March Meet the Maker!
Instagram is running a meet the maker month and I thought you might also like a little insight as to who I am - I'll be updating everyday (or attempting to) this month and I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!
DAY 1: #marchmeetthemaker
So, you may have guesed my name is Alice! I graduated 3 years ago from textile design, @falmouthuni and have been freelancing since . . . I am however, still waiting to feel like a grownup!
I grew up in Birmingham, lived in London, Spent time in New York and have Landed in Cornwall - which has left me with a slightly strange Australian-sounding accent . . . I have never been to Australia . . . I love music, dancing and a good walk across the north cliffs. I prefer to be behind the camera, taking beautiful photos of adventures and my work and if you catch me on the wrong side - trust me you will experience the full force of the Selwood-Fluid-Face, always an entertaining sight!
For now this is me and Im looking forward to sharing the next month with you!
DAY 2: Made in Cornwall!
I am truely blessed to have a studio based on a small farm in Cornwall, I share my space with some pretty fantastic people and a couple of rouge lambs!
Made in Cornwall - I am a big beliver of keeping it local, from Design, Sourcing to Production I try to use everything within Cornwall and the UK. We stitch all our fabric in the Studio and use some of the best local makers to produce our products! China is cheaper but if I support those closest to me then every penny spent is worth it!
DAY 3: In the Beginning
I had an epic start into freelance design, with my graduate collection I won a set of awards with @handandlocklondon, @texselect, @embroiderersguildukofficial - which gave me the amazing exposure in Paris, London and Harrogate - And at #newdesigners with @wilcom_int who set me up with the software and equipment, giving me the ability to start up the studio and continue working ater University - kick starting my freelance career. For this I am eternally greatful, without this I dont think I would be where I am today without this initail boost.
DAY 4: Favorite thing to Make
I love my work from the drawing and digitising to making the final product. But the one thing that brings me most joy is working on something new - a new pattern, new colourway, new product - and once they all come together, after working on it for so long, to produce the first finished prototype is an amazing feeling. To make something that might give someone just as much joy as I have had making it - that is the reason I am Designer!
DAY 5: Photography
We do a lot of photography within the studio but every now and then we get to work with a real Gem. @hannahgracewoolley graduating photographer from @falmouthuni is a phenomenal being, she is incredibly hard working, great fun and so enthusiastic its always a good day when working with Hannah!
DAY 6: Workspace
The studio – based on a small Farm just outside of Redruth, Cornwall.
I have a really beautiful studio; loads of space, great light and delicious stove fire but strangely I spend most of my time on the Ironing board, it has the best light and views – so when I’m drifting of - and thinking really hard I have something good to look at!
DAY 7: Routine
Mmmm routine, that would be nice – each day changes rapidly, I could be finishing a wedding dress in the morning and editing the website in the afternoon. There is a lot to do when you a setting up a business and so I have to be everywhere and anywhere depending the need – I love the challenge but I always have to keep a tick list near by so that I know the jobs are getting done!
DAY 9: How it’s made
From Design to Production we try to use everything local and make it in the Studio.
Step 1: Have fun and great creative, draw, paint, sew make a mess!
Step 2: Organise the mess! Using illustrator and @wilcom_intl software, digitise the pattern work and it is translated in a digital stitch file
Step 3: Happy takes over – plug in the USB to our digital embroidery machine and watch you design stitch out
STEP 4: Finishing the Product – the final stage is sewing the fabric into a product and VOLIA!
DAY 10: Time to relax
One of the most important things I have learnt working for myself, is knowing when to stop – it is so important to recharge so that you can design and make to the best of your ability – simple things like having a physical door you can shut to your studio, taking a coffee break at 11 o’clock, or even allowing yourself to go for a walk – all gives you space to take stock and work out the next step without stress.
DAY 11: Branding
Love it! I spent a really long time working on branding, and still spend a lot of time perfecting it. It is such a powerful tool, it can instantly tell a person, who you are, what you do and who your market is – it can even make a tiny start up studio in Cornwall look like one of the well established big dogs in the City!
DAY 13: Work Clothes
I like to pretend that I am a snazzy lady with the most beautiful of wardrobes – in al honesty I spend most of my time in black jeans, t-shirts and a really comfy lumberjack coat and beanie – this is what we call smart in Cornwall!
DAY 14: Dreams & Plans
A tough one, the truth is if I can keep designing and working for myself I will be happy – new doors open everyday so in all honest I can only plan the week ahead, so to keep up to date with whats going stay in touch here, on the website and with our newletter – you never know what is around the corner!
DAY 20: Tools & Materials
This is 'Happy!'
My digital embroidery machine - he works very hard for me and doesn't usually complain. He is an industrial embroidery machine, with 15 needle heads and runs at 1200 stitches per minute - he's fast! We look after each other but I do have to treat him to a regular tipple of @Odif's finest to keep him sweet.
DAY 21: A day in the Life
Today I am not in the studio! Out enjoying the wonders of Cornwall - a day in the life of Freelance, gives you the freedom to live and work your days as you feel!
DAY 22: Sketchbooks & lists
I love a good sketchbook - actually I am really specific about my sketchbooks, it has to be the right shape, size, orientating, type of paper . . . and defiantly not a spiral bound!
DAY 24: Achievements
I've achieved alot in the last couple of years, each one just as important as the next and all allowing me to get to where I am today. But my most recent and currently most significant achievement is remembering why I am designing and making for myself.
Recently I had been getting overwhelmingly stressed with life, work, design, finances you name it I was stressed about it. To the point where I couldn't see why I was designing in a cold shed, by myself, in the middle of nowhere - but then it struck me:
I design because I love it.
I work for myself, so that when friend pops over with her pup I can go for a walk - In gorgeous Cornwall.
I am a freelance designer, so that I can be free to live my life how I want
It is one of the hardest things working for yourself, but it can be one of the most rewarding!
DAY 25: Being a maker means . . .
"When you have brains in your head. And feet in your shoes. Your can steer yourself in any direction you choose" - Dr Seuss
DAY 26: Books, Blogs & Podcasts . . . Or Family . . .
Today's shout is going to be to my Brother - ignoring the prompt for today because, well it is his birthday. Jack is a most excellent human and a rather brilliant maker himself, currently honing is woodworking skills as a boat builder.
Happy birthday Jacko!
DAY 27: Recommend a Maker
Here is to @louellajewellery - who's work is truly unique and simply stunning!
A few shows back I fell in love with fellow exhibitor Louella show piece ( the beauty up top) and asked if I could buy the ring at the end of the show - the theory being that if it was still there it was meant to be - I couldn't wait and the next day came in with my money but sadly the ring had been sold, Louella told me that she was really sad to see it go but the Lady who bought it loved it so much she had to give it up . . . . the show ends, Lanyon (boyfriend) and I pack up head home, have a celebratory evening of wine and slyly hands over this beautiful ring . . .