Category Archives: Meet the Seller

‘Meet the Seller’: Claire from Yellow Bear Wares

The last ‘Meet the Seller’ before the event itself! Let’s meet Claire who creates fun and playful jewellery and accessories made from vintage knitting needles. A niche product you may argue, but undeniable lovely.

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Please introduce yourself….

Hi, I’m Claire, I design and make jewellery for my Etsy store Yellow Bear Wares. I am new to this world of crafting to sell and so far am really enjoying myself, I’m very excited to be a part of Craftaganza on June 15th amongst such talented designers and makers.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

I use the medium of vintage plastic knitting needles to create items of jewellery; I make rings, bracelets and have just launched a new necklace design.
They are the perfect gift to buy for a knitter or crafter or just someone that appreciates the upcycled and quirky aspect of jewellery made from knitting needles!

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

Often inspiration for my designs will come to me at the most inconvenient times such as whilst I am in the shower, riding my bike or at work (I am a facilitator of sessions for adults who have learning disabilities). So I keep a notebook close by at all times, then I can jot down ideas when I have them. I’m pretty sure my best design ideas so far have come to me in the shower; maybe I need to invest in some waterproof pens and paper!

As for making I work mainly in my kitchen and on my couch, currently this is a very part-time venture so I’m not able to have a studio yet, but I might try to take that step at some point. I’ve worked hard recently to make sure that I have specific areas in my home to keep things because at the beginning everything was scattered throughout my home in a very disorganised manner and taking over in a bigger way than intended!

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How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I am still relatively new to selling my wares. I started off by making bracelets for myself and as gifts for friends and then last year I made some for my parents stall ‘One Bright Spark’ that they take to markets in the South West of England. Through the process of this I started to realise how much I had missed the ‘hands on’ making part of my life. I began to really enjoy the whole method, from rummaging through boot sales and charity shops to find my needles, the challenge of experimenting and designing my items through to having the final pieces ready to photograph and sell (or to add to my own jewellery box!). My Etsy shop has been open since February this year and this June Craftaganza is my first foray into selling my wares at craft markets.

What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

As a teenager I used to come down here with my friends on holiday, my best friend’s dad lived in Brighton and we would come visit, spending all of our days looking for the ‘alternative’ items we could never find in our home town of Bath. Since then I’ve always wanted to live here and in the second year of my photography degree in London (2004) I realised I wasn’t enjoying living in London and could commute easily from Brighton, so I made that move and I’m still here!

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Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I am a filmmaker and as mentioned have studied photography and enjoyed the analogue processes of both those mediums. I have always been a ‘hands on’ type of person; I like to have something tangible and ‘real’ to experiment with. Perhaps I should try to create a cross over between the crafts and image-based elements of my life, knitting with light or something like that!

Otherwise I do experiment with a variety of materials: I love to use felt, I knit at a very basic level, do a bit of sewing, and I have recently taught myself how to crochet a granny square so who knows where that might take me.

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What inspires the things you make?

I simply adore things made from other things. My parents have always been very conscious about re-using, up-cycling and recycling especially when it came to gardening. In fact from a young age I have always had random things around me used for other purposes: for instance once my shoes were too small or had become worn out they would become plant pots in the garden; my mums worn out tights would become supports for plants to grow up; old pipes my dad came across would become structures for his beloved tomatoes to thrive in, complete with unusable taps attached.

This ethos of trying to get the most use out of something and not wasting the unwanted has stayed with me and I very much appreciate the absurd and unexpected juxtapositions that are created when you take an item out of it’s context and use it for something completely different.

‘Meet the Seller’: Hannah from Speckled Fawn Soaps

I’m so pleased to have today’s seller with us this Saturday at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market. New on to the craft scene, Hannah from Speckled Fawn Soaps creates awesome handmade soaps, taking traditional methods to produce items that should appeal to all age groups.

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Please introduce yourself….

Hi, I’m Hannah and I run Speckled Fawn Soaps. I am a fairly new soap maker based in central Brighton and am constantly working on new and exciting soapy ideas!

Describe the products you currently make to sell

I make traditional cold process soaps – that means I mix lovely and moisturising oils with an alkali, to form a chemical reaction which forms soap, adding essential oils, fragrances and botanicals along the way, to make really natural, moisturising and pretty bars of soap.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

All the magic happens in my little flat. I have dedicated areas and equipment for my soap making, so I know exactly what is going into every soap I make. At home, I research every ingredient I put in, and experiment with all kinds of different combinations and I don’t put a batch of soap up for sale until I’m really happy with it!

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

About a year and a half ago I decided I would quite like to try out soap making. Shortly after, I went on a mini soap making workshop, but came out feeling a little let down as we learnt about making soaps look pretty, but not about the actual chemistry involved in making soap – the important stuff. So I sat at home night after night, and made it my mission to teach myself everything. A couple of months after that, I tried out my first batch, and it worked! I have tweaked my recipes lots since, and I’m really happy with how my soap making has
progressed. About 6 months ago I became EU certified to legally sell my soaps, and although it’s still quite new for me, I’m trying to do more and more craft fairs!

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I moved down to Brighton from Manchester two years ago, and to be honest, I don’t know why it took me so long. Nowhere in the UK is like Brighton really. It’s such an inspiring city, everything is so colourful and I constantly feel surrounded by creative people here. It’s just great!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I love to try everything really. I do a little bit of drawing, and some screenprinting sometimes, but unfortunately I feel like there’s never enough space in my head to
learn to do all the crafty things I’d like!

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What inspires the things you make?

I work in a local health food shop so I’m always quite conscious about what’s good for me and good for my health, which I think is partly why I enjoy making soap so much – I feel much more comfortable using something on my skin if I know there are no nasties in there. I am also a terrible hoarder of pretty things, and it gives me great satisfaction to make something that can be really pretty yet still functional!

Personal motto?

Always make time to do things you love – it’ll make you much happier with the person you are.

‘Meet the Seller’: Katie from Oh Squirrel

Another new-to-Craftaganza designer-maker to meet today! It’s the lovely Katie from Oh Squirrel, maker of super-cute. funny and special stationery and gifts. I, for one, can’t wait to stock up on her greetings cards.

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Please introduce yourself….

Hello! I’m Katie and I sell vintage inspired stationery and textile pieces under brand name Oh Squirrel.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

Oh Squirrel is all about reusing old finds, whether they be vintage fabrics or old photographs. I mix these with newer materials and create stationery pieces which evoke memories and make folk smile. A sense of humour is at the heart of the brand, teamed with a love of British nostalgia.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

It’s been a very exciting few months as I’ve just left my previous career in fashion buying to fully launch Oh Squirrel. Currently I work from my home in North London, however the pleasure of working with small products is that I can be very portable – as the sunshine is out I’m spending more and more time cutting and sticking in the park!

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

In 2012 one of my New Year’s resolutions was to have a go at making to sell, after a lifetime of making for gifting, or making for me. Confidence and time were what held be back, however I worked hard to find both. At the first market I did, upon selling my first card I was filled with the ridiculous excitement, and from there it just grew!

I’ve been sewing since I was a child, so the process of making feels so natural to me. Selling has taken more time to adjust to, however at markets I’m always myself and chatter away instead of selling as such!

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So far, I’ve focused my energy and time on developing the products and selling face to face at markets rather than growing an online presence, however this is one of the many things I’m currently working on. I have a website which is www.ohsquirrel.co.uk and post lots of blogs about the events that I’m doing and new products in work

In hindsight, it was a pretty successful new years resolution!

Please describe your relationship to Brighton

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside! Genuinely, I do. I even managed to find a way to write my Dissertation about the British Seaside, even though my degree was in Fashion Design!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

The lovely thing about Oh Squirrel is that I get to use many disciplines in my work. I’m working on making my own stamps so currently I’m very much into lino carving. I’d love to have a go at furniture restoration too, and when time is on my side I plan to take a course.

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What inspires the things you make?

Oh it’s so corny but it really is making people smile. When customers tell me how much the card they bought was loved it is the most incredible feeling.

To get inspiration I’m a big fan of flea markets, burrowing through the remnants sections of upholstery stores, looking through photo albums and just listening to conversations of people on the bus. Animals and nature are a big source of inspiration too, so if in doubt I love to get a bit of Attenborough on in the background whilst I work!

Personal motto?

Life is what you make of it.

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‘Meet the Seller’: Victoria from Victoria Hutchinson Ceramics

This Summer’s event will see more ceramists than any of our previous events. All three create subtly interesting and beautiful pieces, and Victoria Hutchinson is one of that triumvirate making super-desirable items….

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Please introduce yourself…

Hello, I am Victoria, designer and maker of victoriahutchinsonceramics.com, specialising in handmade porcelain ceramics.

Describe the products you currently make

Using a slip casting method I design and make a model from clay, cast a plaster mould from this in which I pour porcelain layers of white and coloured porcelain slip, once cast the pieces are individually ‘scraped away’ to reveal a band of colour. Each piece is then polished to a smooth elegant tactile finish. I also source vintage lace which I use to embellish into my gift tags and bell decorations. All are created to compliment one another, with the attractive feature that no two pieces are exactly alike. All my work is un-glazed so as to show the translucent nature and simple whiteness of porcelain, giving the pieces a sense of purity.

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When and where do you design and make your products?

I work from my home in my beautiful Victorian conservatory, it can get a little hot in there during the summer months particularly when I am doing a firing. I surround myself with lots of succulent plants which love the heat and spend hours in there designing and making.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I have been selling my work part time now for almost 10 years. Although I studied printmaking at university I spent most of my time in the ceramics and sculpture workshops. I decided to re-kindle this passion a few years after graduating and I have not looked back since. I am self taught in most of my ceramic techniques.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

The sea brought me to Brighton initially. Being from Stockport, a Northern town south of Manchester, it was my dream to live by the sea. I lived in Brighton for 11 years but moved to Eastbourne a few years ago. I really miss the creative buzz of Brighton but I visit regularly.

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I have just started to make ceramic jewellery and I will be launching a small range at craftaganza. I have decided to use parian clay which has a beautiful translucent whiter finish, lending itself beautifully with sterling silver jewellery. I have always had a passion for jewellery and I am excited about expanding my work into this medium.

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What inspires the things you make?

My main inspiration is through organic forms found in nature – the intricate patterns of coral, the simple form of an unopened flower and the delicate shapes created by the sea. I am also influenced by early 20th century objects, fabrics and designs – handmade lace, reusable glass bottles, delicate tea cups and vintage fabric. I think these objects have their own sense of history and also show the natural ageing effects of time.

Personal motto?

Do what you love and do it often.

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‘Meet the Seller’: Rosa Pietsch from KatzeShop

One of the lovliest ladies in craft, in my opinion, Rosa Pietsch is also one of the most talented. Creating truly wonderful yet wearable pieces, if you are looking for a unique gift for someone special, then you need look no further than her stall at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market on Sat 15th June…

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Please introduce yourself….

My name is Rosa Pietsch and I’m a womenswear design assistant living in South London. I also design and make jewellery for my Etsy store, KatzeShop!

Describe the products you currently make to sell

Currently I make most of my jewellery from laser-cut wood and acrylic, but what makes it a bit different is that I combine these materials with hand-cast resin which I mix with metal leaf (gold, silver and copper) and ink pigments. I make pieces that range from huge statement necklaces to little pendants and brooches. Some are entirely one-offs, and the rest are relatively small batches. Although no two pieces can ever be completely identical!

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

At the moment I design, make and photograph everything in my flat, unfortunately for my housemates! I’d love to have a studio, but as I work full time for a womenswear fashion company, I don’t really have the time to use one. So at the moment, all my jewellery is made in my evenings and weekends.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I always used to make bits of costume jewellery for fun as a teenager – I used to make really bright, kitsch things that I sold on ebay! I loved it but for some reason I didn’t consider studying Jewellery Design. Instead I did a BA Hons degree in Fashion Design at Brighton Uni. For my graduate collection I worked on some huge resin neckpieces to go with my clothing designs, my dad taught me about resin casting, and from there I rediscovered my love of designing and making jewellery. I created some catwalk jewellery pieces for a Japanese fashion designer which were shown in Tokyo fashion week and this really encouraged me to continue with jewellery!

I love resin casting, but I wanted to incorporate laser-cutting into my designs as I love drawing out interesting shapes to work with, and laser-cutting offers so many possibilities! So I worked out my own way of combining the two and opened my Etsy store in November last year – so this project is still pretty new to me!

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

Sadly I moved to London from Brighton last year as I work there and the commute was beginning to drive me crazy! I originally came to Brighton to do my degree, and ended up staying for 6 years because I love it so much. I really miss it, there’s always a very welcoming, friendly and creative atmosphere and I loved living there. London is obviously amazing too, but I’ve got a feeling I’ll move back to Brighton one day!

Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

When I get the time (which isn’t often) I like making one-off, hand-cast and polished resin pieces using proper handmade silicone molds, which is a different process to how I make my ‘KatzeShop’ pieces. I also love drawing and print design. I’ve taken part in a few print design competitions as well as some commissioned print design work. My day job mostly involves working with print and embroidery. I don’t think I could choose just one creative profession so I try out lots of different things…although despite having studied Fashion Design I hardly ever sew!

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What inspires the things you make?

I’m mostly inspired by the actual materials and processes I use, and the possibilities and limitations they have. This is combined with a really wide range of visual inspirations, from art deco to symbols and diagrams, vintage jewellery shapes, graphics, architectural shapes, contrasting textures, patterns, colour, light, street style and of course I always have some kind of cat motif on the go!

Personal motto?

I stress a LOT and can be very self critical, which isn’t often very productive! I’m not sure I have a personal motto, but I do try to remind myself not to stress out unnecessarily, and not to compare myself to other people and their work.

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‘Meet the Seller’: Suki Price

When she’s not being one half of the ‘Joan of Art’ collective sourcing and selling art materials, Suki Price keeps herself busy making art herself. Her lino prints are really incredible, I whole-heartedly recommend you head down to the Summer Brighton Craftaganza on Sat 15th June to check them out…

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Please introduce yourself

I am an artist who loves being inventive with different materials and techniques. I am inspired to use whatever media best suits each individual project. I particularly love printmaking with lino cuts, then sometimes, scanning in the bold prints and seeing what else I can do with them. I really enjoy combining the contrasting styles of rugged and handmade with clean and machine-made in one image.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

Using varying proportions of these two aesthetics, I produce products such as prints, cards, posters and sets of badges. One of my posters is the Noisy Alphabet- each letter has a sound and a picture to illustrate the creature or object that makes the sound. (A is for Argh, B is for Boo, for example).

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

Until recently I worked from the comfort of my living room, but now I share a studio with some fellow artists. This provides me with a focused working environment, removed from domestic distractions and some understanding, likeminded people to bounce ideas off.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

I have been selling at craft fairs for just over a year now. I previously visited many fairs as a customer and soon noticed the lively spirit of comradery among the stall holders. I still appreciate the social aspect of fairs, being part of a community of makers is wonderfully supportive. Which is especially important considering that making art or craft can be a solitary pursuit if you’re not careful.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

Whilst studying Illustration in London, me and my friends would pile into a car for day trips to Brighton. I decided during the first trip that it would be a great place to live. After graduating, I followed my urge to travel to new places and experience different cultures, before eventually moving here to the seaside. It draws so many interesting people and there’s so much going on and that even I don’t get itchy feet too often.

What crafty disciplines do you like to practice?

Other crafts I currently practise include etching on glass, photography and collage as well as the combination painting with pencil drawing. I find it very satisfying to pull together all the disparate strands of my imagination into coherent solo and group exhibitions. I organise an annual group exhibition of art inspired by New Orleans every summer. I also enjoy the challenging process of making traditional hand painted signs and murals. I am presently preparing to embark on my first endeavour selling new and vintage art materials at Craftaganza in June.

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What inspires the things you make?

My designs express my love of art, travel and food. As well as traditional lettering on old adverts and signage. Artists like Schiele and Picasso that create strong images with simple drawing also inspire me.

Personal motto?

I believe that life is too short not to do what you love so my personal motto would be:
“Better a bad day in the studio than a good day in the office!”

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‘Meet the Seller’: Jo Tulley from Kidish

Today’s interviewee is busy bringing some much needed fun and character into the UK craft scene and reminding us all not to take ourselves too seriously. Pizza face cushion anyone?! Yes please!!!

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Please introduce yourself:

Hello! I’m Jo Tulley and I make and sell Plush Toys and Cushions. My business is called Kidish and reflects my love for cute, kawaii, kitsch design and illustration.

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Describe the products you currently make to sell

My cushions are all hand-sewn (I am yet to learn how to operate a sewing-machine!) using felt. I really enjoy the entire process of making my cushions; I love putting faces on everyday objects and food and making them into something you can cuddle.

Where and when do you design and make your products?

All my work is made in my studio/family room in Croydon, I then sew them whilst watching TV.

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How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

Kidish started as an online jewellery store just over 5 years ago, I started making my cushions a short while afterwards to entertain my son and as gifts for family and friends. I eventually started selling them and they now bring more customers to my store than the jewellery does!

Please describe your relationship to Brighton

I’ve always enjoyed visiting Brighton and a few times people have said to me that my work would go down well there so why not give it a try! I’m really excited to be involved with Craftaganza.

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Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I’ll give anything a go! I love being busy and trying out new things. I’m in the process of decoupaging my dining table and chairs at the moment.

What inspires the things you make?

Faces and facial expressions really make me laugh and inspire me to try different ways of bringing my cushions alive. I’m a big sci-fi geek and have been drawing monsters and aliens since I can remember, making them into cushions and selling them is an added bonus.

Personal motto?

Everything happens for a reason

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‘Meet the Seller’: Joan of Art

As you may or may not know, one of Brighton Craftaganza’s core aims has been to not only provide a selling platform for designer-makers, but to also encourage visitors to get creative themselves. We have always been open to applications from people selling supplies and equipment, but sadly they don’t come forward very often so we are super-excited to be able to offer selling space at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market to art-supply purveyors ‘Joan of Art’!

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Please introduce yourself….

Joan of Art is run by two local artists who believe it is important be equipped with the right tools for any artistic endeavour. We love that Brighton is full to the brim with all kinds of creative folk and look forward to providing them with everything they need to bring their ideas to life.

Describe the products you currently sell

Starting with the basics- we will have all the essentials to keep artists going with their everyday tasks. In the future, we will expand our range in response to feedback from customers. Please get in touch if there’s a product you’d like to us to stock.

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How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

Being artists ourselves, we spend every day using our products. We’ve already had years of practise continuously aiming to find the best materials so we may as well share our discoveries with the artistic community of Brighton.
We know our friends and fellow artists will appreciate reasonably priced materials in the centre of town. Craftaganza will be our first ever outing.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not ‘natives’?

Brighton seems to be a natural place for the creatively inclined to navigate towards. Why wouldn’t you want to move here? There’s always something interesting happening and it’s a goldmine for anyone who enjoys drawing interesting people.

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What crafty disciplines do you like to practice?

We both love working in many different medias so we’re looking forward to stocking an ever expanding range. Lino printing and pencil drawing (people and architecture) are particular favourites so endless discussions on these subjects are always welcome at our stall.

We can’t wait to meet all those exciting artistic people and hear what projects they’re dreaming up. The prospect of playing a small part in making the magic happen is thrilling.

Our personal motto would have to be:

Home is where the art is!

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‘Meet the Seller’: Jorunn from Nnuroj

We have a really interesting seller and product range for you today; Jorunn who creates fascinating and unusual knitted products that will be selling at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market on 15th June.

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Please introduce yourself….

My name is Jorunn Hustoft. I am a Brighton based Norwegian textile designer/maker trading as Nnuroj. I love knitting!

Describe the products you currently make to sell

I design and knit a range of cushions, beanbags, quirky blankets and accessories. For the Craftaganza on 15th June, I will be showing a range of knitted laptop cases, summer accessories, Baby Sock Blankets and Knit Kits. All my products are manufactured using a hand-powered domestic knitting machine. Every textural detail is created by hand to achieve the luxurious, high-quality finish.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

I work from my studio near the seaside in Brighton. Every day is different, but on an ideal day I would split my time as evenly as possible between knitting, sampling, drawing new design ideas, emailing, web updates, research and planning. Knitting always takes priority over anything else and I pride myself in being organized and punctual with the production and shipment of all orders.

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How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

After graduating from university, I focused on gaining some valuable industry experience before starting out on my own. On July 1st 2012 I left full time employment to follow my dream of starting my own textile brand.

What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I originally moved to Brighton for university about six years ago. I love the creative buzz that this city offers.

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Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I always have a huge amount of projects on the go though they do usually have a textile focus. I am currently developing a range of textile tools and also exploring some ideas within upholstery. My university degree was in ‘wood, metal, ceramics & plastics’ which gives me a very broad background in making with a variety of materials which is really useful when developing my design ideas.

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What inspires the things you make?

My work is mostly inspired by lace-making, upholstery and the ways in which wool can benefit your living environment. The modernisation of traditional textile techniques features prominently in the development of my ideas.

Personal motto?

Work hard, follow your dreams & if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

‘Meet the Seller’: Sarah Richards from Dollydripp

It’s awesome when we are able to provide stalls for independent clothing companies at Brighton Craftaganza events. So often they provide more interesting design and better quality than high street equivalents. Sometimes they also provide awesome clothing for niche looks that can be difficult to find in the shops, like Rockabilly and pin-up styles for example. Today’s Meet-the-Seller interviewee does just that….

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Please introduce yourself….

I’m Sarah Louise Richards and I’m a fashion designer. I currently run a rockabilly style clothing & accessories label called Dollydripp.

Describe the products you currently make to sell

All my items are heavily influenced by rockabilly & pin up styles and tattoo culture. My main products are womens clothing and I make dresses, skirts, causal wear and sleepwear. I also have a homewares and accessories range which all feature appliquéd old school style tattoo designs.

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Where and when do you design and make your products?

I run my business full time from home. I have a dedicated sewing space but I tend to find I end up with my work spread out all over the flat! Thankfully I have a nice big living room floor to do my pattern cutting.

How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?

Dollydripp will be 2 years old in July. I always say that it started with a bit of bad luck as I got made redundant from my design job in London. That was actually a blessing in disguise as it gave me a bit of breathing space to really think about which way I wanted my career to go. I was becoming tired of designing mass produced fashion and I missed the creative freedom. I was already making bits and pieces in my spare time so I decided to do the Princes Trust Explore Enterprise course and it all took off from there.

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What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?

I’ve only recently moved to Brighton and I’m so glad I did! I’d been living in Reading for the last few years as it was an easy commute to London but it isn’t the most creative place in the world! (Sorry Reading!) I really missed living somewhere that had a buzz about it.

My family lives in the Northwest and I did my degree at University of Central Lancashire so I was situated between Liverpool and Manchester and I was always going to gigs, festivals, exhibitions, visiting independent shops and I really wanted to be somewhere where there was always something going on again. Being by the sea is an added bonus!

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Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?

I don’t really do anything else crafty. I do love illustrating and I tend to spend a lot of time illustrating new designs even though I’m the only person who sees them!

What inspires the things you make?

I draw a lot of inspiration from vintage/retro fashion, mostly the 50’s rockabilly and pin up style, but update it and give it a modern twist. I still follow the catwalk shows every season as I get inspired by beautiful clothes and I keep up to date by researching trends and street styles. I try to mix all these elements into my garments and design things that I would want to wear.

Personal motto?

Focus on yourself; don’t worry about what others are doing.

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