We love learning more about our makers, their motivations and their ethical practices. Today in our Makers Corner, we have the pleasure of introducing a fellow local maker of tote bags, pins, tea towels, May Glen.
What is your link to Tottenham, Haringey?
I live in Haringey and in my spare time help run weekend and private workshops as a tutor for Tottenham Art Classes. When I can, I enjoying coming to the life drawing classes at the Beehive Pub that Tottenham Art Classes run on Thursday evenings.
What inspired you to became a maker or, please describe the making/designing process?
I did a lino printing taster course a couple of years ago and have been doing it ever since. It’s a process that is very accessible and you can do it from home without any large-scale equipment. I make my prints at home on our small dining table and find it an enjoyable contrast to my day-job spent at a computer.
What is it like owning your own business or like many, juggling multiple jobs?
I work full-time and make lino prints and illustrated products in my spare time. I don’t get the opportunity to spend as much time as I would like on it so my progress is slower than I would like, but it means I always have something in the pipeline to look forward to working on when I get the chance.
How are your products sustainable?
All of my lino and printed cards are printed onto recycled card and come with recycled envelopes, and all the protective cellophane sleeves are actually made of plant-starch and are completely compostable. My tote bags are made of high-quality organic cotton and along with my tea-towels are produced sustainably in the UK.
Don’t forget to stop by The Beehive Pub on 4 May and say hi to May and all the other amazing creative makers!
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