Sunday, 9 February 2014

What do you do? - Glam It Up Laurna

As promised today's post is an interview with fellow spoonie and M.E sufferer Laurna, who has started a small business Glam It Up, from home. Links can be found at the end of the post. I first got to know Laurna when she tweeted the ME association about her customized walking sticks. I thought this was a lovely idea with the potential to make sufferers that need walking aids feel a bit more glamorous and less like a little old lady. Along the same principal as me wearing high heels in my wheelchair. Whatever brings a bit of fun and sparkle into the not so glamorous world of chronic illness.

What did you do before you got M.E?

Before M.E I was a figure skater and short track speed skater. I was also studying at college. Age twenty I had an accident on the ice, which caused me to break my spine. Luckily I was able to get back to training but that's when I had another accident and broke a different part of my spine. After that I started to become ill, so ill that I failed my college course and was later diagnosed with M.E. It is 4 years ago since the first accident.

How did you come up with the idea for customizing/ sparklyfying items? And how far into your illness did you start?

When I was skating I used to always decorate my skating dresses, so I've always loved glamming things up. However when I started to need to use a walking stick because of the M.E, I decided to glam that up too. I got lots of compliments on it. I was usually always wearing sparkles of some kind when I was out and about so when I put forward the idea of turning it into a small business people where very supportive and thought it would be a great idea for me. I started up the business roughly a year after being diagnosed.

How has starting Glam It Up helped you?

It's helped me keep busy and helped my concentration, which helps take the focus away from the pain. It's also helped me meet some new people.

How do you manage the illness/ business relationship? For example only working on good days

I  do only work on good days. I used to get stressed out which made things worse for myself and whatever I'm decorating. I decorated a walking stick while on tramadol and it was hilarious, everything all over the place, luckily it was for myself and not for anybody else. There have been times when I've not managed to get things done but people understand and if they have a deadline like a birthday, they ask me way in advance.

What has been your highlight so far from starting Glam It Up?

My highlight so far is probably the amount of people who have helped me spread the word, asking me to do thing for them. Without them I wouldn't be as busy.

Do you have any other hobbies you try to pursue or other crafty things?

I enjoy watching ice hockey and support the Braehead Clan. My boyfriend plays, so he sometimes takes me round on the ice, pulling me around, it's a good feeling. I like baking, so I do that sometimes. Apart from glamming thing's up that's all my hobbies.

Do you have any advise for people that want to turn their crafting hobbies into a small business?

Don't take too much on cause it stresses you and makes everything worse. It only makes you dislike what you do. What you do is fun and that's what it should always feel like.

Any websites or links that you found helpful?

Youtube helped me find the best ways of crystalling stuff. Plus you don't have to get dressed to learn things on Youtube. I also use Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word.

What are your future plans?

My future plans are to keep going with this. Hopefully get more and more orders. I'd love to open a small shop but I worry it might be too much for me. I used to work in Costa and I loved it, so maybe get a few hours back there. Or maybe get back on the ice. There's so many thing's I plan to do or would like to do, so I'll see what the future holds for me.

You can contact Laurna on Twitter at @glamitup_lt or on Facebook at Glam It Up       

A huge thank you to Laurna for letting me interview her. Hope you have enjoyed the interview and the following photos of Laurna's creations.

 I have created a new page on the blog for useful links, including those that were mentioned in my last post. Alternatively you can see them on the blog's Facebook page.

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