One of my absolute favourite new sellers is Toby, creator of I like CATS. He has taken the traditional craft of knitting and has used it to produce the most wonderful, quirky and characterful products, all of which would make great stocking fillers this Christmas. Come down to Fabrica on Sunday 9th December to adopt one of his cats!
Please introduce yourself….
Hello! My name is Toby Oliver Dean and I like CATS and I like knitting.
Describe the products you currently make to sell
I make knitted brooches, mainly featuring cats but sometimes other animals too. I also illustrate big fat rainbow cats which I make into rings and greetings cards. Also for Christmas I’m making lots of knitted decorations including robins, Christmas puddings and (of course) cats!
Where and when do you design and make your products?
I’m currently without studio, so all my designing and making happens at home, either squished into my teeny tiny hallway office (my legs literally don’t fit under the desk) or on the spare sofa, surrounded by wool. I also work from home so I have to be increasingly disciplined, as there’s so much temptation to stray into craft-mode instead of real-actual-work-mode.
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
After a million years of making things for fun or as gifts for friends and family, I finally listened when people told me ‘you should sell this’! I’ve had a Folksy shop and an Etsy shop for about a year now, but I’m not a total fan of the online selling system which is why I’m super excited to start doing some craft fairs – Craftaganza will be my third one ever!
What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?
I moved to Brighton a year ago after graduating. I’d only been here a few times on holiday and had never seen the ‘real’ Brighton as such, but I needed a new place to live and somehow Brighton was the only place that made sense to me to move to. I love it so much I can’t imagine living anywhere else!
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
I do lots of sewing and sometimes I paint, make sculptures and films. Also anything which involves glitter and stickers, I’m there…
What inspires the things you make?
Apart from cats… pets, aubergines, crayons, fake flowers, pumpkins, ponies, grandmas, glitter, lucky stones, trolls, magpies, peanut butter, sequins, cakes, bones and wild things.
Everybody should be able to make some music. That’s the cosmic dance.
(Harold & Maude)