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FOCUS: The Road Less Travelled By by Kirsten Miller of www.quernuscrafts.co.uk


You have no doubt met lots of them - makers who run their own full-time business with passion, energy and fun. You may also have looked on enviously thinking that you’d love to do that, if only you had the time, or the money, or the courage. But there really hasn’t been a better time to take stock and think again about what you want to do with your life. At a time when a ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past, people are looking to be more self-sufficient, to honour their values and creativity and to find more meaning in their lives. Kirsten Miller speaks to some of those inspiring people.


More and more people are choosing to turn their back on a ‘traditional’ career and start up their own creative business. Sometimes this is by choice


58 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2010


and sometimes circumstances make the choice for them. In all cases, however, these people have reached a point in their lives when it’s more important to follow their heart, not the herd.


When I made that choice in June 2009, a lot of people (my family in particular) thought I was mad. I was leaving behind a successful 15 year legal career and walking into the unknown. But for me, it was more about walking into a life which was my own, rather than one which I felt had been decided for me at an early age.


This is a common story. Jane MacLeod of: www.maxandmollydesigns.com always loved music and art throughout her childhood, but because she


was a straight ‘A’ student, she was encouraged to study Medicine instead. “I did not enjoy Medical School from the outset, but was always provided with so many ‘inarguable’ reasons to stay that I kept going,” she recalls. After a period of ill-health caused by the stress of working as a GP, Jane did some soul- searching and decided to leave. She rediscovered her innate creativity and now runs a successful screen-


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