We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Makers of OHC specials, please say hello to our own Paper Folding Ninja, Chloe of Life’s Big Canvas….
How did you become a designer/maker?
I used to be a manager in a dental surgery, but I eventually found it unfulfilling once the NHS changed how dentists were run. I had enjoyed talking to people, helping them when they needed it, and supporting staff, and wasn’t interested in making money. I was signed off with severe depression, and found myself needing hobbies, so I took up drawing and painting again. I haven’t stopped in six years!
How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?
I was booking a craft fair, and they asked for a business name. I didn’t know what to say, so I asked my online friends. Bel came up with Life’s Big Canvas, from the Danny Kaye quote – ‘life is like a big canvas, throw all the paint you can on it’. I liked the quote, it’s so joyful, and definitely the sort of person I am, and I also liked that it didn’t particularly describe what I did. I’m always changing what I want to do.
Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?
I run it full time. I’m very lucky that I have room at home for a space just for working, and my husband is also a full time artist, so our house is usually both of us making stuff or doing admin, surrounded by cats and paper.
How do you fit it all in and keep that balance?
I would rather make stuff that do almost anything, so I am not good at making time for housework, that’s for sure.
What’s your favourite thing about running your business?
I can choose when and where I work, how many hours, and I can say yes or no. For me, it’s the hours I choose which is the most important thing. I get to make stuff for 16 hours a day if I want to, and I very often do. I try not to though; I got repetitive strain injury from making badges last year which put me out of action for weeks! It also means if my depression rears its head, I can take time out. I don’t like letting people down, so if I know I have a workshop or event coming up, I’ll take time to rest before and after so I can be the best Pesky I can be during those times.
Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?
I used to make mainly jewellery, and I made some stuff that still makes me laugh out of old toys. My ladders and sunrays made from Barbie arms were two pieces which became a real talking point when they were in my old shop. I was also fond of my barbecue necklace, which had food and utensils clipped onto it, with a matching campfire bracelet to cook the food on.
Describe your business in three words
Paper is everything
We adore the trail of Origami creatures and creations which follow you around Chloe! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Life’s Big Canvas collection in store now.
See you at the shop x