Natasha McKenzie

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Natasha is a beautiful mother and founder/owner of Crafty Occasions Liverpool.

Here is a little bit of her story so far:

I have always had an interest in arts and crafts for as long as I can remember, whenever I go into a store I am always drawn to the stationary/craft section looking for anything pretty and inspiring and I can even remember doing this as a child. When I left school, I became a nursery nurse and continued this career path for 10 years until I had my own children. It was then that I decided I wanted to go to university with the aim on becoming a teacher so that I could be off during the holidays with my children whilst continuing to work with children which I loved. I started university when my children were aged 2 years and 9 months old, during this time we decided to have our youngest christened but we couldn’t afford to buy invitations as my husband was in university too and money was tight. I decided to make my own invitations and found it to be very therapeutic, which really helped me as I was suffering badly with post-natal depression which had continued from the birth of my first child then following the birth of my second and I really wasn’t in a good place at all. After I gave out my daughter’s christening invitations people began to ask me if I would make invitations for them too, I would tell them where to buy everything and I would take on the task of making their invites purely for the therapeutic benefits I got from it.

Around that time Facebook had not long started and so I decided to set up a business page to see how things would go, we needed the extra cash and people told me my work was good…so why not?! Slowly but surely, I started to build a customer base, I was even being booked out by children’s centres to do craft tables on open days or to do some craft work with the young mum’s groups which I loved because I could relate to them so much, especially those suffering with PND, it was so rewarding for me to see them getting something out of each session and really opening up about their feelings.

When I finished university an opportunity arose for a retail unit, so I gave it my all, did some extra training for balloons and opened a shop in Woolton village where I provided everything required for a special occasion from invitations, balloons, banners, venue dressing, gifts, cards and more. However the enjoyment quickly began to drain from what I loved to do, the venue dressing and balloon side of things was taking me away from what little time I had with my family at weekends when customers were having their parties and the stress took its toll on my depression so I decided to close the shop and find a job. After several years of working within children’s services I had another baby who began to show signs of being poorly from around 2 months old so we were in and out of hospitals and clinics and she was diagnosed with a disability, she never slept so I was constantly exhausted and my biggest fear was that with all the pressure and stress…my depression would rear its ugly head. I decided that I wasn’t going to go back to work because I wouldn’t have been able to hold a job down with all the hospital appointments and lack of sleep so I started my crafting again for the therapeutic benefits and it really has helped me.

I threw myself into my business, doing what makes me happy and in turn I make other people happy with my work. My work fits around my family and I feel like I have found my real calling in life. I am having a website built at the moment so that I can sell giftware and stationary for anyone wanting to make their own invitations etc.. Exciting times ahead for Crafty Occasions Liverpool!

Check out Crafty Occasions Facebook HERE

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