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


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.


Mother’s Day Inspiration Gift Guide 2018 – pt2

Welcome back to the second instalment of our Mother’s Day Gift Guide. We bring you another selection of our creative London makers and designers. Whatever you do, don’t forget to meet the makers on March 3rd at Green Rooms, Wood Green and join us for cake*!

Sara Hoque2

Thread and Rock1 - B Azmi

Ivie London

cNicola Box

*Hurry! While stocks last!

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!

Dreaming the wild bunting

Dreaming the Wild

Makers’ Corner: Carly Basil of Ivie London


Who is Ivie London? 

Ivie London is a homeware brand, started up by two sisters with a love for all things creative. We are the makers of handmade home decor items.

What inspired you to became a maker and please explain the process?

We both work in creative industries, so it was a natural transition to start a business in the field. 

Our products are carefully hand crafted from beautifully marbled concrete. As are our candles, all hand poured and made from natural Soy wax. Each item is unique and has its own design.


What is it like owning your own business or like many, juggling multiple jobs?

It is busy! No two days are the same which is exciting, however downtime is a rarity. Also one of us is a mother of two under 5, so that is tough. But working on something that is your own is worth the reward.

Thank you, Ivie London. Before you leave us, can you impart a quote, or words of wisdom to inspire?

Your gut feeling is something you should never ignore- if you feel strongly for a product or idea, run with it. It could be the best decision you ever made!