Cindy actually approached me about being included in this month’s Small Success Stories post. Then I realized she was already a full-time maker and after looking over her website, I knew I needed to showcase her here. I really hope you gain some inspiration from this interview with Cindy of Tree Craft Diary.
Can you take us on the journey of your creative career path so far?
I have loved everything about craft and design since I was a young girl. I like to mix and match different materials and create a new piece which will bring me happiness and satisfaction.
I was born in Jakarta-Indonesia, graduated in Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia, majored in industrial design. After working for a period of time as a product designer in Singapore, I finally went back to my hometown and dedicated myself to embracing my passion as a handmade crafter and the jewelry designer of Tree Craft Diary.
I chose jewelry as the main core product because I want people to be able to not only admire my pieces but “carry” them wherever they go.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome so far in your business?
I think being able to stand out from the crowd is the biggest challenge so far. As a creative artisan, I can always make new products with new style and design by following popular trends with no difficulties. But rather than that, I stay on the right path and direction with extraordinary concept and put in additional style to reflect Tree Craft Diary product line.
What has been the biggest ‘fist-pump’/successful moment for you so far?
I always wish to let more and more people aware of what I do. I keep promoting myself in the hope that people with the same interest will notice Tree Craft Diary, the brand and its jewelry. Therefore, early this year when a local TV reporter contacted me and asked if they can interview me on my career journey, I was thrilled and felt up to the sky! Because I know there will be more new folks getting to know me better through the TV show once it’s aired. While up till now, I’ll still feel a step ahead on my success journey whenever there is a magazine article or a blog feature that includes Tree Craft Diary to their timeline, and certainly I’ll thank them much!
Do you ever have doubts as to your future creative direction? Are there things you yearn to achieve, but haven’t yet found the time for?
Once I made the decision on this path, I never looked back! I am happy that I made the right small step which turns into a big impact in my life. As time goes by, that small step evolves to a little bigger step and eventually it brings me to where I am now. And yes, of course I have some things that I want to achieve so much! In fact, I really want to work along with other professional fashion stylists in the entertainment field, where I can match my jewelry accessories with their fashion outfits.
Are there times when your creativity and inspiration seem to disappear? How do you handle that?
Of course. We are human after all. There are some days when things are just not going as smoothly as what I wish for, or even when I’ve been sitting in my studio desk for several hours but just can’t get one design out that pleases me. When that blurry time comes, I just simply stop working on that particular piece and move on to the other task that I feel right on doing at the moment.
How do you balance your work with the rest of your life ~ what does a typical day in your life look like?
I have a simple life and still living with my parents. Every morning I need a cup of hot coffee to cheer up my day and begin by checking emails and messages before I start on the important tasks that I need to clear off. Most days I work till night if my mood is up high, and call it a day after I make my to-do-list for the day after. I usually take my break on Saturday, go out for window shopping and have a good dinner with my family. One other thing I like is to watch movies or dramas, as they’re not only to entertain me, but many times my inspirations on creative business come from watching movies.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give fellow makers about running a successful creative business?
One simple advice for your creative business: Just go for what you feel is right! You will never know how far you could go or how high you could climb if you don’t ever make a start. Do not let your idea wander just inside your head but take immediate action! You will be amazed by the results you see. Remember that success is not achievable in a night.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I set my target to open my own brick and mortar studio house, specialized in displaying and selling handmade items together with other handmade artisans. It will be the place with country-style, handmade décor where we, the fellow artisans, share the same interest and support each other.
You can find more of Cindy’s work online:
Want to start or overhaul an Etsy shop?
Download this FREE 2-page checklist now - it's part of my Handmade Business Toolkit for Makers.
Don't make those common Etsy mistakes: make sure your Etsy shop is the best it can be!
(P.S. It’s also packed full of links to additional resources on all aspects of Etsy shop setup.)