>>> I have seriously neglected my blog for quite some time, erm about 3 years!
The time has flown and in those few years I’ve moved house once, had a variety of jobs, have 2 amazing twin nieces, bought a beautiful hand loom called Martha, and am really enjoying my new home in Suffolk 🙂
I have been really lucky to have met a wonderful group of creative makers, artists and handmade craft enthusiasts since moving to Suffolk and have been taking part in lots of indie markets and pop up events. I also have managed to get an amazing job back in Textiles, working with students at Brighton University on the Textile Design with Business Studies degree, as a Technical Demonstrator. The role involves running 2 workshops filled with Harris Handlooms and Georgewood Dobby Floorlooms, also a TC1 Jaquard loom and an industrial Dornier Powerloom. I’m loving it!! It means I split my week as its a part time job, so I spend a couple of days by the seaside in Brighton, perfect!
Now feeling like I’d like to explore writing again and sharing some of Little Swifts creative journey in this blog. I’ve given it a facelift with a new theme and intend to try to write a short piece every week.
Wanted to share a few recent photos with you in the meantime, so you can get a feel of where Little Swift is in 2015, enjoy 🙂
>>> I’ve been neglecting my blog the past couple of weeks but for good reason – i’ve just launched my Little Swift shop on Etsy!
>>> Little Swift is the place to find unique, colorful, folk inspired, whimsical accessories. Each accessory piece is lovingly designed and handmade by myself in my little studio space in Suffolk, England. I use reclaimed fabrics and textiles, along with vintage buttons, embroidery thread and other treasures found in charity shops and second hand stores. Each piece is unique and a one off and I love to reinvent, recycle and remake which is the philosophy I like to follow when I create new products for the shop.
>>> I’ve included a few photos of some of the accessories available to purchase at Little Swift, I hope you like them!
>>> If you would like to visit the Little Swift shop please click here
>>> I think Pop Up shops are brilliant and I was so happy to discover one at the end of my street in the Carlton suburb of Melbourne. Even moreso when I saw that it was a Craft Co-op called The Crafty Co and had just recently opened to the public.
>>> Not wanting to miss out I ventured in to say hello to the two lovely ladies behind the counter and after talking to them both for a bit I asked if they were looking for anyone else to get involved with the co-op. I explained I was a textile designer and had been making and selling handmade recycled paper products in Brisbane at Suitcase Rummage. They took my details and after a quick meeting with the owner Tracey I was invited to join the Crafty Co Pop Up Shop.
>>> I excitedly set about making some new stock for the Crafty Co Shop, new designs for gift tags, new handmade notebooks and button bobbles in a colour palette I could merchandise together. It was really great to see the paper giftware in a retail space environment and because the Crafty Co is run as a co-operative it was really affordable for first timers into retail like myself. We all shared the rental costs and expenses in return for a low commission on sales we make.
>>> Being part of the Crafty Co means we all take some time out of our work/life to run the shop so that it is open to the public and we can generate sales and interest for our work.
>>> This has been a great experience too as I love the face to face contact with customers and to be able to talk about the products and what’s behind the process. It’s local and handmade in Melbourne and that’s what I really loved and got excited about being part of.
>>> This time last year I was escaping the UK winter by living in Brisbane, Australia. Whilst I was there I discovered a bespoke monthly Indie Market called Suitcase Rummage. It was held in the open air in a square at the top of the busy Queen Street Mall one sunday a month and cost a mere $10 for a pitch where you could sell just about anything!
>>> The only thing you were required to have was a suitcase used as part of your display and there was an eclectic mix of handmade products made by young and old alongside vintage, second hand and retro goods sold by small independants or individuals just clearing out their closets.
>>> Having dipped my toes into the water making handmade bird collages and other products in New Zealand I was really keen to start making things to sell in Australia. Suitcase Rummage was perfect and I loved the quirky collection of stalls and the focus on handmade designers and makers.
>>> I decided to make recycled paper products such as gift tags, ‘chook marks’ for books, framed artwork, artisan notebooks and recycled button hair accessories. I set up a stall with my partner Matt who is a graphic designer and we began spruiking our handmade goodies to the Brissie crowds.
>>> Much fun was had and friends made at Suitcase Rummage in the following few months. We had to leave Brisbane for pastures new but having been inspired by the genuine regard and love for things handmade we looked forward to what Melbourne’s indie craft scene had to offer us.