Makers Corner: Hannah McCague

We love featuring our makers, particularly ahead of market day to provide you a taste of what to expect. The quality is always exceptional, and it never ceases to amaze us the great items that are produced with sustainability and ethical methods always at the forefront.

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Today, meet local maker, Hannah of Hannah Elizabeth Design who will join us at Etsy Made Local Tottenham on Saturday 7th December.

You’ll be able to find Hannah in Tottenham Town Hall on the day. Don’t forget to stop by our second venue, the Bernie Grant Arts Centre as well.

What is your link to Tottenham?

I’m still relatively new to the area after moving here in February. I’m enjoying exploring at the moment and feel very inspired by my new surroundings!

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What inspired you to became a maker?

I always loved art at school and in 2007, I graduated with a degree in Illustration from Bristol. Since then, I’ve been working freelance as an illustrator as well as teaching art part time. During my Masters, I began exploring digital drawing and that’s really when I started making my prints. I’m a passionate environmentalist which is why a lot of my work involves the natural world. I try to promote drawing as a tool for communication both in my art teaching and also through my illustrations.

After a long day designing and making, what do you do to switch off and relax?

Sit outside in the garden (weather permitting!) with a cup of tea. It’s the simple things in life for me!

Can you impart a quote or words of wisdom to inspire?

Do what you love and what makes you happy. Things that are worth achieving are never going to be easy – I try to remind myself of that when I’m having a tough day!

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Find Hannah and her beautiful illustrations at Etsy Made Local Tottenham, Town Hall Approach Road, N15 4RY, 11AM-4.30PM.

Makers Corner: Chantelle West

Ahead of market day, we love sharing with you the designers and makers who bring their exceptional products to market.

Today we bring you yet another, and are excited that Sew Lit will join us on not only 2 & 3 November at The Factory, but also return to Tottenham Town Hall for Etsy Made Local Tottenham on 7 December.

Read on, read on!

What inspired you to become a maker?

I had a passing thought in 2007 to make cushions which was quite extraordinary considering I had never felt a passion to sew. In fact, I was much more interested in creative writing but I did my research and like many early creatives I filed my findings away. The Christmas season of 2011 was when I suddenly became hungry to sew, I had became a mother and I believe that dramatic change heavily inspired me to start making cushions and Christmas tree ornaments by hand.

What challenges have you faced?

Finding a balance between being inspired and creating whilst also learning what is necessary to run a successful business has been challenging, what made it harder at the start was doing it all alone! Now I have business mentors that are accessible and give advice that is invaluable.

After a long day of designing what do you like to do to switch off and relax?

I love to read, write or listen to music! Me and my daughter are always dancing around the room.

Can you impart words of wisdom to inspire?

Honour what your quiet voice whispers! Feed that part of yourself that needs to be inspired! As a mother, carer and maker I’m learning to not feel guilty about taking time out to feed my desire for inspiration.

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Makers Corner: Bee Veronica Moore

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Once again, we have been catching up the talented members of the Crafty North Londoner Etsy Team who will be showcasing their handmade items at Etsy Made Local Tottenham on December 1st & 2nd 2018.

Today we have the pleasure of introducing the creative genius, Bee who heads up Witty Ditty Designs.

Who is Witty Ditty Designs? 

Witty Ditty Designs is a North London based company founded by myself, designer, creative writer and illustrator, Bee Veronica Moore.

I write children’s poetry and rhyme, which I illustrate and then print onto 100% cotton fabrics. From these fabrics I create children’s handmade soft furnishings. My aim is to encourage kids to have fun while learning to read – any time, anywhere.

We’ve discovered on our journey that grown-ups love Witty Ditty’s unique products too and Witty’s now has a range of unique homeware designs for the whole family.

Witty Ditty also believe strongly that in this multicultural world we live in, all children should see themselves reflected all around them, so we try hard to ensure our all our products do just that.

What inspired you to became a maker and please describe the making/designing process?

The idea for this unusual way of displaying my fun poetry for kids came about while I was a volunteer reading mentor at a local primary school where, for three years, I helped young children learn to read and in turn helped boost their confidence. 

Some of the kids had a difficult relationship with books and I soon realised that books were not always the best way for some of them and to enjoy reading. We were encouraged to pick ‘other’ things the kids loved reading such as comics, puzzles and quizzes, fan magazines, art and drawing. Using familiar reading materials made learning more natural and fun.

And so the seeds for my idea began to grow.

My experience of helping children learn to read, my love of designing, writing and illustrating fun characters; all combined to create a fun new company. With our quality, handmade poetry-covered cushions, duvet covers, placemats and more, Witty Ditty’s mission is to make learning to read as easy and as natural as possible.

Can you tell us what is it like owning your own business and like many, juggling multiple jobs?

It’s hard work, but I love it! I work from home and from a shared studio space where I can work on ideas, write rhymes, do sketches and make samples. I’m a busy mum and still work as a freelance graphic designer as well.

I love being a mum to my bubbly, creative three-year-old son and a step mum to my husband’s lovely nine-year-old boy. They both love superhero’s so Witty Ditty’s Everything A Boy Needs To Be A Superhero duvet cover for families of colour, is based roughly on them!

Thank you, Bee for sharing your story with us. Might you have some words of wisdom to inspire the makers/designers out there reading this?

If you have a creative skill you enjoy and want to become a designer/maker – go for it! Don’t let having kids, pets, a hectic home life or other commitments stop you.

It’s surprising just how many supportive people and groups there are out there in the business community, who are ready and willing to help you get started.

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Etsy.com

CraftyNoLo Spring Makers Market

Although the Beast from the East might have delayed our Spring Market by two weeks, come rain, shine, snow, sleet, harsh winds, cold and the mini Beast, we pushed ahead.

On Saturday 17th March, the stunning art deco hotel, Green Rooms, opened its doors to the Crafty North Londoner Spring Makers Market and welcomed 30 London based designers and makers, many of which are Haringey based residents.

We had makers selling items from home decorations and furnishings, to kids wear and glass jewellery, to surface designers and fabulous prints, and ethically sourced accessories and hand carved kitchen utensils. The quality was of the highest standard and no one left disappointed.
Take a look at  some photos of the day below.

 


Crafty North Londoner would like to thank all the amazing makers and our dedicated local community who came out to show support for local makers, despite the fact it snowed continuously all day. Every single one of you are truly amazing!

Next market will take place on June 30th, T on the Green/The Pavilion, Bruce Castle Park, N17 8NJ. Please register your expression of interest here.

Please do follow us on Twitter and Instagram using the handle @craftynolo for updates.

Featured images:

Brush & Botany

Second-Handmade

Row 1: Minor Fragment, Brush & Botany, dmLDNcraft, Design With Flair

Row 2: Hatchling Makes, Arganic Beauty, Global Earthware, Mandy Treptow

Row 3: Second-Handmade, Shika Accessories, Witty Ditty Designs, Geo Fun Design

Row 4: Keské, Samantha Parker London, Crafted On Water, Pink Mushroom Designs

Makers Corner: Leah Nicholls of Sleeping Beauties and Dreaming the Wild

Please tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Leah Nicholls, founder and owner of Sleeping Beauties and Dreaming the Wild.

Can you please tell us what inspired you to became a maker?

I have been a fashion designer to the UK high street for the last 10 years, specifically working with printed clothing from India. Unfortunately I was made redundant from my Design Manager role last year and I saw this as a sign to start something of my own. I always look forward to all the UK festivals in summer and enjoy European glamping holidays with friends. A beautifully printed cotton sleeping bag just clicked in my head when I really thought about what it was that I wanted to do, so I set up “Sleeping Beauties”. These sleeping bags are made in India and since I design my own prints, I wanted to make my own products myself too. Therefore, my Etsy shop “Dreaming the Wild” is the platform for all my hand-made throws, tote bags and bunting. I will also be making dream catchers and sleepwear. Watch this space!

I tried to see myself in 20 years time and whether I still wanted to be in the same job. The thought of still being in the same fashion career filled me with dread so working for myself, developing my own ideas for my own brand is definitely the end-game.

What is it like owning two businesses and juggling life?

Owning your own business is both liberating and terrifying! You realise that however experienced you are in your field, there is still so much you don’t know…everything is a learning curve. This is both good and bad and can be overwhelming at times. However, if starting your own business was easy, then everyone would do it! At the beginning of summer I took a part time job in my local haberdashery to help with bills and dare I say it, debt! This has been great as it helps me plan my time better to fit around fixed working hours and I get to use the sewing machines and overlockers in the studio at the shop! 🙂

Thank you very much Leah for joining us. Might you have some words of wisdom to inspire?

Don’t forget to give yourself a break…you’re the only one who can!

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Dreaming the Wild