Find Amy on social media!
Tell us about your business?
My business is Amy Gunawan Basketmaker, soon to be Amy’s Willow Weaving. I make baskets and woven decorative pieces from willow. I also run workshops teaching basketry and woven crafts which offer a space for people to take time out of their busy lives, to enjoy the creative process and be focused learning a new skill and to be in the present moment.
I started my basket making journey in January 2021 with a few hand tools, a book and 15 free nursery hours a week. I taught myself the basic skills and from there I started my business in the December of that year
I have an Etsy shop and sell at local craft fairs and my work is currently in the ‘Raw’ exhibition in Arteria, Lancaster until May 2023.
What made you join The Growing Club?
I knew that I wanted to start a business but I wasn’t really sure where to start and how to go about it. When I heard about The Growing Club and the Roots and Shoots start up course it seemed to be exactly what I needed.
Tell us about your journey with the Growing Club?
In April 2021 I started on the Sowing Club course which was a really lovely introduction to the Growing Club helping me to build my confidence. It gave me a few hours each week just for me to focus on my needs and wants.
From there later that year I started the Roots and Shoots course which has massively helped me to start my business. Having a community and the support from a network of others doing the course really gave me the courage to take those first steps.
As well as the practical business advice around planning, finances, banding etc I was surprised how much emphasis was placed on self-care and I now realise just how crucial this is to running a sustainable business. As a single mum with a then 2/3 year old I was trying and struggling to juggle everything by myself. So the session on ‘Managing it all’ and having it actually confirmed that ‘I can’t do everything’ was exactly what I needed to hear. From this session I have become much better at asking for help and recognising that people want to help as well.
Since graduating from the course I am now training up to deliver the course as one of the trainers. It’s great to be a part of the growing club and in delivering the course it’s a joy to meet so many talented women and support them on their journeys.
What has been your biggest challenge of the last couple of years?
Myself, facing myself, my fears, believing in myself, valuing myself, being vulnerable and through all that doing it anyway. It’s been a big journey and I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It’s something I continue to do, its challenging but ultimately I’m living my life in a different way and I feel much more fulfilled.
What are your plans for the next 12 to 24 months?
I’m currently working on my branding, and plan to set up a website. I plan to continue to grow my business and explore different venues to sell my baskets. To develop my basketry skills from more experienced basket makers. Continue to develop and deliver my workshops.
I would also like to grow my own willow supply so that I can grow some different varieties and experience the full journey from plant, harvest, processing the willow right through to a finished basket.
What is your biggest take away from your time with The Growing Club?
The biggest takeaway has to be how much my self-confidence has grown. To be in an environment of kindness, where self-compassion is encouraged and having a safe space to be vulnerable and at the same time be focused was what I needed to grow and thrive.