Home is where the heart is, and where we’ve all spent more time than anywhere this year! As we’re in the midst of winter, it’s a great time to switch your home up and make it super cosy as we get ready for the festive season. That’s why this week we’ve got to know Osime Home, MarcoLooks & No16 Interior better, three stallholders who each create gorgeous pieces for the home.
Check out our Q&A below to find out more…
Pedddle: We’re celebrating having a cosy home this week. What’s been your favourite part of the home during lockdown, and why?
MarcoLooks: During lockdown, I was super thankful to have a garden. At times it felt like a whole extra room that I had completely taken for granted. I found that lockdown created a sense of nesting in me. So, I found I was shopping online more than ever for prints, frames, artwork, plants, that sort of thing, to make my home feel as cosy as possible.
No16 Interior: For me, I enjoyed slowing down and appreciating the smaller things in my home. I’ve always been house-proud and even more so during lockdown. It provided an opportunity to not only dive head first into No16, but also spend time in the garden and finish those odd jobs around the house. We bought a compost bin and SO much bird seed and spent nearly every morning in lockdown out in the garden in our dressing gowns. Even in this second lockdown we’ve had breakfast outside and toasted marshmallows in the evening. Doing lockdown with a 4-year-old isn’t as idyllic as I’d have liked, but it gave me time to refocus and realise that there’s so much more to my little life than the ‘9-5’.
Pedddle: Why do you love most about creating products for the home?
MarcoLooks: Home is where most of us spend most of our time, and being within the same four walls, I started to put up phrases and quotes that resonated with me to inspire positive self worth and improve my mental health. This inspired me to create artwork that means something as well as looks beautiful.
No16 Interior: I studied Interior Design for 2 years and I’m obsessed with home magazines and Pinterest boards! I love homeware and I think after lockdown we were all reminded of how we should love our home just as much as we love holidays! We spent so much time at home it was hard not to think about homeware.
I remember working on a brief for my course years ago and I came across cork flooring and how practical and sustainable it was. Cork kind of stuck with me and I started thinking of ways that cork could be integrated into homeware and how I could do this myself. I found cork fabric at my local fabric shop and the rest is kind of history! Cork is such an underrated material and I think it’s definitely a resource that should be more on our radar. It is one of the most renewable and eco-friendly materials on the planet and definitely needs more credit than what it gets! When starting No16 I really wanted to create a brand that was both sustainable and useful. Although the planters are marketed as ‘plant pots’, I use them for all sorts of storage!
I’m also passionate about working with other small businesses rather than against them. The wood for the hangers are from a local woodsmith and would have gone to landfill otherwise, the cork fabric I use is from a small fabric shop near me, and the gift wrap I use is from a fellow female-owned small business – so whenever one person purchases from me, they’re actually supporting at least 2 or sometimes even 3 small businesses.
Pedddle: Which of your products are you most proud of right now?
MarcoLooks: Two products that I’m super proud of are firstly my York calendar, which acts as a greatest hits collection of my York based prints (I live in York, a source of constant inspiration).
And secondly, the mini prints collection from my Conscious Healing range, full of inspiring and affirming quotes and phrases. Customers have told me they put them on their walls, send a few as postcards to someone needing a pick-me-up and also carry some around in handbags to pull out and look at when the moment needs it.
No16 Interior: The hanging cork planters are my new favourite product and have only just been released! I love how unique they are. I also love my macrame products and have created some mini versions which make great Christmas gifts.
Pedddle: 2021 is just around the corner. What’s next for you in the new year?
MarcoLooks: I have nearly finished my first collection for 2021! I’m really excited about what the future holds and I’m venturing into unknown territory for MarcoLooks. Watch this space!
No16 Interior : I’m currently in the process of branding all of my products which is weirdly exciting! I’ll be venturing more into wholesale, booking into many more markets, starting a website and really upgrading No16 as a brand. Collaborations with fellow creatives are definitely something I’d love to increase too.
Pedddle: We can’t wait until in-person markets are back. What first made you consider selling your products at markets?
MarcoLooks: I had a real urge for it, after visiting local maker’s markets and enjoying the buzz of the room, I felt like I wanted to share my work within those communities. It’s a great community feel and an irreplaceable atmosphere.
No16 Interior: I’ve had quite a bit of experience working behind the scenes for makers markets and I’ve always looked at the incredible makers who sold there, and wanted to be a part of it.
What do you love most about selling at local markets?
MarcoLooks: A huge bonus for me is the community. At most of the markets I go to, I know at least one other trader and the Christmas shows especially turn into some sort of end-of-year reunion! There’s even an unofficial “after market Christmas chocolate and Baileys” club, which of course sadly can’t happen this year (although we have talked about doing it on zoom next month instead).
I love that markets are generally the place where my social media followers come to meet me. A lot of them know me from my videos and Instagram stories, and quite often I’ll only know them to DM chat with, so it’s a real thrill when they tell me their Instagram profile names, I realise who they are and we have that “it’s you!” moment, which is an utter joy. I love it. I never take my community of “followers” (friends, I prefer to think of them as) for granted. I’ve had some cheerleading of the highest class, and heart to hearts with people I’ve never met before, and we all came together because I decided to start sharing my artwork. It’s a truly beautiful thing. The outpouring of support that I feel is completely overwhelming and wonderful.
No16 Interior: Nothing beats the buzz of a market and an opportunity to see customers face to face. It’s great for them to see the person behind the brand and I think it’s really important for small business owners to really connect with their customers. I also love meeting the makers there. It can be quite lonely running a business solo, but the small business community really is inspiring and uplifting. I leave every market on a high and full of creativity! Nothing beats it!
If you’d like to know more about Osime Home, MarcoLooks & No16 Interior, click here.