Meet Dee and Jeremy Rolston of Needle and Nail

Making Good from Bad

Meet Jeremy and Dee Rolston of etsy's Needle and NailAs part of our series of interviews with etsy makers we connected with Dee and Jeremy Rolston of Needle and Nail, a New Zealand family making dreams a reality by successfully making the shift to a home based artisan business.

Needle and Nail are the 2016 etsy Awards Winners for the Community's Choice Prize.

How long did it take for the idea of Needle and Nail to crystallise into a solid business concept?

We had discussed making for our living for a few years, but it took a back injury to finally provide with the opportunity to make it a reality. Jeremy's 6 month rehabilitation gave us the time and space to prepare to open our Etsy shop.

When did Dee start selling her handmade dolls on etsy?

I had previously sold my dolls on Facebook and in an online shop on a New Zealand handmade marketplace website.

I switched to selling them on Etsy in 2014 because they had become so popular that most of the other websites would oversell when I would list new dolls due to the demand.

There's always challenges involved in separating work time and family time, what have you found that's worked well?

Very early on we realised that working from home is very different to working away from the home and the family. There's a lot more fluidity and the boundaries between work time and family are a lot more blurred.

We've never really tried to separate the two, and have embraced it as a way of life. We hold to a work-life rhythm as opposed to trying to maintain a work-life balance. Basically, that means we give ourselves permission to work longer hours when necessary and to take the kids to the beach for the afternoon when the weather is amazing.

Do you feel like you're living and working in a supportive creative community?

We are surrounded by amazing creative peers who provide us with constant inspiration. We have been so supported by the creative community in New Zealand, both online and at markets.

Find Creatively Belle jewellery at The Rocks Markets in Sydney and online

Having a home based business can be quite isolating, how do you as artisan business owners and as a family regularly connect with others?

We homeschool, so isolated isn't the first word that comes to mind when there are 6 kids around! ;)

What are you 5 tips for families making the shift to home based artisan businesses?

1. Be good at what you do, and make sure no one else is doing it quite like you.

2. Build a strong online following for your business. Be patient and seek genuine followers, not just the numbers, because these people will be your greatest marketers.

3. Promote not only your business but also your story - professional doesn't have to mean impersonal.

4. Be realistic. Stay grateful for every day you get to do it and if it doesn't work out, at least you gave it a go. No regrets!

5. Stay amazed and stay humble! Keep the wonder alive - that you get to do this and that there are people who buy your stuff!

How to Connect with Needle and Nail

Find Needle and Nail on etsy, Facebook and Instagram.

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