We’re chuffed you’re back to lap up the latest addition to our creative Q&A – this week we’re having a chat to Holly from HollyEdwardsTextiles. This gorgeous gal is the most motivated, determined and organised person I’ve ever met: all incredible traits to forge the foundations of a small creative business! We asked her a few cheeky questions about her work and inspirations!
JANEY: Hello lovely! First please tell us a bit more about you and HollyEdwardsTextiles!
HOLLY: So, my business started many years ago now! I’ve been running it seriously in the last three years however it’s been a part of my life for 11 – since I was 13! At that time I was so inspired by Cath Kidston, I’m pretty sure I wanted to be her! My Dad sourced some bags full of fabrics for me, and I would sew and make anything I could. I think my Mum was fed up with receiving cushions and bunting in multiple different styles! Fast forward a few years and I continued to love textiles throughout education, all the way up to university. Through all of this I always had my business – I was building my customer base, attending craft fairs and I never. stopped. making! Now my business is my main income (and I also work as a carer). I design, make and sell personalised gifts and homeware – lots of items for children and birthdays! My best sellers are my themed birthday badges which I love making. I’ve featured in ‘Style at Home’ interior magazine which was a massive achievement, and I also teach adults and children how to sew from my cottage. I enjoy having so many different parts to my business because it means I’m not only providing the products, but also inspiring others to start sewing too. I’ve always lived by the words: ‘choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ – it’s so true. I get to wake up everyday, and do exactly that.
J: Wow fab, hands full there then for sure! Sewing worshops in a cottage setting sound a bit dreamy! What are the things that inspire you?
H: I would say my inspiration is my customers. Many are like friends and I choose to run my business in such a way that you get to know me. I am active on my social media and give my customers an insight into my life – what I’m sewing, what I’m baking and chats about hoovers! My items are all made to order so I hold no stock, a lot of my customers come to me for complete custom orders, turning their ideas into reality – I love that I can offer that for them.
J: So what would you say is your favourite thing you’ve ever made?
H: That’s a hard one! It’s got to be the items which hold special memories and stories for my customers. Recently I’ve been stitching children’s drawings – copying what they’ve drawn using free motion embroidery. It is so special to get to be a little part in their development and to be able to produce a product to be treasured forever. I also love making memory cushions, made from loved ones’ clothes, which hold such sentimental value and it is always a honour when a customer approaches me to make one for them. I am always so touched and the best bit is when they see the finished make.
J: There’s just something about children’s drawings isn’t there, that sort of innocent, abstract expression, which is difficult to purposefully replicate.
What was the Coronavirus lockdown like for you as a small business owner? Were there any changes you had to make?
H: So since covid-19 hit, I had to completely stop teaching workshops. I was so worried about where my business was heading. I started to plan different things I would do in lockdown (like baking, walking, going back to my parents) but my feet haven’t touched the floor. My business has been very successful during ‘lockdown’, as people took to ordering online my services were very important. I also began offering to send orders/gifts straight to recipients to keep family’s and friends connected. During lockdown my orders were much like they are at Christmas, I feel so lucky and grateful to still have my business and it be even stronger through lockdown, but always keeping in mind all those who don’t have that. With working in the care sector too it’s been a crazy time, I continue to work ‘normally’ and thankfully am now back teaching – but only 2 a week which is actually working quite nicely and I’m thinking that’s a new system that will stay!
J: Wow so two business Christmas times for you this year then, you’ll be knackered by January! And what’s on the cards for the future?
H: This always changes! I’ve never really wanted to be a big business – I love offering such a personal service to match the personalised products I sell. I used to work from a workshop, but as I realised what I wanted for my business, I decided to bring it back home. As I get busier there is only so much one person can do, so maybe in the future I may have someone working alongside me – but I’m too much of a control freak to let anyone do the sewing! I enjoy teaching people how to sew and I’m working on more kits to help those further afield, but I always want to keep up with the made to order items! I love how I’m going at the moment and feel content in how it’s growing. I just want to teach people, share my skills, get people into sewing and also to realise the importance of it.
J: We love just how determined you are Holly to keep your business so personal and approachable, this aspect of running it is clearly super important to you so we can see why it is crucial that this is reflected in every single thing you create! Also, that control freak side is definitely a trait we can relate to…! So, where exactly can we get our hands on your makes?
H: Right now, all of my work is online – I sell through my own website, Etsy, Instagram and Facebook. As my items are made to order many do prefer to message me on social media to place one – I am making new items all the time so keeping a close eye on my stories on both Instagram and Facebook is always the best idea!
J: Amazing thank you so much Holly for the peek inside your brilliant brain!
Below are links to all of Holly’s social media and online shops – have a little nosey!
Thanks for reading along guys, have a fabby weekend and we’ll see you again very soon!