Meet The Maker: Ruth Oliver from The Make Arcade

Meet the Maker: The Make Arcade

The combination of cute and craft (and gin of course) has secured The Make Arcade's place as one of your favourite brands on The Treasured, so I thought it was about time I chatted to Ruth Oliver, the wonderful woman behind the quirky craft kits you love so much...

What inspired you to start The Make Arcade?

After being on maternity leave with my second son I knew that going back to my job as a designer for a millinery company just wasn't going to fit in around the kids and life in general. I was reading a lot of blogs and doing a lot of crafting and sewing - after working on lots of craft based business in the past I hit upon the idea of combining the art of crafting with my love of designing. It seemed the right time!

The Make Arcade craft kits in the studio at Fisherton Mill

How do you come up with ideas for your kits?

From all over the place! I work on a lot of projects for magazines so whilst researching those I often stumble across ideas that would make great DIYs. I try to make the kits simple and fun - not too taxing for complete beginners or a quick satisfying make for a craft pro!

Which of your craft kits is your favourite?

It would have to be the 'More Gin Please' cross stitch. I love cross stitch as find it a nice meditative activity to keep minds and hands busy and I am known to enjoy a gin based tipple. (With two little boys I often need one!)

'More Gin Please' Cross Stitch Craft Kit by The Make Arcade

How do you make sure that your studio is an inspiring place to work?

I keep a wall for my huge planner and for cut outs, prints and ideas. My studio is based in Fisherton Mill, an arts and crafts space in Salisbury so its got a lovely arty buzz about it so its not hard to be inspired!

Ruth Oliver making craft kits in The Make Arcade studio

What do you love most about running your own creative business?

The freedom to design what I like, on trend or taking a risk on a new idea. It's great to have the ability to work to my own hours and to be able to pick my kids up from school everyday too. I also love that I can be quite reactive. if I have an idea I can get in online within a week to see if its a goer or not!

What’s the most challenging thing about it?

The admin, the working into the night and not being able to switch off sometimes!

Are there any other creative businesses that you look up to?

Lucky Dip Club, Allison Sadler for The People Shop, Nikki McWilliams... there are too many and lots of girls doing it too - which is fantastic!

What’s next for The Make Arcade?

I am in the midst of getting a host of fun products ready for late summer - autumn/winter. Think unicorns, motivational messages and more!. I have a couple of top secret events with some famous online retailers and I am taking The Make Arcade on tour to The Handmade Fair in September.

If you could give aspiring creatives one top tip, what would it be?

Just go for it. Dig deep, take a breath and throw your ideas out there. Be confident in your ability and dream big!