22 October 2018
Having recently set up her own design business, we spoke to Julie Hickey of Julie Hickey Designs about her journey and her products!
Julie Hickey is probably a name you’ve heard of before; be it at craft shows or on television, she’s always on the craft radar! A seasoned card maker, we spoke to Julie about the incredibly exciting and very recent launch of her own company; Julie Hickey Designs!
Hi Julie! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m married to Mervyn and we have 2 boys, Matt and Owen... well, I say boys, young men really at 29 and 23! We live in Surrey where I’ve pretty much spent all my life. I have always loved crafts; my Mum taught me to knit… not easy when you are both left handed! I’ve had a go at sewing, crocheting, cross stitch, colouring etc., but it wasn’t until I saw stamping with heat embossing that I was drawn into the world of card making and I haven’t looked back since! I’m lucky enough to have been working in the craft industry for over 25 years now and during that time I have written five best-selling card making books that are available all over the world. I have had, and continue to have, numerous articles printed in national craft magazines and I have demonstrated at many retail shows up and down the country, as well as tutoring at workshops. I have over six years experience of craft shopping TV, having been involved from the designing and planning of shows, through to taking products to air. Now I am designing my own range of stamps, created from my hand drawn illustrations and put with beautiful sentiments, using hand selected fonts - another of my passions! I am also in partnership with Paula and Geoff Baughan, owners of Crafts U Love; a fabulous shop in the Surrey countryside, to promote and sell my range; Julie Hickey Designs!
Congratulations on your new range! What made you want to start your own company?
After being made redundant from Craftwork Cards in April of this year, it was suddenly “what shall I do now?” I’d already had my own range ‘Julie Loves’ with Craftwork Cards and I really love designing collections, putting colour palettes together, drawing stamp designs etc. so, I thought: “If I don’t do it now I never will!”.
Well, you know what they say; one door closes... What has the journey been like?
It’s really early days - we are just at the beginning, busy with lots of things being done in the background, getting things in place ready for the launch of our first Summer Bloom Collection of stamps! We have announced our partnership and the response has been absolutely amazing and so positive. We can’t wait to see what happens when the actual designs are revealed.
Exciting times! Can you tell us more about your relationship with Crafts U Love?
I’ve known both Paula and Geoff almost as long as I have been in the craft industry. I used to go to Paula’s house where she had a wonderful range of crafty goodies; Paula was always one of the first companies in the UK to get products from America, so she was always my first port of call. Then, when I wrote my Quick and Clever Handmade Cards, back in 2004, she and Geff supported me with products that featured in my book. I have also demonstrated at their shop and run workshops there over the years, so it just seemed natural to form a partnership.
A strong foundation then! So, what can we expect from the range?
For the initial launch, we have the Summer Blooms Collection; a range of 10 stamps, six A6 sized stamps sets and four A7 sized stamps sets. The A7 stamps are the first of my Essential Sentiments range with everyday sentiments Happy Birthday, Thank you, Hello and Thinking of You, together with a focal design, such as flowers, sprigs and wreaths. These are available now from Crafts U Love. I’m so excited to send them out to their new owners and see them share their makes using #juliehickeydesigns on social media! Who knows what we will bring out next; dies, paper pads, embellishments? We will see...
Very elusive of you! Will there be regular launches?
Not every month, but I’m working on our Christmas range of stamps. I’m loving what I’ve drawn for this Christmas Collection and hope everyone else will too!
Finally, then, do you have any crafty hints and/or tips for readers?
Yes, I do! Invest in good quality tools; if you buy well they should last you a long time. I couldn’t live without a good guillotine, a scalpel, as I find them much easier to use than a craft knife and a pokey tool... what would I do without my pokey tool? So useful for so many different things... from curling and shaping flowers, picking up foam pads, unblocking bottles/tubes - to name but a few! A good pair of scissors is essential, along with a metal edge ruler. Also, a craft sheet; heat resistant for heat embossing to ink blending on and a glass matt is wonderful for all sorts of things, from cutting with a scalpel to getting messy with paints, inks, sprays and spritzers too! Also, when buying card blanks, you need a good quality card stock; a great foundation gives you a great start.
Great advice, thank you Julie! Best of luck for the future.
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