If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I recently ran a giveaway with The Handmade Favour, a London based brand whose lovely botanical copper frames beautifully finish off table settings for gatherings, weddings as well as simple dinner parties. The brand was founded by Roxana Gutila, shortly after she married the love of her life in her home country Romania last year. Roxana and her now husband Alex had handed out botanical copper frames to their wedding guests and were struck by their positive response. They soon realised that the favours would probably appeal to a wider audience and therefore decided to build a business around them. In the interview below Roxana (who has been one of my closest friends since university) and I chat about the production process, why The Handmade Favour is unique and things to keep calm as a creative business owner.
Hi Roxana, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today! I adore your botanical copper frames, I still have the one from your wedding! Can you tell me a little bit about the production process?
Of course. All our copper frames are handmade, from start to finish. We cut sheets of copper and make the frames out of them, and then we cut the glass. We collect and press all flowers and plants, it takes about two weeks until they are completely pressed and dry. The next step is to place the pressed botanicals between the panes of glass and add some finishing touches. Although it sounds easy, there is a lot of work and time involved in the production process. A lot of care and love to detail go into our products, something which I believe you can feel once you hold a frame in your hands. We offer two different sizes of frames, smaller ones that can be handed out as favours but also bigger ones that can be used to decorate the home.
What sets The Handmade Favour apart from other businesses?
We value and are inspired by other creative businesses but do believe that our approach and our focus on weddings and gatherings in one of a kind. We want our audience to see The Handmade Favour as something that adds emotional value to their celebrations. The frames are lovely keepsakes, not the kind that are being forgotten or left in a drawer but the ones that can actually be used to decorate the home and thus, constantly remind one of a special event.
We both work in the fashion industry during the day and run our creative businesses on the side. I fully understand how stressful that can be sometimes. What are your tips or tricks for keeping calm and level-headed as a creative business owner?
Agree, when you have a full-time job and run a business on the side, is not easy at all, however if you are passionate about what you do, the extra hours spent on your business always pay off. To keep calm and level-headed I would recommend the following:
1. Try to find opportunities that help you make your business grow but at the same time make you happy, for example, an Instagram account. I post photos of my favours every day. Styling the images gives me pleasure and calms me down. It is also a chance to get more creative.
2. No matter what kind of creative business you run, you still have to be organized, especially the accounting part. I know, it sounds a bit dull but collecting and storing all the paperwork together from the beginning will help you tremendously at the end of the year – and it will keep you calm.
3. When I feel overwhelmed by time and situations, I go for a walk. This helps me to reconnect with myself and focus on my objectives. Never let go, everything will fall into place if you believe in you and your goals strongly enough!
What’s next for you and The Handmade Favour?
I constantly think about how I could extend our range and turn The Handmade Favour into a beautiful and calming place where people can enjoy natural, handmade products. In fact, we recently introduced hand rolled beeswax candles that come in three sizes. They smell amazing!
Where can people find you and your business?
How would you describe your perfect heiter (cheerful) moment?
It’s quite hard to choose only one. My husband, family and friends are very important to me and make me cheerful every time I'm with them. I also find joy and peace in nature. I love standing in the grass barefoot, eating cherries from the tree and listening to the sound of the summer rain falling.
I hope you enjoyed this little interview with Roxana from The Handmade Favour as much as I did! The giveaway on Instagram is now closed. You can still check out @heitermagazine and @thehandmadefavour though.
Interview & images: Katharina Geissler-Evans, heiter magazine