I’m Monica Dowling, owner of Giraffe Crafts, and now Corsham Crafty Hub – my craft shop where I make all my crafts and run workshops, as well as stock other crafters’ products. Giraffe Crafts started in 2015 after I’d been making beaded jewellery for a few years.
I decided it was time to start selling it! I roped a couple of Southern African friends in to help me come up with a name that represented South Africa, that was catchy and didn’t limit me to what I wanted to make and sell. I love giraffes and so Giraffe Crafts was the one I went with. My range of products has expanded from beaded and wirework jewellery to any crafts I decide I’d like to try, including pyrography, crochet, decoupage, hand-painted clay items, cards and painted pebbles.
I have a lovely assistant in the form of my beautiful daughter Megan who is now 16. She helps make some of my products, helps on my stalls at markets, and in my shop. She has now started making some of her own products as well as offering face painting at parties and events.
I originated in Germiston, grew up in a small town in Transvaal, matured in Howick for a few years, and now live in Wiltshire in the South West of England. When I originally moved to the UK around 20 years ago, I lived in Surrey, but moved to Wiltshire to live nearer my cousins. I love the greenness of Wiltshire, and the amazing history all over the county and the United Kingdom.
I’ve done a range of jobs in my time in South Africa and the United Kingdom, including finance and administration, care support, phlebotomist, IT manager, bookkeeper and general jack of all trades!
South Africa will always by my ‘home’ and I love going back on holidays, visiting family and friends, soaking up the sunshine, sharing braai’s and good conversations with our amazing fellow South Africans.
I always love taking my amazing, supportive, English boyfriend Simon and his daughter Ellie on holiday to South Africa to experience the joy of my homeland!
Monica is on the Celebrate Southern Africa team too, so you can read her piece here: Monica Dowling – Our Admin Goddess