Each month we're interviewing one of our inspiring Made in Greenwich makers about their creative journey. This month we're featuring Sarah Harper who started Happy by Harper just over a year ago. Her fragrant eco-friendly soya wax candles in recycled jars are a Made in Greenwich best seller!
Sarah took our GCDA business-start-up course too. Worth checking our courses out!
What led to you creating Happy by Harper? This time last year I had a dip in my mental health. I was depressed and anxious and had to leave work for a year. I started doing a few creative things to try and help: pressing flowers picked on long walks to clear my head, spending time with my Mum in her pottery studio and experimenting with making candles. I quickly realised how much better these activities made me feel. I decided I wanted to try and bring some joy to others whilst making myself happier too - and so Happy By Harper was born!
What's your favourite thing to make?
It has to be pottery. Nothing beats the feeling of using your hands to make something lovely from a plain lump of clay. And the butterflies you get on opening the kiln and seeing whether the kiln gods have been kind to your pots. I just love it!
What are you doing now to expand your business? At the moment I'm focusing on increasing the range of pottery I make, exploring new shapes and sizes. Later in the summer I'm hoping to start selling candle-making kits to help bring the creative process to a wider audience.
How have you found the lockdown experience in terms of your mental health and your creativity? It's definitely had its ups and downs! I do enjoy being at home and taking a slower pace of life, though there have been times when I've felt very anxious and really missed family and friends. Creativity has definitely helped me through so far - everything from sitting on my sofa knitting to running a virtual eco candle and pressed flower card workshop!
What are your dreams for Happy by Harper?
My biggest hope is that Happy By Harper continues to bring myself and others pleasure, both through the things I make and through my social media pages where I try and focus on the happy moments in life. One day, I'd love to be able to go part-time with my day job so that I can increase the hours I spend on Happy By Harper.
Any tips for others wanting to make a creative change to their life? If you'd asked me a year ago, I would have said I didn't have a creative bone in my body. But, it turns out, creativity comes in many different forms - each one as important as another. Baking, knitting, doodling, calligraphy, walking (with your eyes open to nature and no distractions), photography, gardening - anything that brings you joy! Go and give it a go - you might be surprised with what you learn about yourself!
Order Sarah's candles direct from Made in Greenwich just click here!