Thursday, 7 April 2016

Conscious Crafties





I'm Karen and after becoming sick in 2011 almost overnight, I found my way to various support networks. I noticed that many of us turn to crafts to help distract from our illnesses and to feel useful again. Seeing so much untapped talent, the idea was born to create a community for everyone to showcase their work, in one place and give people a way of creating their own business. It was also a way for me to feel useful again, by using my skills to help others. ConsciousCrafties.com is about empowering us all to be successful through our crafts, tell our stories and meet new like minded friends who understand our struggles. I'm also hoping it plays a key part in changing the way disabled/sick people are viewed by the world. We can still contribute and are incredibly talented!!

ConsciousCrafties.com has been built in honour of Sam, my beautiful friend I met through sickness and our love of crafts. Her strong fight with Gastroparethis and POTS sadly ended in Oct 14. Heartbroken, I knew then, after years of thinking about it, the idea for us all to sell our crafts within a supportive community needed to be launched, so it could help people now and give them hope for the future.

Stories are told:
As most of us feel unheard, each 'Craftie' gets to tell their story on the site to help spread awareness of our (sometimes invisible) illnesses. Stories appear in the 'Meet the Crafties' page and also posted on Facebook and Twitter. We've gained a massive following on Facebook in such a short space of time (thank you everyone!) so our stories are seen by thousands. Our crafts are regularly shared through social networks and many of our Crafties have appeared in various online newsletters, all helping to increase sales whilst raising awareness. Every new Craftie also gets invited to our 'Crafties Community', a fun place to share crafts, selling tips and form close bonds with friends who understand our struggles.​

Here's my story:



In 2011 I was perfectly healthy going about my workaholic lifestyle when BOOM! - I started fainting up to 10 times a day and my bed became my best friend. A year later I was diagnosed with POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) a rare condition affecting the blood vessels and heart rate. There's no cure, but reaching out to others with the same condition has been a huge help in learning to live with it. 3 years later I was told my POTS was caused by EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) a connective tissue disorder affecting the skin, cartilage, ligaments and blood vessels - everything that holds us together! I also have some bonus conditions: Fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Disease, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Migraines and Asthma. Life has been tough, but I've met some wonderfully strong friends who also live with chronic illnesses.

About ConsciousCrafties.com
Conscious Crafties is a handmade craft buying and selling community for creative people living with chronic illness, disability or caring for those affected. www.ConsciousCrafties.com


If you would like to join up please visit Join the Crafties



Here's some testimonials from Crafties:
"Conscious Crafties has given me a direction. It has given me beautiful friends who understand. . . No questions asked if I am having a bad time. That understanding alone is HUGE. Looking back now, if it wasn't for Conscious Crafties, I would be stuck in that black hole. The support is great, everyone is so lovely and helpful even when they themselves are having a bad time of it. Its encouraged me to keep going with my crafts!" Hazel, Li'l H Crafts

"Conscious Crafties has given me motivation, an uplifting boost of confidence. That we are not alone and the opportunity to meet fellow crafty Spoonies ☺" x Claire, LS23 Bespoke Crafts 

"Conscious Crafties has been a lifeline, when I was lost and heading down a dark slippery slope, its given me something bright & shiny to focus on and a new purpose. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for creating such a wonderful community xoxox" Ceri, Cute Creations