Welcome to Craft Blog Grow! 

My name is Hilary Pullen aka @haptree. I am passionate about creativity and nature. I love writing, photography and learning new things. I use my blog to inspire me to take time to look for the interesting things in life and to build (and share) my skills and findings along the way.

By day I'm a full-time community manager and digital marketing specialist, I'm lucky to work in the craft industry and be surrounded by creativity and craftspeople.

In this blog you'll find a mix of craft, nature, gardening and blogging tips. I'm also very slowly restoring a 100ft long peach house in my garden that was built in 1922 - so look out for progress on that!

Find my book here - Online Marketing for your Craft Business (it's a little out of date - read to the end of the long history of this blog below if you want to know what's coming next...)

Contact me - haptree@gmail.com I'll get back to you asap!

The history of this 10 year old blog! 

I started this blog in 2010 after a move from Devon to Hertfordshire found me at home with 2 small children and no job. I had worked previously in advertising after getting a BA(Hons) in architecture.

Ten years ago, this blog started life as a directory of craft blogs, it was very basic but it grew very quickly when I started hosting TweetChats, creating fun crowdsourced posts and reaching out to bloggers to help them use some of the tactics I was sharing to grow their channels and sell their handmade items.   

I used the blog as a way to keep my brain engaged and keep up with the way marketing was changing. Fairly quickly I was offered work as a freelance community manager thanks to the growing craft blog community I had built which connected me with some great craft companies. 

I began to specialise my work in the creative and craft industry, helping my clients with content marketing and growing their own creative communities. 

In 2013 I was asked by the publishers David & Charles to write a book to help people who wanted to sell their handmade crafts online.  I wrote the book in 3 months, it was based on an online course I had created previously, but that timeframe was very stressful! I couldn't afford to work on it during the day and risk losing paying clients so there were a lot of late nights and very early mornings.

I principally wanted to share my advice on influencer and content marketing, helping people selling crafts learn how to use social media channels in an effective and efficient way, not focusing on social following numbers but on engagement, growing their email lists and building a community of supporters around their work.

In Autumn 2014 my book was published and I relocated from Hertfordshire to North Wales (where I come from originally), that was a hectic year. The book bought me more clients and over the next few years, I found myself turning work down, working 51 weeks a year...  crazy busy but not in a position to hire help as the work could be a little erratic and the mortgage was quite big!

In 2018, just at the right time, I was offered a full-time position with a fantastic client I had been working with and watching grow since 2012, Practical Publishing International (It's a bit of a commute but I've fallen in love with the time I get to listen and learn from podcasts and audiobooks,  and I get to work from home 3 days a week too)

I am very excited to now be working on one of my most exciting projects to date with a fantastic team of creative people... I'll share a post all about that big project soon, but needless to say, it revolves around community building and craft! (and it's big!)

So... back to my blog, it got neglected, as did all my channels... I just didn't have time and I didn't need it like I had before. 

Last year I renamed it 'Craft Blog Grow' so that I could fit in posts about gardening, mindfulness and lifestyle too, I wanted to get back to just enjoying creating content and to see where it took me with no pressure to post, no schedule. But no schedule = not many posts and I kept falling out of the habit of writing. 

My plan for 2020 is to take my book from 2014 and pull it apart, update it and add to it, I've learned a great deal more in the past 6 years that I'd love to share. I'm going to schedule time into my week to commit to it. 

The creative posts and tutorials I love to share, interesting new handmade and craft industry news
The tips and advice for bloggers/vloggers and people who want to try and build a community and sell their crafts or services
Self-help, mindfulness and learning, productivity and efficiency, must-read books and podcasts