Tuesday 15 January 2013

Meet the Maker: Lizzie Helmn of Teacup Tweed

Welcome to the first ever 'Meet the Maker'.  We are going to start off this feature with the maker of this unique cushion.
Lets get straight to it and meet our first fabulous maker, Lizzie Helmn of Teacup Tweed. Firstly, two very important questions.

Tea or coffee?
Tea, strong with milk. Usually a pot of tea as one cup just isn’t enough.

Biscuit or cake?
Cake! I struggled to think of my favourite as I like most however it might have to be fruit cake.

OK. A cup of tea and some fruit cake it is. Lets get down to business.

So, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Lizzie, I live with my husband in Pitlochry at the moment however I’m about to move back home to North Yorkshire later this month. I recently started my own business called Teacup Tweed, which is tweed orientated but not so traditional handmade soft furnishings. I am in the first year of marriage to Jonathan who is very supportive of my business (he encouraged me to quit my job and give it a go!). 

...And what about the item that you are sharing with us?
This is my latest product in my Etsy shop, a sheep cushion which is an appliqué flock of cable sheep on stunning multicoloured purple check tweed.

What is your craft?
Sewing. I would love to be able to do so many more crafts such as knitting and printing.

How long have you been crafting and how did you learn?
I studied Clothing Design and Manufacture BSc at Heriot-Watt University which was mostly fashion focused however I still learnt skills such as designing, pattern cutting and manufacture so for now I’m interested in textiles and soft furnishings. I started taking an interest just before GCSEs. I chose textiles as a subject because I wanted to be a bridal designer which one day, I might again be interested in.

When did you start Teacup Tweed and why?
I left my previous job in retail in early September 2012 to focus on Teacup Tweed full time. It had been in the pipeline for a year or so before but I hadn’t decided what it was going to be until the summer as I had been focused on my wedding which was in April. After that I was ready for a new challenge and couldn’t wait!

What inspires and motivates you?
I thoroughly enjoy being my own boss and being able to have fun at the same time. Sewing was my hobby whilst in full time employment and I daydreamed about things I was going to make whilst there. Now I get to work the same days as my husband, take a sneaky day off to go shopping in Edinburgh with a friend or meet up for lunch. It does get stressful sometimes but I find peoples responses to my work so rewarding.

Any crafting heroes?
I grew up with an artistic mum, a sewing granny and a knitting nana so there has always been people around me to be inspired by. I watch Kirsty Allsopp and find her enthusiasm inspiring.

Do you have a crafting space? 
I have made a studio from the spare room in our Pitlochry flat which I have taken over with a huge desk and cushions everywhere. It was a nightmare when we had family staying for Christmas; I had to pile everything under and on my desk then kept going back in for things. When we move it is going to be in an unused living room at my in-laws. I need my own space as I sing a lot to the radio and like to be inspired by the space with bunting and pictures.

So can we join you in your virtual world?
I have an Etsy shop, on twitter I am @TeacupTweed and I am also on Facebook.

Fab! Finally, some quick fire questions that we are dying to know the answers to.

Favourite colour?

The best season?
Spring as it is really pretty and there are lambs in the fields.

Your favourite food?
Nutella and bananas on pancakes.

The best day of the week?
Wednesday as it’s my husband’s day off.

What is the best word?

Favourite place?
In bed on a bed off, a nice snugly lie in.

Your biggest achievement?
Becoming self employed as it has been my drive to learn as much about business as well as sewing to one day have my own shop.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer a few question for us Lizzie. It has been great to get to know the person behind this wonderful item. Now we all know where to find more makes by you and where to join you online!

Mrs Crafty B

(If you would like to be featured in 'Meet the Maker' please email a picture of something you have made to mrscraftyb@gmail.com)

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