This week’s Meet the Maker gets to know Anna Treliving, Stiltwalker’s Stuff & Kitsch Republic better. Surface pattern designer Anna Treliving creates a large range of products which inject her fun personality into cards, gifts and stationery. Stiltwalker’s Stuff is a range of fused glass art inspired by the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, whilst Kitsch Republic offers unique products which are hand printed, handmade and of course, kitsch!
Each of these artisans offers beautiful goods for your home – and as we’ve been spending so much time at home lately, we thought it about time that we got some homeware inspiration!
Read our Q&A below to find out more…
Pedddle: We’ve spoken a little about lockdown and being at home, and of course you each create homeware. What do you love most about the home, and have you enjoyed being at home during lockdown?
Anna Treliving: I’m a bit of an amateur Interior Designer so I love decorating and making a house a home – for me that means lots of colour, textiles and patterns (pattern clash is my thing!). I’ve always loved spending time at home, and lockdown has allowed us to indulge in that a lot more than we ever seemed to have time to before. I’ve also taken the opportunity to paint patterns on a few of my blank walls, something I’ve been planning for ages but not quite got round to.
Stiltwalker’s Stuff: I’m in the process of creating an exciting new installation piece as part of Art in the Pen Online, throughout July and August, with the intention that it is displayed as part of my 2021 Pen. I’m doing a make-along on my Facebook and Instagram channels, sharing updates every Wednesday and Saturday as well as some random in-between ones. Alongside this I will be creating some smaller mixed media pieces for sale, that are informed and inspired by the installation piece.
Kitsch Republic: At the moment I am focusing on creating lampshades. These have quirky motifs which make a great addition to the home, and are an easy way to inject some fun and colour!
Pedddle: Now that we’re reaching the ‘new normal’, what’s new for you?
Anna Treliving: My latest launch was a collaboration (my first ever collaboration) with Amanda from Origami Blooms – I designed 5 different papers for some geometric hanging decorations. I loved the process of having a seedling of an idea, of something I couldn’t make myself, and then seeing it come to life through Amanda’s amazing Origami skills. I’ve also recently launched my Things to Do Notepads and Weekly Desk Planners which have been going really well. I’m a bit of a paper/stationery fiend so expect to see more soon!
Stiltwalker’s Stuff: I’m really lucky that my studio is at the bottom of my garden and throughout lockdown I have been able to spend lots of time in there creating. Both of my children have complex needs, so that has presented some challenges for us as a family, so the creative space has been a bit of a lifesaver.
Kitsch Republic: It has been business as usual at Kitsch Republic during lockdown, so I haven’t spent so much time at home myself. However, I have spent a lot of time in my workshop and have made it so much more homely. I’ve kitted it out with lots of things I love to make it feel more like home – like lush chairs, small appliances and of course statement lampshades!
Pedddle: We are super into sustainability, and we’ve highlighted this in some of our blogs. Do you use any sustainable or eco-friendly products/methods, or would you consider this?
Anna Treliving: As is the case for many makers, I’m in the process of moving to a more sustainable business. All of my paper products are recyclable and are printed on recycled paper where possible, using eco-friendly inks. I’m also really conscious of the packaging I use and only use recycled/recycleable/compostible packaging. There’s definitely more that I can change and I think it’s really important to keep researching, learning and finding new suppliers that fit with a sustainable business ethos.
Stiltwalker’s Stuff: Some of the glass nuggets on my hidden pocket scarves are what I call ‘second chance’ ones – they are glass which has not worked out the first time for whatever reason; sometimes it hasn’t come out looking quite like I wanted, sometimes some fumble-fingered person may possibly have dropped it at 6am while setting up a market!! And I have re-fired it to give it new life.
When it comes to packaging, obviously glass needs a lot of protection but I do re-use corrugated card packing from my glass orders wherever I can, and all of my bubble wrap is biodegradable. It’s all about trying your best wherever possible.
Kitsch Republic: I try my best to be as eco-friendly as possible, and now send all lampshades out wrapped in paper rather than bubble wrap as previously. I also try to reduce the amount of new packaging I use and I recycle wherever I can! In terms of products, one of my best sellers are coasters, which have great eco credentials in terms of being recyclable and made with FSC certified hardboard, with 10% of the material used to make them derived from sawmill waste. I am always looking for ways to improve how eco friendly we are as a business.
Pedddle: Markets give your customers the opportunity to see your items up close – do you think this is especially beneficial for a business like yours?
Anna Treliving: Yes! I think it can be really hard to get across the beauty of products through photographs, especially when you’re not a professional photographer (and the great British weather often creates challenging lighting conditions!). I also think it can be easier for customers to see your full range on a well laid out stall than on a website. It allows them to get a real feel for your products and make much easier decisions about which products might work well together.
Stiltwalker’s Stuff: Very much so, glass really comes alive when it can be seen in different lights and moved around – it does love a bit of sunshine best though!
Kitsch Republic: Absolutely – a lot of my products are impulse purchases, as shoppers often do not know that the need a Kitsch Republic coaster or chopping board in their lives until they see it in real life! I have done markets for the last 7 years in the North West and it has been exceptionally important in the shaping of my business, trying out new ideas and getting direct face to face feedback from customers.
Pedddle: What is your favourite market and why?
Anna Treliving: I absolutely love the markets that happen on my doorstep. I live in an area of Nottingham called Sherwood, and we have a really creative community with loads of talented makers. There’s an Art Week in the summer and a Contemporary Craft Fair at Christmas, and both always have an amazing turn out (and a real bonus that they’re both about 3 minutes from my front door!). I’m crossing my fingers that it’s safe for the Christmas market to go ahead this year – it’s held in the local Ukrainian community centre and has such a great vibe, I’ll really miss it if it can’t go ahead this year.
Stiltwalker’s Stuff: That’s a really hard one as I do lots of markets with lots of different lovely fellow stallholders, organisers and volunteers and of course lovely customers! However, if pushed I would have to say my local one – Skipton Farmers and Crafts Market, which is on every 1st and 3rd Sunday in the Canal Basin in Skipton. I have so many fab regulars there (and maybe it’s my favourite a teensy bit more because I know that once I have packed up at the end of the day I’m only 5 minutes drive from home -and a well earned G&T!)
Kitsch Republic: I have two favourite markets; the first is Heaton Moor Market. A gem in the Four Heatons, it is completely independent and curated to a high standard. It has a lovely feel to it and one I will continue to attend.
The second is Love Bollington Market, which is again a wonderful independent market which has the community at it’s heart. Organised by a lovely bunch of ladies, their care and love towards offering their community an excellent quality local market is second to none.