In this week’s Meet the Maker, we’re getting to know WorkSpace, Lyon & Feather & Titchy Stitch, who each create unique pieces. Pedddle’s stallholders are such incredibly skilled craftspeople and we love to discover where they learnt their craft. With ongoing self isolation, this could be the ideal time to learn new skills or freshen up your home, so this is the place to get inspired!
This week’s Q&A found out more about their crafts, why they love markets and what they’re up to next:
Pedddle: Where did you first become interested in the skills it takes to produce your product, and how did you learn them?
WorkSpace: Eighteen months ago while taking part in a workshop in Liverpool, I was asked to sketch some key buildings on a blackboard as part of a window display. I had a really positive reaction and lots of people suggested I could use the drawings on products! Six months later I decided to have a go at translating them into graphic images for prints and beyond, and the rest is history!
Lyon & Feather: I started out as a fashion stylist, and after working with clients in the fashion and music industry for 14 years, I noticed a hole in the fashion market for beautifully crafted pieces that were effortlessly timeless.
About 6/7 years ago I had a running accident, which meant I couldn’t continue to work as a fashion stylist until I had an operation on my knee. I had always been interested in jewellery and wondered if I did a quick jewellery making course, whether I’d enjoy it and if I could make any money! I took lessons in silver smithing and was hooked! I then went back to learn how to electroform in Autumn 2018, and that has since become my obsession.
Titchy Stitch: I’ve been cross-stitching since I was a child. I would always follow the patterns you can buy from haberdashery shops, but I never really liked the finished product, I just enjoyed the act of stitching them. About four years ago I decided to start making my own patterns, so I could make things I liked the look of. From there, I decided to branch out to embroidery, which I’ve loved ever since. Cross stitch was starting to feel quite restrictive for the kind of things I wanted to make, so embroidery gave me the perfect outlet.
I learnt my embroidery skills through lots of trial and error! I’m predominantly self-taught, using books and the internet, but I did take a course in traditional Goldwork and Tambour Beading a couple of years ago, where I learnt the embroidery techniques used by couture fashion houses – it was fascinating!
Pedddle: What inspires you, and has that made you consider selling your products at market?
WorkSpace: I love that my business brings all my interests together; interiors, colour and buildings. I’m fascinated by the architectural history of Liverpool and have a passion for buildings, having worked in architecture for almost 30 years. I started offering personalised prints a few months ago and have been amazed by the variety of buildings requested from customers all over the country and beyond. As a result I have now added buildings in Manchester and London to my website and will shortly be launching an Etsy site which will include New York and Paris, with more cities to be added in the future.
WorkSpace is a fairly new business, so I haven’t actually gone to any markets yet! However, I love receiving customer photos of my products at their home and their lovely comments – it gives me a thrill every time.
Lyon & Feather: I’m obsessed with electroforming and the making proess fascinates me. I got into markets when a friend organised a charity fair for Christmas 2015 and asked me to take part. I loved meeting new people and of course them buying my pieces left me on such a high!
I then applied to another Christmas market the following week and it was terrible. It was outside, the weather was shocking and I think I spent more money on food than I made on sales. I decided I wasn’t ever going to take part in a market again in my stubborness, but then realised I just needed to think about the location and type of markets I applied to. In 2019 I decided I was going to apply to every single market I wanted to do, and was lucky enough to get into every single one of them, which took me up and down the country and left me just one weekend off from Summer until Christmas!
Titchy Stitch: I’m really into typography, so a lot of my early cross-stitch patterns were letters. I would make single letter hoops, but I realised that I had too many to give them all away as gifts, and I wanted to keep making them, so it made sense to sell them as Christmas decorations! Titchy Stitch has expanded from there.
Pedddle: What do you love about markets, and do you have a favourite market to sell at?
WorkSpace: As I mentioned, I haven’t gone to any markets yet, but I would be interested in Pop Up in the Palm House at Sefton Park, but I know it’s hard to get a spot there as the quality of the stallholders is amazing and it’s very popular. I have recently started selling at MerseyMade in Liverpool, which is a great addition to the city centre and almost has a market feel!
Lyon & Feather: I love catching up with fellow sellers, who have now become friends, and I love the reaction of customers when I tell them how I’ve actually made my electroformed jewellery! My favourite market would be Pop Up in the Palm House in Sefton Park, Liverpool. I love everything about it! The location is incredible – a Victorian greenhouse. The organisers are super lovely. I have so many maker friends who take part and I’ve made a few customer friends too!
Titchy Stitch: It’s the people that really make a market. I love the face-to-face interaction that comes with selling at markets. Selling online is great, but it hasn’t got a patch on meeting your customers in real life and having real conversations with them. I’m a pretty sociable person, so I really love that bit! The other traders are also incredible – I’ve made some amazing friends over the years trading in Liverpool, and I love how supportive everyone is. At the markets I trade at, everyone is really friendly and keen for everyone to succeed – it makes for a great atmosphere.
It’s really hard to choose what my favourite market would be! Pop Up in the Palm House is so well organised, everything runs like clockwork. The traders are all wonderful, the customers are great and the atmosphere is always buzzing. Plus the venue itself is stunning, it’s just amazing being there. What is Pop Up in the Palm House really like? Find out in our blog: https://pedddle.com/what-is-the-pop-up-in-the-palmhouse-like-as-a-market/
Pedddle: What’s next for 2020?
WorkSpace: I’m shortly opening an Etsy shop and I’ll be using my current website more as a trade site, but I have recently added some tea towels and pocket mirrors! I also now sell cards which is something I’d like to expand on too.
Lyon & Feather: I recently started electroforming in silver, and that has allowed me to gold plate the rings without using nickel. I have also started working with diamonds, which means I fall in love with every single ring I make, and then I’m hesitant to sell them!
Titchy Stitch: I’ll soon be launching some personalised name hoops, either with a coloured fabric background or a watercolour background. I’ve made a few versions so far to see what works best, and I think I’ve found a combination that reflects my style quite well!