Name: Emily Fox
Company: Skull and Cross Buns
Sum up your business in a sentence. Quirky and alternative hand carved rubber stamps.
When did you start your business? I started selling online in September 2009 but started working on the business in early 2009.
What & who inspires you? I get more inspiration from many sources really, I try to incorporate current trends in crafting and design as well as taking inspiration from design blogs, tattoo designs, my ‘crafty’ peers and my family are always phoning me up with ‘ooh, I’ve had a really good idea for a stamp for you…’
What sets you apart from others? A lot of rubber stamping can be quite ‘cutesy’ which there is nothing wrong with but I offer something a bit more quirky, a bit more tongue in cheek. Plus the majority of my stamps are carved by my own fair hands!
What did you do before setting up your business? I did my degree in retail management whilst working at Our Price stores part time (my collection is stuff of legend) and after uni I worked in mail order as an account manager in a call centre as well as customer service for another fabulous mail order company. Nothing overly high flying as my children came along amongst all that but in hindsight the perfect grounding for my current entrepreneurial endeavours.
The best part of your day/ running your own business. Being in control (evil laugh) The best part is when you work really hard on a new design, fret over it, get opinions from others, launch it with trepidation and then you sell the first one, such a buzz!
Why did you start your business? I have always used rubber stamps in my crafting since I was a child and wanted some way to reproduce my own designs. I did start off with a stamp making machine but was getting mixed results and came across the hand carving technique which took me back to Lino cutting at school. I loved the quality of the rubber and how lovely it was to carve and the printed results it gave and the fact that I could do lots of small and fiddly detail. I started working on designs and my techniques in 2009 as a hobby business to run aside my new part time job but when I faced redundancy for the second time in a year I took the plunge to full time self employed in April 2010.
Your favourite product & why. I love my Sleepy Fox design, I’m biased but I think he is very cute and reminds me of my own baby Foxes when they are tucked up in their bunk bed at night 🙂
Your greatest business tip. You need to be hard working, tenacious, have a keen eye for detail and being a jack of all trades definitely helps! And never under price your work (Marna has a great article about this on her blog somewhere!)
Your favourite colour. I’m a purple girl at the moment.
Star sign. Scorpio, I’m not big on astrology though.
Your biggest weakness. Rock stars with long hair, mostly Dave Grohl.
Your biggest success. In personal life, my little boys, in business life, I hope I haven’t reached that yet! One thing that did stand out was last Christmas I was in the magazine aisle and SACB stamps were in four magazines I could see on the shelves, that was cool.
Funniest moment. I have many from my call centre days. We used to take calls for a rather dubious telly shopping channel and the complaints ranged from ab toning belts apparently getting some lady’s two twin teenager daughters pregnant at the same time, pancake makers getting too hot and flying off people’s hobs…
Favourite quote. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Favourite motto. Work hard and be grateful.
Favourite artist. I love Simon Drew, I love his sense of humour and the detail in his work.
Favourite season. Autumn, cold nights drawing in, starting to cook all those winter warmers, snuggly pj’s on… bliss!
Business dream. Be well known in the stamping industry, bring out coordinating ranges of products to compliment my stamps, get my designs on everything basically!
Favorite flower. I do like a good gerbera.
What are you listening to right now. Latest Queens of the Stone Age album. It’s stunning. Dave Grohl is on drums on this one, did I mention I like Dave Grohl? Cos I do quite a lot, I even have a Felt Dave Grohl complete with Santa hat on my Christmas tree….
Your simple pleasure. Putting pencil to paper to plot new designs.
What’s your brew. Tea, milk, one sugar purlease!
Ace interview Emily! Thank you so much for doing it. I have been a fan of Emily’s work and business since the beginning of Little a, I have bought many stamps and had loads of commissions made and I always love her quality and service. Bt most of all I just think Emily is totally ace, she works hard, doesn’t fuss is always kind, a professional who cares and helps whenever she can. She has always been a big support to me and advised me and helped me throughout personal and business issues, so I recommend buying stuff from her and following her, because by doing so you are supporting a wonderful hardworking woman who deserves inly lovely things happening to her. Big kisses. Xx