Two of our featured stallholders of the week are Cally Youdell Textiles, who produces sustainable textile housplant illustrations for decorating the home, and Lucie Harris Glass, a Surrey based maker selling colourful fused glass jewellery and homewares.
Pedddle enjoyed getting to know these small business owners and some insight into their worlds! Read our Meet the Maker Q&A below to learn more about their inspirations and plans for the future.
Pedddle: Tell us a little bit about your business!
Cally Youdell Textiles: I became obsessed with free motion embroidery during my textiles A-level, during which I mostly turned vintage photographs of children into quirky fabric illustrations. I ended up going on to study voice at the RNCM and pursued a career as a classical singer, but when lockdown happened I felt the urge to get my machine out and see if I could still draw anything with it. I started by stitching the plants in our flat, and found that they were fabulous subjects for the wonky, characterful lines of free motion embroidery!
Lucie Harris Glass: I have always been fascinated with the process of fusing glass, so I decided to take my interest a step further and set up a workshop in my garden. I started selling at my local monthly market for independent craftspeople and began to establish myself in the area.
Pedddle: Where do you find inspiration for new pieces and how do you bring them to life?
Lucie Harris Glass: I am inspired by the beauty of the coast including my favourite remote destinations in South West Cornwall and the Outer Hebrides. I create unique pieces of jewellery and homeware from fusing pieces of glass together. Glass powders, crushed glass and metal leaf are used to create effects and reactions within the glass. The reactions create wonderful natural colours and beautiful effects.
Callie Youdell Textiles: I’m inspired by nature in an urban environment – the small ways we can add colour and relaxation into our homes when living in a city like London. Last year, our plants became almost like our pets, and I think they each have their own individual personality. I have about 50 different shades of green thread so I can find a colour-match to my plant’s leaves (I’ll use a combination of greens to get the depth and shading). Then I head to my fabric scraps drawer which contains fabrics I’ve collected since my teens, and find a colour or pattern that works with the colour of the leaves and brings out the plant’s playful side. Working with recycled cotton canvas, which has a lovely rough texture, I’ll sit at the machine and stitch the plant pot down with black thread first (this is called fabric applique), and then switch to the green thread, following the loose and wild lines of the plant in front of me. I finish the piece off by stitching the latin plant name in black thread, because I love the juxtaposition of silly and serious.
Pedddle: What do you love about markets? Have you sold at or been out to any since they’ve opened up again?
Cally Youdell Textiles: I took part in my first ever live market this past weekend! I hadn’t ever sold at one before, as I started my business during lockdown. I absolutely loved being there, talking to all the other crafters and creatives, who are all so helpful and supportive of each other. It’s also a huge thrill to get to speak to customers face-to-face after having only been able to sell online! I live in Islington, and had been a visitor to Crafty Fox Market quite a few times, so it was really amazing to be one of the traders there and get my brand seen by the Crafty Fox customer, who loves to support small businesses.
Lucie Harris Glass: Last year I put my had to put all my energies into developing my online store. In the lead up the Christmas the online demand increased and when the glass fired in the kiln takes 18 hours, there’s no quick turn around! It was so beneficial to build up the sales and reviews during this time.
Pedddle: What challenges have you faced due to the pandemic? Have you learned any new skills since?
Lucie Harris Glass: Last year I decided to increase my online presence in time for some local virtual Christmas markets. This year I am going to start making Christmas decorations in August so I can keep up with the demand!
Looking to the future, I am launching with Friends of Joules this month (so exciting!), I am looking at moving wholesale focused and have lots os exciting new shapes and DIY Craft kits coming!
Cally Youdell Textiles: Because I started my business during the pandemic, I’ve only ever really sold online. But I have loved having the extra time to pour into my little business. I love the creative control I have with it, which is something you don’t really get as a singer unless you put on your own productions. It has made me more enterprising than I ever was before – instead of taking things personally, I look at what might not be working, and think long and hard about how I can improve it, or maybe even go in a completely different direction. Sometimes it is intensely stressful: as the only person involved in the business, I’m responsible for making everything, updating the website, instagram, teaching, applying for markets and features and designing trade stands. But I am (slowly) learning that I can’t do everything at once! I’m getting better at setting realistic expectations for each day, and not beating myself up if I don’t manage everything.
Pedddle: Why should we encourage shopping from independent makers?
Cally Youdell Textiles: When you shop small, you’re supporting someone’s dream, and letting the maker know that you value their product, which means the world to them. I also think it’s so important to seek out these unique, handmade items that you, or the person you’re giving it to, will treasure for a long time. I feel very strongly about keeping these types of products alive, because I don’t want to live in a world where we all have the same mass-manufactured things that don’t bring us joy.
Lucie Harris Glass: Shopping with local small businesses is a wonderful experience and gives you such a buzz, especially when browsing at markets. I love meeting the makers and learning about their skills and craftsmanship. Knowing that these products are handmade and unique makes the experience personal.
By taking the time to shop small, the makers can share their knowledge and passion for the products. I love developing a rapport and friendship with other local stall holders and we are then able to support each other.
Pedddle: Thanks for chatting to us! Is there anything you’re looking forward to next for your business?
Lucie Harris Glass: I’m looking forward to getting back to markets and making connections with customers and fellow stall holders again.
Cally Youdell Textiles: Next up, I’m trading at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September! I’m so excited (and a little terrified), and am deep into all of the preparations. I can’t wait to reach a new audience of plant enthusiasts, and soak up the atmosphere of the show! After that, I’ll be at Local Makers Market in Stoke Newington in November, and hopefully some other Christmas markets leading up to the big day. Hopefully then I’ll have some time to think about some new designs!