My Voice: Sandra Sanders

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Sandra Sanders has a crafty way to inspire and be environmental.

AT the age of 14, I experienced something no child should ever have to: the death of my mother. As she was a single parent and I an only child, her death left me orphaned and the responsibility for my welfare was handed over to myriad foster carers who were often abusive.

By the age of 22 I had developed numerous mental health issues and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic depression and generalised anxiety.

After a year of treatment, I felt strong enough to leave my house for short periods of time. The very first event I headed to was a craft show. It was there that my life began to transform. At the beginning of the weekend I didn’t know how to sew; by the end, I’d started my own small business selling handcrafted goods.

My journey with craft mirrored my journey of healing. As I completed each craft project, the sense of achievement it provided me lifted me further out of depression. Within a few weeks I was confident enough to launch a blog, hold my first market stall, and open an online shop.

At the end of last year, another significant shift occurred: I suddenly realised that I no longer experienced mental health issues. It was at this point that I committed to bringing the healing powers of craft to the community around me, and my crafting group Craft Like Crazy was born.

Sustainable ethics are at the heart of Craft Like Crazy. I’m really passionate about inspiring people to create amazing, beautiful things for themselves, their homes and their loved ones without adversely affecting the environment, animals or people. All of the materials we use are therefore 100 per cent natural, chemical-free, eco-friendly, vegan and not tested on animals. I also do my very best to use locally-sourced, organic, and fair-trade ingredients. I love the fact that I’m teaching age-old skills, such as how to create soaps, candles and beauty products, and that the workshops I run are reducing people’s dependence on purchasing environmentally-damaging, chemically-laden products that are made in factories halfway around the world.

Attendees pay for the cost of their materials.Our products will soon be available at St Kilda’s Esplanade Market. Craft Like Crazy is more than just a school for craft; it is a space for healing, friendship, community, and personal growth.

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