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5 MINUTES WITH | SHELBY AND KENDALL | S&K HAND CRAFTS

Tell us about your business, what makes it unique?

I started S&K Hand Crafts in 2018 with my twin sister to keep ourselves creative while we both worked busy part time jobs. When we created S&K we started by making dream catchers, fibre wall art and then dipped into the world of polymer clay earrings and accessories. We now make groovy things for you and your home by hand painting floral designs inspired by the 1970’s but with a more modern vibe. This is the most confident we’ve ever been in our designs, our brand, and our overall business. I believe we have been hand painting glassware for about two years! In this time my other half (Shelby) has been working two jobs while also studying hairdressing so I (Kendall) have taken over S&K but I still very much draw inspiration from Shelby and discuss all of my concepts with her. I run our website, social media, I paint everything, do all product photography (other than two shoots I’ve had with other small businesses), package all orders and handle all customer communication! We believe in embracing the small moments and we’re so incredibly happy that our homewares can give you time to slow down and appreciate what is right in front of you. I believe what makes S&K so unique is that everything is painted by hand, I don’t use any stencils or trace anything. Every petal, every flower centre is all done by me and by hand. If I accidently paint a petal too large or funny shaped, I usually keep it and embrace it - it often becomes my favourite part!

How did your business idea or concept come about?

I think about this often; it stemmed from what we were originally creating (fibre art and polymer clay jewellery) to expand our skills and challenge us. We have always loved flowers and the style of the 1970’s so it felt natural that we fell in love with painting groovy florals on glassware.

What has been the biggest challenge or lesson you have learned in business?

The biggest challenges I have found are to be true to my art, be consistent and to avoid comparison culture.

I feel like as an artist you are your own worst critic, you need to try and consistently make art and to not throw away everything you create as you’re constantly learning! It's good to reflect so it can help you go in the direction you want.

Also being consistent is hard! It feels like you must try to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media but in saying that if you need a break or want to prepare content, that’s OKAY. The world isn’t going to end because you forgot to post something on Instagram for a few days.

One of my favourite quotes is: “The beauty of others isn’t the absence of your own.”

Which is what I like to remind myself when I find I’m comparing myself to others. Try to avoid comparison, focus on what you’re doing, appreciate others, support others but try not to let someone else’s success or beauty get in the way of your own.

Oh, and something that I’ve most recently learned is to TAKE BREAKS. It is okay to stop so you can nourish yourself.

What aspects of building a business have gone how you expected and what is something that was unexpected?

S&K has been a journey, we went into it to have fun and to expand our creativity – little did we know a few years later that we would be where we are now, even being in Frankie Magazine a couple of times, making new connections often and finding some of our now closest friends through our small business. I think constant hard work was to be completely expected when we had more of a business mindset, to prioritise our time so that we could continue to grow and benefit. It sounds silly but I think something that was unexpected was that so many people like our art. I love our art, I can understand why they do but just receiving so much support is baffling, and I don’t think you can always prepare for that. We’re incredibly grateful for where we are with S&K, we want to continue to evolve and to see where we go.

As a successful business owner, what is the one best piece of advice you would give to young entrepreneurs?

My best piece of advice is to not be afraid to share your work! Learn how to take criticism, it’ll just make you better and bloom. In saying that, learn which criticisms to take (some people are just unkind and you’re not their cup of tea – that’s okay!) You know your work better than anyone and you learn as you go so keep going!

What are your business goals for 2022?

My goals for 2022 are to keep growing, to collaborate more, to document more (my art, my life, and my business) and to create more. I’m constantly evolving, and I would really like to keep that going, to continue to develop my art style further and to see how far I can push myself and S&K.

Tell us about your earliest skincare memory.

Being the babies of 5 siblings, and twins, we have an older sister who we would annoy and want to play with. My earliest skin care memory is doing face masks with our mum and older sister when we were little.

What does having a skincare routine mean to you?

I love that it creates a sort of ritual no matter what you do. It could be after you’ve showered in the morning and take a moment to slow down, to wash your face, to tone, to pop on your moisturiser, it allows you to slow down and take a moment for yourself, which is brilliant. I very much enjoy slow moments and one of my favourite things to do is to make a cuppa in my Wildflower Mug with a facemask on.  

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