Betty Shek is a talented textile jewellery designer who stepping in at the last minute to sell at last December’s Christmas Brighton Craftaganza when a stall became available. The extremely high quality finish combined with a clear love of what she does makes her work really special. One of her ‘Amor’ heart brooches has not left the lapel of my Winter coat since I bought it at that last event. I’m really pleased she will be selling at the spring event as well…
Please introduce yourself….
Hi, I’m Betty, I have a background in fashion & textile design now I enjoy creating unique pieces of felt art, using vintage buttons and upcycled elements to create my work. After all those years working as a fashion and merchandising designer in Hong Kong my passion for handmade has never stopped. Also, from 1995 I started my own business called “id(identity)co,” until 2005 when I moved back to Brighton.
Briefly describe the products you currently make
I create all my pieces mainly using felt with my original design and freeform embroidery technique for each individual piece. Also I use vintage buttons and upcycled elements for my one-of-a-kind jewellery. You can check out my Etsy shop and in Brighton Handmade co-op.
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin? Or is Craftaganza your first time?
After I settled back in Brighton from Hong Kong, my daughters were still young. I started making gift for my neighbour’s kids and hand embroidering their favourite designs on their old tee-shirts. One of my designs, a felt brooch, was originally made for my younger daughter and her friends as a gift. Then a year later I started my business again. Last year I joined Craftaganza’s Christmas fair, it was one of my most successful fairs as well.
Other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
I’m also crazy about collecting antique lace. I love to create and make another product line out of my huge antique lace collection if I have more time.
What inspires the things you make?
I used to travel to Japan very often for my job and work with their local textile designer, so you can tell I have been influenced by their culture in my work. I’m inspired by everything in life. That is why I love to travel so much.
Other crafter/makers you admire?
Emily Wright is one I admired a lot. Not only her beautiful work but also her passion for life and smile.
It’s never too late to start and learn something new. Just go for it ! Be kind to others and add a bit more creation to your everyday life.