“My craft desk is my happy place”
Optometrist and AOP interim clinical adviser, Roshni Kanabar, on helping people to preserve special memories through her bespoke scrapbooks
When my sister was 21, I made her a scrapbook for her birthday. I thought it was so nice to put your memories all into one book and show someone how much you care for them. That was the first scrapbook I ever made.
My mum, who is a dispensing optician, has a cooking blog. She often gets press tickets to events and I ended up going to a craft show with her in London. I was absolutely fascinated. I bought all my supplies and since then I have been making things.
It’s really important that each scrapbook is perfect. This is a sentimental gift for someone
When I was a locum, I made a travel scrapbook for one of the ladies I was working with. My other colleagues started saying they wanted one too, so I started making more scrapbooks and it just grew.
A lot of the orders are through Etsy. There are also orders through family and friends as well as word of mouth. I would say in total, I have made around 50 scrapbooks. I have had quite a few orders from the US and an order from Germany.
It doesn’t feel like work. I find it really relaxing – it is like mindfulness. Over the years, I have learned what techniques to use and what materials work well. My craft desk is my happy place.
It’s really important that each scrapbook is perfect. This is a sentimental gift for someone. They are supporting my small business and when you do a good job they recommend it to someone else.
I am always thinking of new designs. Let’s say I am in the supermarket and I see a nice pattern – I will think, ‘Oh maybe I could create a scrapbook with a similar design.’ I have a list on my phone of around 20 different scrapbooks that I want to make. I had an idea in the middle of the night recently and I thought I had better write it down or else I would forget it.
During lockdown, I have been filming myself crafting and putting it on YouTube. My YouTube channel has travel videos but there are also craft and cooking videos. People ask me how I have the time for it all. I am a very active person. I don’t really sit watching TV for a long period of time – I would prefer to be crafting.
To view more of Roshni Kanabar’s work, visit her Instagram @roshnikanabar or her Etsy page.
- As told to Selina Powell.