Thursday 10 September 2015

Conversations with the Craft Pros! Patricia Villas-Boas

Today's turn is Patricia Villas-Boas, the multi talented superwoman! And another of my very close friends, Patricia does it all.

When and how did you start in the industry?
At a profesional level, let’s say, I took the first baby steps in 2006, when I bought a brick and mortar Arts and Crafts store in Porto - 512 Ideias. Until then I taught some classes and did a lot of crafting but for myself mostly.

Was it full time? Part time?
In the beginning part time, since I was still working on the other business of the company (hands on activities for children), it was only part time. It evolved to full time prettily fast!

What type of job at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
I have always done creative things, but again at the beginning I was more general manager/do it all kind of person. The shop we bought was already in business for some years but had become pretty obsolete so we really had to start over and discard lot’s of things that no longer made sense in our business model. To help that transition I started creating projects and such things to bring new clients into the business.

How do you describe your job nowadays?
I would say that is 60% creative/40% management these days but in a working day that has to have 16 hours at least. I have by own business with two different fronts (store and wholesale business) so I have to foresee what happens in both. Then I develop projects for classes and the different blogs the company and myself have….and then I edit, write and develop projects for a magazine….

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
It is really, tremendously hard. In my country there was a moment where craft in general really exploded but now it seems there is a general disinterest in it. It is not that people can’t afford to do it (which is part of the problem as well) but they seem to have lost the why they want to do it, hence diminishing the sales. For us again, since we import 90% of what we sell the exchange rates between the euro and the pound and the dollar are just very difficult to manage. Also the big mergers that are happening in the US in terms of craft companies are making the smaller businesses have a harder time surviving, hence making the market less competitive and in my opinion, less creative.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
I love to design projects. That moment when you look at a piece of paper and know exactly how it is going to look as a cover of a book or on the back of a frame. I love the process of creating and seeing things transform in my hand.

Your proudest moment and achievement?
I would have to say the Love Crafts magazine. Being invited to do it, really do it all, was a recognition of the quality of my work. To see the first number at a newsstand was just simply amazing!

What is your favourite project type (mini albums, cards, layouts, home decor...) and colour? 
Mini albums definitely and with colour I would have to see red/blue in a 50/50 split! I just can’t decide which one I love best! Say pattern and red with white polka dots is the one after my own heart.

Where you go for inspiration?
Whenever I travel I really take in a lot of what surrounds me. Sometimes I wish I could draw (since I am completely a zero at it) so I could put into paper what ideas pop into my head. I go to Pinterest as well and follow some blogs. But funny enough, my big moments of inspiration happen when I have little sleep! My students say that I have nightmares and then something tremendous comes out of it!

What is next for you: (both what you are doing next and what you Would like to do next)
Honestly, just to have a successful business. Times are hard here and having to battle for every euro to be won is very frustrating. I wish I could focus more on designing projects and even products then having to manage a company in it’s whole.

And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions?
Yes, I remember clearly! It was at Stitches in Birmingham and you were coming over to Portugal a month later and Pete introduced us! Very good impression! How could it not be when you have so much talent and such a broad smile!
Paula's version: I remember thinking, wow, on top of running two businesses, this woman has four children and she is one of the most elegant, thin and beautiful in the industry that I have ever met! How does she do it?

You can find more of Patricia Villa-Boas here:
Blog | Pinterest | Facebook

Thank you so much Patricia for sharing!

1 comment:

Sizzix said...

How does she do it? Great buisness woman, talented designer, dedicated wife and mother, loyal friend and above all a truly wonderful human being....Pete xxx

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