Ellie, 24 is a creative, giggly and quirky designer from Eastbourne, now living in Hailsham. She owns an up and coming business which she describes as a “textiles brand that produces bright and colourful textiles for cushions, scarves and accessories, hand woven in Sussex. I use traditional methods to create colourful contemporary pieces. Each product is completely unique.”
How did you build your business?
“I studied woven textile design at university where I specialised in woven textiles. After I graduated, I exhibited my final project, a collection of colourful dining chairs inspired by the Hove beach huts, at local art galleries where I received an overwhelming response to my use of colour. Thats when I decided to branch out and design & weave fabrics for interior and fashion accessories using my signature style. I’m still in the very early stages. I opened a shop on Etsy and use social media to market my brand. I also take part in shows and fairs so customers have the opportunity to feel the quality of the pieces.”
What were your influences and who were your inspirations?
“I’m inspired by the beautiful Sussex sea and countryside. Colour is the main driving force behind my designs. I love learning about craft/ design businesses particularly female entrepreneurs like Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely and the ladies who founded the jewellery brand Tatty Devine. I also love the brand Joules and would like to someday be in the same bracket as them.”
Where would you like to see yourself taking your business?
“I would like to build on the commission side of the business. I get my designs from my own photography. I would like customers to send pictures they love so I can use the colour and proportion to create a more personal design for them. I would also like to include my design work, e.g. card windings, colour work, in with the price so the customer can see my trail of thought and make the item more special.”
What makes you passionate about your business?
“The traditional craft of weaving is very important to me. Even though universities teach students the traditional craft, the woven industry depends on digital design and mass production of products and this knowledge gets lost. In a “throw away world” I love the fact that I can provide unique, one off sustainable pieces that can be enjoyed for many years by using methods that have been around for centuries.”
Where do you sell?
“I sell on Etsy and at fairs and shows.”
Have you got any other hobbies? What are they?
“I love photography and Karaoke on a saturday night!”
If you could be an animal, what which would you be and why?
“Even though my favourite animals are bunnies, cats really do have it made. They have freedom but are still loved and pampered!”
What effect would you like your work to have on the world?
“I would like people to appreciate the craftsmanship and think about how their clothes, cushions, throws etc are made.”
What makes you happy?
“My family and friends. When an idea turns out exactly how I wanted it to.”
Share one of your biggest achievements.
“I think my biggest achievement so far was when I was selected for a design internship at Designers Guild when I was exhibiting at New Designers 2014.”
What do you love about Brighton?
“I love that everyone has the freedom to be who ever they want to be or look how ever they want to look without the fear of being judged. In my opinion, Brighton is one of the most accepting and vibrant cities in the world!”
An inspiring message you’d have for humanity.
“If everyone treated others as they would want to be treated then that would sort a lot of rubbish stuff thats happening in the world right now!”
Anything more that you might have planned for the future, events, markets, upcoming promotions?
“At the moment i’m waiting to hear about a few London shows I have applied for. I’m also hoping to start doing basic beginners workshops so people can create and weave their own fabric samples.”