• Heather McRoberts

#Postablepopup Winners... Meet Melissa!

On the 20th and 21st February 2021, we brought the fabulous craft community back together and hosted our fourth #Postablepopup market! We were ecstatic to welcome around 300 UK based, small independent businesses to our market over the weekend. The hashtag featured a vast range of products from self-care kits, to canine accessories to hand-crafted ceramics, all of which were beautifully presented from the comfort of each maker’s home. With physical markets not able to go ahead due to lockdowns, our online solution has created a community-driven event, that fosters real connections, encourages positive shopping small habits and provides a unique space for shoppers and makers to collide, and for small businesses to continue to show up and showcase themselves within a safe space online.


In the preparation for this market, we encouraged our makers to harness their creativity and really step outside their comfort zones in order to make the most out of the weekend. To supplement our guide of tips for creatives, we put together an Instagram challenge to push makers to experiment one step further online, whilst sharing more detail about themselves and their business with their customers. We were blown away with the responses we received and so began early our nominees for the next #Postablepopup Awards!


This time we hosted 6 awards and today we are proud to share with you our winner of February 2021 Best In Show... Meet Melissa!


After being brought up within a family that always encouraged her to be creative, graduating in illustration, and starting her own family, Melissa chose to take the next big step in launching her own business. Since 2018, Melissa continues to grow her business by creating luxury greetings cards inspired by her love of animals, food and puns! We choose Melissa for this award because she ticked all boxes for Best In Show, from joining our Instagram challenge, showing us engaging behind the scenes content, beautifully promoting herself and other makers, popping up a fabulous stall, releasing a collaboration with Imogen and embracing reels! We can see how much Melissa has developed from the last postable pop-up event too and we thought she deserved to be our winner for Best In Show and is an inspiration for any small business!



Where did your love of your craft come from?


I’ve always enjoyed being creative from a young age and it’s never gone away. My grandma really encouraged craft having grown up in the make do and mend era she is incredibly thrifty and made and still does make so much from clothes to marmalade. My mum always much preferred a handmade card from me over any gift, she was a childminder until my late teens so there was always craft, drawing and play dough on tap - a kids dream!!! And my Dad was a talented joiner before Multiple Sclerosis made him have to retire his talent. He made so much of the beautiful furniture in my parents home and used to sell wooden toys to local shops, so I grew up surrounded by makers which have rubbed off!


What made you want to start your small business?


When I became a Mum I discovered working full time and motherhood did not really go hand in hand. After my 2nd daughter arrived I knew I wanted to create a business I could work on from home. I always wanted to be able to do something with my illustration degree but It hadn’t really dawned on me that I could create products to sell using my illustrations. When I discovered the @justacard campaign I was so inspired by others making and selling their own products it made me realise I could turn my illustrations into greeting cards.



What is your favourite thing about taking part in #postablepopup?


My favourite part of the weekend is setting up my stall! I love seeing everyone else’s stalls too, and I really enjoy the community spirit and support everyone gives each other over the weekend.


Who or what has helped you stay inspired to create new work during lockdown?


I’m very self-motivated as a person and I’m luckily never short of ideas. At the moment I get very limited time to work on anything until my kids are in bed so by then I’m itching to get on with things!!! I do get easily distracted and often want to move onto the next thing before I’ve finished the last so having a focus like #postablepopup really helps me stay motivated. I’ve tried to set myself a few goals this year and I’m trying to stay focused! It’s not something I find easy! I was lucky to win a Design Trust business planner and I’ve found it really helpful in trying to stick to a plan!


If you could choose any independent business, who would you love to collaborate with?


I’ve done a couple of collaborations now with other makers. Imogen Partridge and I actually collaborated exclusively over the #postablepopup weekend. I sell a lot of hand personalised greeting cards with animal family’s, I thought it would be lovely to give customers an upgrade option to have these personalised with calligraphy. I knew Imogen would do a beautiful job and I think it worked really well. We sold a few over the weekend which was great! I’d love to collaborate with Miss Marple Makes @missmarplemakes at some point. I love Caths fun colourful ceramic characters. I think a card and ceramic badge collection would be a really fun project to collaborate together on.


What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made?


My favourite recent make is probably my daffodil jug card. My mum had sent me some lovely daffodils in the post to brighten up my day! I popped them in my stripy jug and they looked so lovely together I had to paint them! I always like adding a smiley face into my designs if it works and I think it made the whole illustration really happy when I popped one onto the jug. It ended up being a bit late for Mothers Day in the UK by the time it had been printed but the ones I’d bought sold out! So it gives me the confidence to make sure I have a few more in stock for next year!



If you could describe your shop in three words, what would it be?


Hand Drawn Treasures


What’s your favourite thing about owning a small business?


Being in charge of my own destiny and developing my own products. I spent many years working as a buyer developing products for large retailers so it feels so good to now be doing this now for myself and not have to sit through endless meetings!


What advice would you give to fellow small businesses that you wish you knew when you were starting out yourself?


I’ve actually started a blog on my website where I’m sharing my experiences on starting a small business it’s aimed at others wanting to get started but I hope it’s also an interesting insight for fellow makers and also my customers on how I do things. You’ll find my first post ‘Turning original art into a printed card’ on the blog on my website and I’m planning to do an Etsy focussed one and a virtual markets vs. real-life one too. I decided to do it because when I first started out I really struggled with certain aspects, everything is always very unknown when you’ve never done it before so I wanted it to help and inspire others that it’s totally doable.




Thank you so much for sharing with us Melissa!


If you would love to find out more about Western Sketch and see the latest designs then you can follow Melissa on Instagram @westernsketch or check out her website www.westernsketch.co.uk


Can't get enough? Then head to Melissa's Etsy store www.etsy.com/uk/shop/westernsketch



To read more about our other winners, head to the Curated Makers blog here


To find out more about the Postable Pop-Up and when our next market will be held, click here