The Howe Collective are a group of creative women who are working together to boost their businesses and drive forward their efforts. They are currently working together on a pop up shop, to be held on Cupar, Fife on March 20 for more information read our piece on the group and the event here.
“I can do as little or as much as I feel like as long as I can get items to the post office 3 times a week!”
For Katharine McCann her small business, Kitty Lou Craft Supplies, is a gift that has given her opportunities to work for herself, and alongside friends, while giving her choices which work around her life.
Trading in new and used craft supplies, including stamps, embossing folders, cutting dies, stencils, papers, buttons, cards, embellishments and other items, Katharine has established herself in eBay sales, being part of craft markets and later this month in a pop-up shop she will be holding as a member of The Howe Collective, in Cupar, Fife.
“I have several reasons for wanting to work for myself,” said Katharine. “I have ME – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so working set hours et cetera is not something I am looking for just now. I have the flexibility to do as much or as little as I want to, depending on how I am feeling. It also allows me to fit in with my daughters around school pick-ups and such.”
She added: “It fits in well, it doesn’t take up much energy and is low stress which is a big factor in my wellness. I am very lucky in that my ME is manageable and I am probably a lot better off than many with the condition, I consider my self fairly high functioning (most of the time!). I do have the odd blip though and just have to be careful I don’t take on too much or take time to recover if I am unwell.”
Katharine started trading as a crafter, making cards for an indoor market stall she shared with others including fellow collective member and childhood friend Kim Sullivan. She bought a bundle of crafting items on eBay, having only been interested in one of the parts.
She explained: “When I received it I resold the things from the bundle that I didn’t want and realised I had made more than it originally cost by selling the items individually. It went from there really but only became a business in 2015 – we had not long moved to Fife and I needed to be making some money and my youngest was around 18 months old. I still make the odd card if I have time, but mainly leave it to those more creative than me!”
Being part of The Howe Collective has been a chance for Katharine to get to know her fellow members much better and formed friendships which, in turn, have enhanced her working life.
She said: “We have a good range of skills and strengths that mean we work really well together. Its great running an event together, the risk is split, the costs are split, it just works. We are all used to working on our own too so its nice to be able to work with others sometimes.”