Sarah Myatt Glass creates colourful glass pieces to brighten up your home, Tink & Reu lovingly hand-sew and crochet bunting, gifts and decorations, and The Happy Chappo is here to inject some fun with humorous greeting cards, posters, pin badges and colourful gifts.
From rainbows and sunshine to motivational quotes, let’s Meet the Makers behind some of our most cheerful stalls…
Pedddle: What first drew you to working with these materials, and what are your inspirations?
Sarah Myatt Glass: I never chose glass – it definitely chose me! I always loved making 3D objects so I did an art foundation course at a local college, fully intending to go on to do a degree course in Wood, Metals & Plastics. On my way to the open day for the course at the University of Wolverhampton I dropped into the glass department. That was that – I was hooked straight away. Something just felt right.
I graduated way back in 2000 with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in 3D Glass Design. It feels (and is) a very long time ago. We learned many different glass techniques, from stained glass and glass blowing to kiln forming, which I loved and that’s what I use now in my practice.
When I’m transporting things to markets, I have always used the ‘Really Useful’ storage boxes that come with the dividers which are the perfect size for my suncatchers, padded out with a bit of bubble wrap so that my work survives all the bumps and rattles on the road whilst driving (and my driving!). They’re also great to keep your work dry and secure whilst doing outdoor markets.
Tink & Reu: We’re sisters, Sarah and Kirsty. We first discovered a love for textiles when we were very young and our Grandma, who was a keen knitter and machinist, taught us to knit. It was only after we both found ourselves on maternity leave together that we had the opportunity to pick back up our crafts and expand on them. It was at this point we decided to concentrate on crochet and machine sewing as this is what we enjoyed the most. We love working with yarn and fabric as it gives you so much flexibility. From different textures to the vast array or colours available, the possibilities are endless!
Pedddle: What is the most satisfying element of producing your work?
Sarah Myatt Glass: There’s no better feeling than when you see someone’s face light up when they look at your work, or when they choose to spend their hard-earned cash, not only because they love your product but because they appreciate the work that goes into it. I’ve had messages from customers who have bought one of my glass pieces for a friend or relative who is having a rough time or a bereavement to say that my work has brightened their day and made them smile. That makes me extremely happy.
Tink & Reu: The most satisfying element for us is knowing when you look at your end product that its something totally unique and created by us. We love that we can add personalised messages and create custom orders in a way that only small businesses can. We find that the “personal touch” is what draws customers back to us and knowing we’ve created something special for someone really makes our day!
Pedddle: How long have you been selling at markets?
Sarah Myatt Glass: I have been selling at markets since 2008 when I set up my business, I used to do lots of different markets and school fairs, fetes, basically everything that was offered to me! I also did a few a bit further afield leading up to Christmas. But over the years I have honed down what works for me and I make sure I don’t burn myself out. I am a trader at the Sunday Supplement in Leek and the Treacle Market in Macclesfield, and having two regular markets every month keeps me busy.
Tink & Reu: We’ve only been selling at markets since the beginning of 2019. It’s something we really enjoy and hope to do a lot more of in the future.
Pedddle: What do you think the best thing is about market trading?
Sarah Myatt Glass: It’s definitely the sense of community between traders. We all know what goes into running a small indie business, the ups and downs…and the stress of the weather at an outdoor market! I really love the social side of doing markets, because I work alone all week, and I get to meet my friends who are makers, see their new work, share ideas and just have a natter.
Tink & Reu: The thing we enjoy most about trading at markets is the opportunity to be face to face with our customers. This is something you don’t get to do very often when you sell predominantly online! Being able to see their reactions to our products and to receive feedback is so valuable. It’s also an opportunity for people to see your products first hand as its sometimes hard to see detail online.
Pedddle: What do you love most about your business?
Sarah Myatt Glass: I love the flexibility of time, being able to develop my own style and being able to play with all of that gorgeous coloured glass!
Tink & Reu: It’s our opportunity to be totally creative in a way we’ve never been able to before. It also gives us the freedom to work completely for ourselves around our families, and it’s something we have built from the ground up – and even though it’s one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, we are so proud of it and truly love what we do!