Loti, Loti, Loti …
It seems like I have known this lady forever! She is one of the most inspiring, funny and talented people I have met. On a normal day at work Loti is the voice in my ear! She is a TV producer at Hochanda. However she also has her own business selling and manufacturing stamps. Last year Loti married Esteban and we soon discovered she also has a talent for wedding planning and speeches. She actually had me crying into a table cloth!
Meet Loti the most determined, kind and sassy person you are ever likely to meet!
What inspired you to launch Mama Makes?
In 2016, I went to a seminar with Sarah Hurley, who talked about her business journey in craft. It really inspired me and I thought ‘Wow, how amazing would it be to be paid to design and be creative all day?’ Unfortunately, after this I went through a really rough patch in my life, struggling with mental health. As part of my recovery, I was told to write positive things in a book everyday to keep my mind focused on the positives. One day I decided to play around with some fonts on my computer and make them into artwork, which I soon realised could be made into stamps. I’ll always remember texting my best friend ‘If these stamps end up on a shopping channel or in the shops, just remember I designed them in bed scoffing chocolate digestives!’ I work as a TV Producer at Hochanda so I inquired at work and found a supplier to make them, and then later on down the line I ended up buying her polymer machine and now we make them in our spare bedroom! It escalated from there really, I designed more, magazines contacted me and eventually Hochanda asked if they could feature them on ‘Let Leonie Loose’. It’s just amazing when something you find fun and relaxing becomes a job!
Where did the name Mama Makes come from?
I’m Mama at home as my son is Spanish, and I make! Before I started designing and making stamps, Mama Makes was the name of my craft blog that I started while I was pregnant in 2012, I took the name with me as per Sarah Hurley’s recommendation, and I’m glad I did! Also the business was launched on Mother’s Day in 2017, so that’s quite fitting too.
What is your main product range?
My main product range is photo polymer stamps. All of them are designed by me or artists that I have found on Instagram and via word of mouth. I love how I can give these incredibly young artists work, exposure and the credit the deserve. I think I have quite a distinct style, most of the sentiments are the script brush lettered style font and they arn’t your usual ‘happy birthday’ or ‘happy anniversary’, they’re inspirational, positive sentiments, from the heart.
Who are your products aimed at?
My products are aimed at mainly papercrafters but I think they’re great on mixed media projects and scrapbooking too. I also have a range called ‘Plantastic’ which is aimed for the planner/bullet journalling addicts out there! I think they’re quite versatile, with the sentiments being just lovely positive phrases.
You launched your stamps on Hochanda shopping TV in 2017, how did that feel?
There is nothing more surreal than watching someone do your job (as normally I would produce the shows!), selling stamps that you designed, made and packaged by hand. Earlier I said about texting my best friend, I actually watched the show with him through my hands! It was a little cringy hearing them talk about me but it was so flattering to hear their lovely words. Watching sell out after sell out was so overwhelming as I knew I’d get a call about extended delivery but I couldn’t because I was due to go on the honeymoon the week after! We got more orders than we ever imagined and had just a week to get them out to the customers before I was flying out to the USA for 2 weeks. All my lovely friends came to my home and help out, that’s teamwork!
Your stamps are so individual with amazing quotes and sentiments, what inspires these?
As I said earlier, when I was quite unwell with my mental health, I used to write positive quotes I either thought of or found online to keep my mind in the positive state. I thought if these can help me, how awesome would it be to spread that positivity through crafting? The crafter who is crafting with the stamps will feel great making it and the positive love will spread even further if the card is given to someone else!
How long have you worked in the craft industry?
I have been working in shopping television for 4 years now, 2 years at Ideal World with some overtime on Create and Craft as an assistant producer and then I moved to Hochanda to become a producer. Working across the two channels have given me a fantastic insight into the craft world and I’ve met so many amazing guests and crafty business people along the way to inspire and motivate me! When I first starting making stamps I thought the guests and colleagues I work with would say ‘What does she think she’s doing!?’ but actually they have been incredibly supportive, more than I ever imagined.
What is your biggest achievement in 2017?
Being on the front of Making Cards magazine on my birthday was amazing, having my products on TV was fantastic, selling my products at retail shows face to face was fab, but I think my biggest achievement was bringing in that second income for my family thanks to my creativity and drive. Sadly my husband lost his job 2 weeks before our wedding day and we had 9 months where we only had my producer wage coming in, thankfully we persisted with the Mama Makes business and the stamps became more and more popular that it provided that extra money for us!