Paya Počajová

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My creative journey

People are asking me about my miraculous recipe on success in the area of handmade crafts. I always smile and realise how happy I am...I think it is real joy to make money by doing something you really love. When I worked for big corporations I fulfilled the plans of my employers. But truth is I learned a lot! The bank taught me how to take care of my customers and how to offer them “the product”!

I do have many years of experience in the area of crafts, mostly sewing and handmade home items. I thought that I am creating because there either was nothing nice at the stores or I didn't have money for the stuff in the stores or I want to have an original and unique piece ....

As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and it's simple - I just like to create things! Although it was good helping people with their mortgage needs, it is by far my greater passion to create something with my hands!

I started to make jewelry when I still was employed. I shared my products with my friends. My good friend offered me to professionally photograph my art. She is responsible for my first online store as she pushed me to open it. I also opened a page on social media just for fun, and she even came up with a name for my brand.

People started to buy my crafts. I was encouraged to make more as there are fans who like it the same way as I like it. After a long pause I came back to my sewing machine and started to make buckwheat, spelt, and lavender heating pad pillows. More than 5 years ago I started to sell at outdoor markets. I remember on my first big market I even sold new earrings that I wore that day. Silver ones with river pearls. Once before Christmas I made 60 pieces of those pillows in 2 days! I took vacations and worked 8 hours in a row. When I quit the bank I didn't know, if I were able to make money this way. And in addition, I offered myself as a volunteer in the Old Market Hall.

At this time I acted on this new idea of upcycling and redesigning clothes that people had outgrown or grown weary of, and make something new of them. For starters I cut sweaters from my wardrobe and made my first “patchwork sweater upcycled blanket”.

That was the product nobody had! I made baby blankets, baby wraps, ponchos and pillows this way. I redesigned mens' shirts to womens' aprons. I made vintage pillows from old curtains and laces. I wanted to be unique. I still do jewelry from time to time, but since then sewing and upcycling is my main occupation.

Additionally I sometimes teach the basics of sewing on sewing machines.

I think it is really important to sell and advertise the crafts online. Be consistent and bring emotions to your pictures. Meet with customers in person if possible. Talk about your crafts and show and perform new no-waste ideas.

Planning and organizing is important. I appreciate the help of my family and friends. They have always supported me.

My creative journey started in my childhood and continued during maternity leave and during my bank career. I have my small business for more than 4 years. I had the courage to leave my job as I knew I have many talents to share.

Thank you for having faith in me and being my fan!

Paya Počajová