Meet The Maker: Lianne Hirano of Da Crafty Lilninja
Lianne describes herself as a full time mommy who loves to create all things crafty! Her main mediums are polymer clay, air dry clay, and UV resin. In 2014, Da Crafty Lilninja was born and what had once been a side hobby began blossoming into a successful online business!
Q: When and why did you start working with polymer-clay?
A: After my son was born I was super lucky to be a stay at home mom. When he was about six months old, I tried out polymer clay after being inspired by a lot of polymer clay videos on youtube. It started as just a new hobby and to keep my mind active, but after positive feedback from my friends and family, I decided to keep at it and eventually started selling my creations at craft fairs and online. I am also so appreciative to have an amazing husband who fully supports my business and continues to believe in me.
See Lianne's expert tips for working with polymer clay HERE.
Q: How did you come up with your business name?
A: Not many craft friends know this, but my nickname is actually “Little Ninja”. I used to play a lot of co-ed slow pitch softball before getting married and having kids, and I recall having a lot more energy back then! I used to run all over the field catching balls and sneak attacking friends with water balloons and water guns after softball games. Those softball friends were the ones to name me “Little Ninja” and I’m really happy I incorporated it into my business name.
Q: What is your favorite part of the creative process?
A: My favorite part is taking my finished piece and showing my husband what I made. He is always my first audience and he is probably 90% of my motivation. I know he’d treat anything I make like treasure, but his affirmation means a lot to me.
Q: How did you organize your supplies before the WorkBox?
A: Before getting the WorkBox 3.0, I used to work on a computer desk with various small shelving units and containers. It was always cluttered and I would take up a lot of living and closet space.
Q: What was your first exposure to The Original ScrapBox? How long did you wait before purchasing your WorkBox?
A: As my youngest child grew into the “Discover and Conquer” aka “Climb and Eat Everything” phase of toddlerhood, I knew I had to address and change my open workspace in the living room set up for her safety. A few months after discovering The Original ScrapBox in a video ad on Facebook, my husband convinced me it would be a good idea to invest in the WorkBox 3.0. Besides freeing more storage space in our small apartment, I was able to organize all my supplies and fully close up my work area to ensure safety for our children.
My WorkBox has helped me be more organized, efficient, and safe with my two young children and small apartment. Everything has a home, is labeled properly, and is within arms reach.
Q: What was your experience receiving your WorkBox and getting it set up?
A: Having the WorkBox shipped to Hawaii, shipped to an apartment, and setting it up was really stressful, but it all worked out pretty smoothly! It was a large shipping bill, but considering it came to Hawai’i in a large heavy wooden crate from the mainland, it was completely understandable.
Coordinating with the shipping company and drop off was easy, the only problem was we either had to hire someone else to help take it up the elevator to our apartment, or do it ourselves. We thought we could manage, but after seeing the huge and heavy seven-foot crate in person, I had no idea how we’d be able to lift it and fit it inside an elevator! Luckily with the help of my husband, neighbor, and father-in-law, we were able to open the crate outside and take up smaller boxes in the elevator. Putting it together was super easy after all that!
Q: How has the WorkBox changed the way you craft? How have you personalized it to work best for what you do?
A: Since using the WorkBox for about a year now, I moved things around and customized the shelving area a lot. I organized my supplies to have my favorite tools and clay in arm’s reach, while having extra supplies and less used tools on higher or lower shelves. I changed up the middle section of my WorkBox the most since it is my favorite section. I opened up the shelving area so I can hold my clay storage unit, unbaked clay pieces I’m still working on, and my display area on the top that I can showcase my work and my kid’s work.
Now that I’m really happy with where everything is located and is now labeled, my clean up time is cut down drastically.
Q: What are some of your other hobbies or creative interests?
A: I have been crafting since I was a child, and I love all different types of crafts and mediums. I like to draw, doodle, paint, stamp, card making, paper art, mandala, etc. I also love to play music and was actually planning to be a band director before I became a mommy and a small business owner. I’m so grateful that my two other part time jobs are music related and I get to play music with my husband. We both play saxophone and even met each other in a saxophone choir. Our kids have toy saxophones and we joke that we’ll have a saxophone quartet family when they grow up.
Q: What would you say are the pros and cons of running a business from home?
A: Running a business from home is exhilarating and terrifying. One of the best things about owning your own business is being your own boss, which means taking things at your own pace and pursuing goals you are truly passionate about. Time management is difficult for me, so I try my best at balancing all aspects of my life with my business. Sometimes breaks and naps are needed so I don’t get burned out. It’s also really convenient to work at home so I can get work done while my kids sleep.
The cons of running your own business is that you have to manage your own budget, take lots of risks, file your own taxes, and take responsibility for everything.
Q: What are your hopes and dreams for your business?
A: I hope that my kids continue to share my love for polymer clay and art and will hopefully help me in my business in the future. They love to help me and are learning some basic polymer clay techniques as we play. I also hope to keep on developing my craftsmanship and learning new techniques. The sky is the limit for my children and my business!
Q: What is the best part about what you do?
A: I do what I love, and I love what I do! I raise my kids, create and share my art, and play music with my husband for my jobs. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Learn more about Lianne and her business at DaCraftyLilninja.com
- Ashley Puriri