Maggy is the genius behind Red Ted Art, we met virtually years ago when blogging was in its infancy and the internet was just become ‘a thing’. Like myself, Maggy needed to be doing something more than just staying home. Crafting together with her kids, Red Ted Art was born and she hasn’t looked back.

TELL US ABOUT YOU, WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU?

When I was little, we had an “adoptive” Granny, who use to come and help look after us…. Celia! She was a wonderful lady. Not only did she care for us, but she really nurtured my love for crafts and also baked with us (her butterfly cupcakes were the best and I still remember making them for a Girl Guide sale). She taught me how to knit and the basics of sewing. And there is no doubt in my mind, that without her enthusiasm and support, I wouldn’t be as passionate about crafts and getting kids to craft, as I am now. I want to be everyone’s “online Celia”! 

Of course I had to replicate what Celia was to me, with my own kids. And when my kids were little, I had actually persuaded them, that we don’t need to buy the latest toys – we can make our own!  It was our crafting together that first started Red Ted Art. 

Now, as a family, we love to travel together or go on mini adventures (whether they are in the park, or seeking out random spots in London where we live). Simply the act of exploring is the fun bit.

©️Maggy Woodley Red Ted Art

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

As eluded to at the beginning – my business is Red Ted Art – a website design to make crafting together with kids as easy as possible. It has gone through a bit of a journey itself… At first, I was very much sharing what I was making with my kids. Later, I learned more about “other people” and what challenges they face when it comes to being creative (or not, in their view).

So my aim really is to make things easy, but fun and to give people that sense of satisfaction “I made this”. An example as to how my website has changed over time, is that I started my foray into videos (with my YouTube channel) – that kind of visual learning tool really helps, especially with certain crafts such as origami or learning a new sewing stitch.

Later again, I finally came round to the idea, that some basic templates and printables, really help people. Before, I was always insisting, people could draw their own.. But even a circle can be a barrier to some. And the aim is: let’s see if we can make things as easy as possible for you, so you have a go! 

Being crafty, as with any activity, is all about trying, experimenting, not being “scared” of it. So if a template helps? Then why not!

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THIS BUSINESS?

When I had my first son, I decided that I didn’t want to go back to my old job. I always felt there were three things that would make me go back to work and two would have to “fit” – either love the job, short commute or good money! “Sadly” my old job was just “money”… I didn’t love it and the commute was relatively long. So “stay at home” it was.

But me being me, staying home wasn’t enough. I wanted to at least earn what I would have earned back at work after childcare costs. Here in the UK that isn’t much… so my target was relatively low. I believe this low target is what allowed me the freedom of making it happen!

If you have a huge ambitious figure in your head to start with, it can be daunting and overwhelming. With my low target, I had room to play, experiment and explore!

So Red Ted Art (after some faffing) was born. And I am honest, I couldn’t have dreamt for it to become what it has! I feel very privileged and lucky and there was a lot of “right place, right time” kind of feelings – especially around the blogging and youtube advertising industry and it falling right into place as my website grew. 

Fast forward.. And Red Ted Art is able to finance my whole family, whilst giving me a lot of flexibility and freedom. 

You Tuber and Blogger Maggy Woodly, a white woman with long hair wearing a black sweater
©️Maggy Woodley Red Ted Art

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE STRUGGLED WITH OR A PROBLEM YOU HAVE OVERCOME AND HOW DID YOU DO IT?

When I was starting out, I had a lot to learn. I remember, I couldn’t even figure out how to add an image to my website, without it looking wonky. It would take me HOURS to great one blog post. In retrospect, they didn’t even look that good. Now I can whip out new content much more quickly and efficiently. Ditto learning to edit basic videos and using YouTube.

I think being home, with two small children (a two year old and a toddler), learning and working out how to do these things was a great distraction. Plus, I gradually “met” an online community that gave me a network and social contact outside the context of just kids. It was an early motherhood life line.

Interestingly, I find myself at a new learning cross roads – specifically around AI.. and I am finding it much harder to motivate myself to learn all about it and use it in the most creative ways. Clearly, I needed that challenge “then” more than I do “now”. But we shall see… over the coming years, I may have to put my big girl pants on again and see what new direction current internet changes take me.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? (And Why?)

There are a few things… only today I had an email from someone telling me how she has been following my website for years and how it has really helped her and her daughter get creative together. It was the loveliest of emails that leave you with goosebumps. So yes, that clearly is a wonderful aspect of my website – helping people find the joy in crafting together. Similarly, I love it when people “tag” me on social media to show me the crafts they made based on my website. It is always a nice warm fuzzy feeling for sure.

On a personal note, it has given me and my family SO MUCH. It has given me the opportunity to be home with the kids AND work. I have spent so much time with them – especially when they were small.. And it allowed me to help at their schools and have all the school holidays. I mean, you can’t complain about that, right?

It has also allowed me to finance things that, as a family, we love, namely travel – and go on fantastic adventures. 

The biggest “best bit though” is that I have been “allowed” to do all this in the most flexible of ways. Feeling exhausted? Well, let’s have a day off today and catch up in the evening or later in the week. A friend calls with an offer of lunch? Sure, I can come. I can finish editing the photos later… I feel that now I am working pretty much part time with a more than full-time salary. It wasn’t always like this of course… but I have arrived at a really great place.

The only thing now: as the internet changes (social media algorithms, Google tweaks and AI), I mustn’t keep my eye off the ball. I could do with Red Ted Art keeping going at least another 5-6 “good years”… let’s see what happens!

©️Maggy Woodley Red Ted Art

OTHER THAN CRAFTING TOGETHER HOW DO YOU USE YOUR CREATIVITY IN YOUR BUSINESS?

I guess for my business specifically it is “obvious”, in that I create crafts for people. But you could argue my creativity also applies when I come across a hurdle and figuring out how get around this. E.g. I am currently procrastinating about learning how to use tools such as Procreate.. So as I am not using procreate as I should… I see if I can create templates using basic shapes instead. What CAN you make using just circles, and triangles etc? You would be surprised!! 

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH YOU HAD LEARNED EARLIER IN YOUR BUSINESS JOURNEY?

Procreate! I wish I had thought about using it a few years ago, when I was more enthusiastic about learning and adapting and growing. I will get there.. But i am convinced that if I had decided to want to learn to use it back in 2010, I would be an expert at it now!

AS A MOM, WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER MOMS STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS 

Firstly – you definitely can do this! But also – in order for this to happen, you have to be consistent and you have to actually “do”. There is no point talking about doing something… or starting and then stopping.. But keep doing. If it doesn’t work out the way you imagine.. Pivot.. Try something else… have another go. But keep doing!

The other key thing, I think, is getting support from your family. Luckily, everyone in my family LOVED what I was doing. I have seen other talented bloggers “stop”, because of family pressures. I feel really sad for them, as they had the same earning potential than me! And instead, they are back in their day jobs. I am not sure how you fix “family” – but discussing and talking openly with them is a start! You deserve to do what you are doing! 

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BOOK/WEBSITE OR RESOURCE THAT HAS HELPED YOU WITH YOUR JOURNEY?

I think these things change all the time. But I would say that a lot of my work ethos that I applied to Red Ted Art, came from what I learnt in my “day job” before I started Red Ted Art. Being polite, collaborating, being reliable and working to deadlines etc. Take what the “real work world” teaches you and apply it to your own business.

WHERE TO FIND MAGGY and RED TED ART

Website: www.redtedart.com
Instagram: @redtedart
Facebook: facebook.com/redtedart
YouTube: youtube.com/redtedart
Books: Easy Paper Projects – Maggy Woodley, and Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids – Maggy Woodley

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