8 years as a Volunteer is a long time, especially when we've never even met or spoken other than online! I'm not even sure Diane sees herself as a Volunteer as such either, but she's always there ready to help and deals with 'Customer Services' through our ticket system. So, if you ever contact us, chances are you will be helped by Diane so I'm happy to introduce you...
I help Adele any way I can with practical or emotional support.
I have done various things over the years, through the times of Card Making World, The Printable Craft Shop and now Crafting4Good CIC, but now I mainly deal with customer questions and problems e.g if a customer can't download their files, or don't know how to make up the contents of the files that have purchased, I try to help.
How It All Started
I was Google searching for downloadable scrapbook papers and found Card Making World - if I remember correctly, I joined up and someone asked a question I could help with. Adele also posted on the thread and we ended up having a bit of a chat, next thing I know you asked me if I would like to help. I remember saying "but you don't even know me"...Adele said she just had a feeling it would work. The first thing I did was write some step-by-step How To's for posting and uploading pics to the new community site.
Diane was our 15th member of the new community site we opened about 3 years after Card Making World started
Daily Activities as a Volunteer
I monitor customer messages using Zendesk, a ticket system for emails and Facebook messages received, replying to messages and often talking through what is needed to sort out problems.
What I Like Most
I enjoy messaging customers and helping them resolve their problem. Sometimes this leads to more contact. Their problem, for example, might just be not being able to open a file, but while chatting sometimes another problem comes to light, or sometimes the customer will come back again asking for further advice etc.
My Proudest Moments
That's a tough one. I think Adele’s Trolley Dash in the early days of The Printable Craft Shop would rate as one. The Trolley Dash was launched and suddenly the customer support when crazy with loads of messages every day. Getting through all those messages was quite an achievement.
The best moment though was meeting up in person with a lady from South Africa who purchased files, had a problem which I sorted and then we went on to chat about cutting machines. I said she could ask me anything at any time…and she certainly did, everything from what card to use to what cutting machine she should buy. We have been friends ever since and when she came to the UK to visit her daughter she asked if she could come and see me. We have spoken often and met up several times since!
In My Spare Time
When not helping Adele or customers I am usually doing my day job. I work from home extracting information from architectural drawings, presenting the information in an Excel document for an estimate of works to be prepared. When that is done for the day I am walking the dog, gardening, crafting, cooking and occasionally, when I can't get out of it, doing housework.
How I Started Crafting / My Favourites
I got into crafting when my first child started school. I joined the PTA and the first event was a Christmas fayre. I was given the craft stall to stock and man, even though I had never made anything really. I was given a membership card to a local artificial flower supplier for retailers, went along, bought loads of supplies and set to make Christmas decorations, door wreaths and table decorations to sell.
In the morning I set out the stall, came home for lunch, went back to man the stall to sell and found reserved stickers on much of the stock! I had to open order lists for the visitors to the fayre. I was hooked from then on. I started to make cards to go with the flower items I made and then the cards and boxes took over.
I mainly papercraft, making cards, and 3D structures. I love making flowers too, either from card or foam. I also sew, knit, crochet...I'll have a go at anything really.
Why I Craft and Recommend It To Others
I don't have a wide circle of friends and don't go out very much so crafting gives me a good hobby, which sometimes also gives me contact to other crafters, although not as much as I would like. I have had my fair share of illness and family problems to get through and crafting has certainly kept me sane during these times.
I would recommend anyone with any health or mental challenges to try crafting of some sort. You can get lost in the process of creating something, anything, taking your mind off the problems you are facing.
My Essential Craft Toolkit
- Good scissors (large and small)
- Marker pens
- Stamps (digital and rubber)
- Dies, embossing folders and die cutting machine
- Electronic cutting machine (Silhouette or Scan n Cut etc)
- Printables, but not as you'd think...
Making this list makes me laugh. If the above was really all I need, how come I have a whole craft room bursting at the seams!!!!
Printables, My Way
Regarding printables, I don't always download files and make the items as the designers intended them to be made. Designer backing papers can, of course, be used for any project I like. That is what they are intended for. But most of the files at the Printable Craft Shop can be treated this way.
- Lots of the card kits come with a designer backing paper. The card designer intends that to be used on the reverse of one of the kit components, but I often use them for other projects.
- I also use parts of the card kits in my own projects. There might be a particular image I like, but it might not be on a card shape I want to use, or in a design coloured the way I want it, so I just use the images in my own ideas.
- Many of the images used in designs sold on the Printable Craft Shop can be decoupaged too, even if the designer didn't intend them to be used that way.
So there's Diane's story - I'm so lucky that she's stuck around all this time! I can rely on her to answer Customer queries which is a huge help and she's there on the end of a computer when needed, whether that's for a general rant or to make some special Birthday Cards for a 102 year old Aunt
Check out Diane's blog, Keep Forever Cards for some fabulous cardmaking inspiration, and if you're a non-cardmaker reading this she also makes handmade cards to order!
We will be showcasing a few of these Stories on the blog, from other people who help us out in various ways to customers and people we've worked with, as a way of saying a huge Thank You and to give you some insight to who and what we are here at Crafting4Good CIC and our downloads store, The Printable Craft Shop...
Margaret's Story - Using printables to provide Food Banks with greeting cards
Melanie's Story - Using printables to sell at craft fairs