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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Life is what you make of it.