Today we look at where Sarah Papworth of Beetroot Press finds inspiration for her whimsical wonders...and she introduces this wonderful new Bunny to the collection at u-ni-k gifts.
Anywhere and everywhere, but I find I am most inspired by nature, colour, texture and vintage textiles and printed paper goods/illustration. I love going to antique fairs, shops and flea markets to see what gems I can uncover and get inspired by, whether it's the colour combination, a style of print or drawing, or the object itself. Charity shops are good too for finding something unexpected or textiles to print on. I go onto Pinterest quite a lot and look at blogs for inspiring photos. Sometimes I may just sketch something random and new and that leads me onto something else and so on.
Which blogs or magazines do you read regularly and would you count as an 'inspirational read'?
I love to read Homes and Antiques magazine, they've re-vamped it from what it used to be, and they include latest trends and dates for fairs around the country. I subscribe to Craftseller magazine, it is a simple mag which I was featured in a couple of times, it has a lot of other crafters and makers in there trying to start companies, or make things for charity. Craftseller gives hints and tips to help you start and improve your small craft business which is handy, I also like the craft tutorials they include as it gives me ideas on what to make next. I read a few blogs, visually I find tumblr very inspirational for images, there are a lot of photographers on there so I can spend hours just flowing through the pictures. There are a couple in particular...'Bees like honey' http://beeslikehoney.tumblr.com/ for a gorgeous simple lifestyle that I would love to have, and Nest Pretty Things, also on Tumblr, for a girly look http://nestprettythings.tumblr.com/ . I have a blog on there for Beetroot Press which, as of yet, I haven't shared with anyone, it's kind of like an ongoing mood board. I also really like Lisa Jacobs' 'Market your Creativity' blog. http://www.marketyourcreativity.com/ I find Lisa's posts a powerful positive help to get me motivated to create and do more for my creative business.
What makes you different, what inspires you to create unique pieces?
I make what inspires me, rather than following specific trends; which I do in my day to day life designing for home and kids wear, so I wanted to create something different from the norm. I'm not a fan of typical pink and blue products for babies and children, when I go shopping for friends baby's, a lot of the items on sale are quite predictable in this way, and I would rather have something a bit quirky and unique. All of Beetroot Press' items I make are made from sustainable materials like linen and organic cotton and are not mass-produced.
What are your three most important advices to any upcoming crafter?
Don't wait until you have everything perfect, it is hard when most designer makers are perfectionists, but sometimes, just putting something out there to get feedback on is a very good idea, as it helps you develop your range on what customers like. Show to friends and family first and get feedback from people you know will give you an honest opinion. Keep trying, you may not get the right product straight away, but keep trying and adapting products to suit customers needs.
Why are your pieces special?
They are lovingly hand-made, in Britain, mixing sustainable materials with traditional hand-printing techniques in my own whimsical style. I only make small runs of the products so customers are always getting a unique gift, or treat for your home, that not many others will have.
Can you tell us about a gift that you will never forget?
I was given my Granny's vintage summer dressing gown, which has the best bold and bright print, which hangs happily on the back of my bathroom door, looking pretty and reminding me of my Gran, who passed away over 10 years ago. I think anything that is sentimental, or handmade is always a special gift. Items which are family heirlooms and are passed down through the generations are particularly special, and these things do not need to be expensive, just something that reminds you of your loved ones that you can keep and treasure till it's time to pass on again. If you don't have something like this, you can always start the tradition!
What do you have planned for the future?
I hope to grow the range with more designs and products like bedding, blankets, baby grows, drawstring bags and more wall art, cards and gift tags. I will also be attending more fairs to get out and meet lots of lovely people and introduce Beetroot Press.
Sarah's illustrations and home wear are coming to u-ni-k very soon.
For more details on her lovelies please email us.