1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a nail polish addict who loves marmite and red shoes!
My Boyfriend and I have just recently bought our first house and I am delighting in decorating and wallpaper shopping!
I do a job that I absolutely love creating fabulous and dramatic accessories that bring fun and joy to lots of people.
I collect quotes and I believe that you should do something every day that scares you.
2. Apart from creating things, what do you do?
As well as running Dazed Dorothy I also teach part time. I lecture in Textiles and Fashion at Cardonald College, which is the college which I attended myself when I left School to gain an HND in Textiles and Fashion. I take printed textile classes, fashion design and fashion illustration classes.
When I’m not busy sewing or teaching I love to dance, I take tap and freestyle classes, we are currently learning a tap routine to take part in a tapathon later in the year and I absolutely love taking part in dance shows, I look forward to all the costumes and drama they entail!
3. What’s the most important question a customer/client should ask you when considering purchasing from you?
They should always ask me what I can do to personalise the bag especially for them.
There are many things I can do for them such as incorporating sentimental jewellery or buttons into bags so that they can get more use out of them. Personalising accessories for them with names, dates and quotes. Incorporate special fabrics into the lining of a bag or completely transforming something like an old pair of leather boots into a new unique bag.
4. What’s the most memorable custom order you have created?
There are so so many! I made a beautiful brides bag last year which really stood out for me. The bride’s sister had it specially made for her and it incorporated a rose gold locket which had belonged to her grandmother, which meant that their gran could still be a part of her special day even though she was no longer with them. When customers have really put a lot of thought and consideration into their orders then thry really stand out to me.
5. What would be the title of your memoir and why?
Drama Drama Drama!!! Because I do love a Drama and I always seem to be embroiled in one, one way or another and without Drama nothing would get done!
6. Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere! A massive inspiration for me has been the playful colours & frivolities of carousels, I began looking at carousels when studying for my degree and have continued to use them as a source of inspiration ever since. I made a collection which was was inspired by the theme of ‘Secret Garden’. This arose from when I was helping my dad dig the foundations for my old studio & I was unearthing lovely bits of broken china, glass bottles & lots of curios, so that led me to work with a palette of earthy tones & incorporate various charms & vintage jewellery pieces into my work. old button tins are another favourite source of inspiration for me- I’ve got lots of old button tins, some of which have been gifted to me or I’ve bought at vintage fairs. Sometimes I’ll empty out a tin and find a few co-ordinationg buttons that I like and that will be the beginning of a bag.
I also love when customers bring sentimental items of jewellery or buttons from their family button tins to be incorporated into bags. Its really inspiring when I see a customer bring something to me that they really love but would like to be able to use more and they become passionate about the new item that I am going to create for them.
7. What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade to me, means something which has been designed and made with real care and attention and has real personality embodied within it.
8. Who has been the most influential person for your business?
There have been many people who have greatly influenced me. The huge support from my family and friends has been an amazing motivation for running a business. I was also greatly influenced by the Kirsty the owner of Oromono.com. I did a workplacement with her after graduating when she was situated in Amsterdam. It was great to see how she had created a successful business after completing the same degree course as myself. So she gave me the confidence to go for it!
9. How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is different every day, sometimes I take a long time creating sketches or putting together a mood board for a collection or bag and other times I just happen to pick up a handful of buttons and have to create an accessory with them immediately or different leathers will just happen to be lying together on my cutting table and I’ll love the colour combination and go on to create from there.
10. If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman, who would it be?
I just love getting to peek inside any designer or craftsmans studio! It’s just a lovely insight into the workings of a designer or artist. I love going into my Dad’s workshop – he does woodturning as a hobby and I love going in and inhaling the gorgeous smell of the woods and seeing what he has created or carved. I enjoy seeing works in progress and mood boards or quirky objects of inspiration. I especially like print studios! I was recently in the Studio of Lynsey Jean Henderson who is a printer. It was fantastic to see her great facilities and wonderful array of designs and pigments!
I think the space you work in is very important to a designer and can have a huge impact upon their work. I love my new studio space. It is a bit of a work in progress, as I only just moved in very recently, I have a chimney wall which I’ve started filling with images/prints and cards that have special meanings to me. It has an original fireplace, wooden floors and two windows which let in lots of light!
11. What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I absolutely adore a silver ring which my boyfriend bought me for Christmas years ago. It was from a jeweller called Lucklaw Silver and it’s a very delicate ring which is twisted into a unique knot. I think its like a modern version of a French love knot, so it was a very romantic gesture!
I also have a gorgeous silver chunky bangle which I bought in Australia with the words ‘Dance me to the end of love’ inscripted in it. It reminds me of the amazing time my friend and I had travelling up the East Coast of Australia while I visited her on holiday!
12. How do you get out of creative ruts?
This is a bit random! But if I’m feeling a bit uninspired then I find hoovering helps!! I think it’s because I don’t really have to concentrate on the task in hand and can let my mind wander! Although I usually find that I have too many ideas and not enough time to make everything I want to!
13. Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would love to be running a small boutique with a studio attached, selling my own work and other lovely handmade items from other designers and small businesses.