Interview with Renae Bradley from Benzie
I’m beyond thrilled to bring home the lovely Renae Bradley from Benzie Bazaar + Benzie Handmade. I believe Renae was one of my first online contacts I made. WAO that makes me super nostalgic + appreciative of the digital times we live in. Goosebumps are in order. I meet her, or let me rephrase that, I hunted her down after nights of insomnia looking for the perfect felt supplier for my oh so tiny, but empire in the making eco-friendly boutique.
What I didn’t know at the time is that I hadn’t only found the world’s best felt supplier (yes, that lovely felt that you adore so much from my boutique all comes straight from Renae) + but a good friend. It’s true, Renae is a total sweetheart + delight to work/chat with. Every time.
So evidently I had to hop her over here to give her a proper introduction + do a mini rock + roll Q+A sesh’.
Let’s get the party started, yo’ (and by yo’, I really mean “you lovelies”)!
1. Who is Renae?
I’m practical, a perfectionist and quite the homebody. Luckily I left the house often enough to find a wonderful husband who makes breakfast for me every morning and even empties the dishwasher! And there’s more! I also got two great kids out of the deal and often have them assist me in my endless creative ventures -currently using them to sort and stack Felt-fetti circles.
2. Who is Benzie?
Benzie is the name given to my creative endeavors. Most popular being a supplier of beautiful merino wool blend felt, currently with more than 70 fabulous colors! I’m in love -it’s truly the most versatile and vibrant fabrics available. Of course I couldn’t stop there -the handmade side of Benzie offers garlands in every color of the rainbow and Felt-fetti to match!
3. Favorite part about running a creative business?
First, I love having a platform that enables me to share the great products that I fall in love with. It’s been so rewarding to see what Benzie customers create with such a versatile fabric -I’m amazing by their creativity! And second -it’s a job that isn’t work at all! My mind is always exploding with ideas for new supplies or new projects and it’s exciting seeing those projects come to fruition -from an idea in my mind, then to prototypes, to photography, and to the packaged item getting ready to be sent off. I love all the details that make handmade so attractive.
4. What are the not so fun parts?
Not having enough time to develop the creative vat of ideas swelling my brain! Really it’s about finding the balance between my business and family life and developing priorities based on that. I haven’t come up with any great solutions yet but finding that balance seems to get easier with time.
5. What advice would you give to other creative entrepreneurs?
Just do it. Many times the one thing that you don’t want to do is the one thing that is keeping your business from growing. Stop daydreaming, stop researching, stop comparing and just do!
6. Any other interests or hobbies?
I would have to say that I’ve tried almost every craft related tool, fabric, dye and medium -with the most recent ending up in a book “1000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies and Cakes” in which I contributed several sugar confections. I second Mayi’s love for the cupcake!
7. Any important links we should know about?
Felt shop: www.benziebazaar.etsy.com
Benzie Handmade: www.benzie.etsy.com
First, I’m gonna go buy myself this “1000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies and Cakes” book, like right this second. Sounds like it would be a perfect addiction, pardon me addition to my pastry collection.
Second, I want to thank you (Renae) so so much for being so kind + opening up to this family called heartmade. It really means so much to me.
Third, I would love for you (lovely readers) to show Renae some lovin’ in the comments below + by sharing this with your peeps. I know Renae would so much appreciate it + I would too. Yayyy for spreading handmade goodness!