at Liberty site through your links and your pinterest board.....oops!!! I would use my veryberry fabric to make a pretty dress and bag for my beautiful little girl, Martha :-)

veronica said...

I would use my veryberry fabric to make lovely lavender bags or a super cushion cover.

lu said...

We'll let you off Deborah
Lu

lu said...

I can picture that

lu said...

The best pressies are to yourself aren't they

lu said...

There are so many options once you get thinking aren't there Hannah

lu said...

That's so nice to hear Jenny, and you're not the only one to say it either

lu said...

And what a lucky and stylish doll that would be, Gina

lu said...

Yes, I like the combination of the pattern and the linen too Catherine

lu said...

Hi Garreth, long time no see.

Gotta be less chaotic than my OH & his sister doing 'Jamie's 15 minute meal Wars' via skype.

lu said...

Gotta be a New Years Res hasn't it Dianne? CUT, no hoarding?

mythreebeez said...

I would like to make some hearts and a teddy with the fabric

andri. said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make pouch and to put them on my table so i can admire them everyday:)

Janette said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to make a pouch for my dictaphone so that I could hang it round my neck and always have it handy!

Michelle said...

I would use my Very Berry fabrics to......
Make each of my 4 children a little keepsake bag.

Pati from London said...

What a nice post! I have bought fabrics from Ali before and her service and Tana Lawns are fantastic! I would use it to do some applique designs in plain Summer T-shirts for my daughters! Thanks for such a generous giveaway! Pati x

Cheryl said...

I would use my Very Berry fabric to add to quilts for my daughters. I know they would appreciate it. I love Liberty fabric.

Charlotte said...

I would incorporate the liberty into the Japanese + and x quilt I'm planning on making. I love mixing textures and liberty feels amazing. Great insight into Alis business

Bernadett Rauski said...

Hello,

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...sew for me some spring,summer and autumn bags,briefcases,keyrings,to use it with my stitchings to make decorations...
Lots to do with them.:)

Greetings.:)
Bernadett
betikarauski@gmail.com
http://petite-armoire.blogspot.com

Tara Blackwell said...

Lovely interview with Ali! I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS to make a Liberty patchwork cushion that I would have on my bed. I adore Lib erty fabrics too and would be delighted if I won this giveaway! Thanks for the chance to enter!

Polly Primrose said...

I would use my veryberry fabrics to stare at, touch & smile at for at least a month & then (looking at them would just make me happy!!)I would use them to make linings/applique for my handfelted purses. A wonderful giveaway.
pollyprimrose@gmail.com

judith67 said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO make a lovely collage, and help me in my C&G creative embroidery Year 2
hey_jude_67(at)hotmail.co.uk

Cathryn Brown said...

So many more great places to bookmark, full of inspiring ideas. I would use my veryberry fabrics to make a quilt! I haven't quite got them out of my system despite making rather a lot as Christmas presents last year! I want to record the farm I live on in this one. It's an idea that has been in my head since I made my first quilt only last year. This one will be for me and my love.

annhlay said...

What a great give away! Ive bought some material from Ali and I got a recipe into the bargain, how cool was that! If I won the giveaway I would pair it with linen to attempt a Zakka project or three (attempt being the operative word here :) Ann x

lapappilon said...

Wow! Amazing! Super!
Please enter my name...

oooooooooo ... covered with books, make ornaments, animal figures, .....

http://lapappilon.blogspot.com/
lapappilon@gmail.com

Hugs
Eva from Serbia

Vairë Gwîr said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...give a try to quilting for the first time in my life.

Helenlt said...

'I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO... make a patchwork stuffed owl for each of my daughters - and then possibly a phone case for my mobile...

jackiescrafts said...

I would use the VeryBerry fabrics to make a storage pouch in patchwork and a case for my Kindle I got at the end of last year

Jackie

ellen said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...make a pillow for my goddaughter, whose birthday is in March, make one for her mum, and make one for me.

inga said...

Also I would like sign up for this super candy.
hugs
Gerda

sewfrench.com said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO... make a quilt. I was thinking an EPP hexagon project until... temptation got a hold of me!!
Oh my gosh, I did not know that Pinterest board existed and now I am all confused!

loritfrench@comcast.net

quirkyhannah said...

Lovely post and fabrics- ordered from Ali before just waiting for the right project!

I would use the veryberry fabrics to create a mini decorative quilt.

Used-to-Bees said...

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics to stroke and cherish and cheer up these grey days (and then turn them into hexy patchwork!)
Alix

Rose Smith said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO... make a tote bag, to keep my sewing items together. I am extremely new to this craft (bought a 2nd hand machine tonight) and will need somewhere to store my collection of threads, fabrics & accessories as it grows.

Madeline Bonner said...

I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO COMPLETE A QUILT THAT I AM MAKING FOR MY DAUGHTER FROM LIBERTY FABRICS.

Anonymous said...

'I WOULD USE MY VERYBERRY FABRICS TO...' make beautiful love hearts,some with lovely scents and finishing with ribbons and buttons. To hang on doors, drawers, cupboards and anywhere that needs a little piece of love and happiness. I have just bought my first sewing machine and as a child, i would sew with my grandma so I am very excited to get started.
Thank you, Donna

Patti said...

I would use my VeryBerry fabrics to make pillowcases that only I can use! Thanks so much for this wonderful giveaway and the chance to win!

Taraminara said...

I would use my VERYBERRY FABRICS to start my Liberty quilt. I already have a few pieces but need so much more. I just love Liberty!
Tara

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OH No - its all going pear shaped.

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Wow, that's 80 in the draw for the giveaway then. I just need to check I've given everyone a number without fluffing it up...then I might cook tea...then I'll draw the winning number.

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Still managed to fluff it - this can be 81

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This task is obviously too difficult for me
This comment can be number 82 !!

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Well I was rubbish at number allocation.

82 qualifying comments