Meet The Makers of OHC: Humblewood

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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 Bob of Humblewood….

How did you become a designer/maker?

By accident really. I’ve always enjoyed making things, especially from wood. I love it as a material as it’s so tactile and no two pieces are the same. Like most ‘hobbyists’, I guess, family and friends were always saying “That’s good – you should sell it”. So in 2015 I decided to give it a go, starting with a few small local events.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

Originally, I started as ‘Crafties’, which was a name I’d had in mind for a while. But as the business developed I felt the name wasn’t quite right.  Although I think the wood I use is a fantastic material, it strikes me that it’s also a pretty humble substance – so Humblewood seemed appropriate and I think it has a nice ring to it.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

My ‘day job’ is as a freelance graphic designer which I’ve been doing for nearly 40 years (and I still look so young!).  I also run an online printing business (HumblePrint) and am trying to establish a publishing business (HumblePublishing), producing greetings cards at the moment, but I’m hoping to add other items soon.

How do you make time for it all?

I don’t! Time management is a huge challenge. I try and set certain times aside for each, but the design work often comes in at short notice, with an even shorter deadline, which tends to wreck my best laid plans.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

The freedom to develop my own ideas and do things ‘my way’ – for better or worse!

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

I think my Wonky Clock, which I originally designed quite a few years ago, is my favourite. Although I love the reaction my work in general gets – seeing a smile creep across someone’s face when they first see my items gives me a real buzz.

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Describe your business in three words…

Fun. Busy. Chaotic!

We just love your humble little creations Bob – and they certainly make us smile! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Humblewood collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet the Makers of OHC: Paint My Dreams

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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 Laura of Made by Lolly….

How did you become a designer/maker?

I have always had a love of art yet after a career in the fashion industry (which didn’t call for much painting) it was falling pregnant with my firstborn, Henry which awakened my creative side. I decided on a Beatrix Potter themed nursery but could not find wallpaper anywhere, that’s when I decided to pick up my paintbrush again and paint a mural. The Mural was really well received by friends and family and after deciding to leave my career in fashion for bottles and nappies I began to receive mural commissions. Although I love to paint murals, the fact that market for this is very limited lead me to combine the business knowledge I’d acquired in my previous career with my creative side and Paint My Dreams was born.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

The business name Paint My Dreams is taken from a quote of one of my favourite artists; Vincent Van Gogh,” I dream my paintings, then I paint my dreams.”

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I run Paint My Dreams as well as caring for Henry, 5 and Esme, 3. I also paint mural commissions where possible, do the social media management for a fashion brand and give guest lectures on marketing and communications at MMU…I’m pretty busy!

How do you make time for it all?

I guess that being a night owl has its advantages!

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

I have many “favourite” things about running my business; it gives me an outlet for my creative side, it allows me to balance work and family so much better than any 9 to 5 would and I have met so many wonderful people along the way, suppliers, buyers and customers alike.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

After spending months lovingly painting every letter of the Alphabet, the Alphabet in Acrylic range will always hold a special place in my heart. When I first saw my artwork transformed into beautiful embroidery I fell in love! The Alphabet in Acrylic cushion has to be my favourite.

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Describe your business in three words

Timeless. Personalised. Keepsakes

We certainly agree that your creations are timeless Kate – and we adore them! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Paint My Dreams collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet the Makers: Bags by Butterfly Tree

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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 Claire of Bags by Butterfly Tree….

How did you become a designer/maker?

I made a bag for my mother in law and she suggested I should sell them as she loved it so much. I took some samples to a shop in Chapel Allerton and they ordered 9!

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

I wanted something unusual with a memorable logo. My husband came up with it, so I can’t take any credit!

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I am also a part time classical ballet teacher and have been for 21 years.

How do you make time for it all?

I make my bags during the week and teach at the weekends.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

I love the end product and seeing how much everyone loves to own a Butterfly Tree bag. I love that the company has grown so quickly in such a short space of time. My bags will be stocked by John Lewis, Victoria Gate, Leeds from October 2016 and I am delighted that Butterfly Tree has been recognised by the best department store in the world.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

I have just finished a project basing a collection of 4 bags around the history and cultural influences of Hebden Bridge and I love the messenger in that collection. I also love the goofy Scoopie bag in spot fabric.

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Describe your business in three words

Quality. British. Handmade.

We love the quality and design of your bags Claire – we all want all of them! John Lewis are lucky to have you as part of their Locally Made Collection. Thanks so much for pirouetting by and telling us your story. You can find the Bags by Butterfly Tree collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet The Makers of OHC: Urban Magpie

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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 Zoe of Urban Magpie….

How did you become a designer/maker?

The first pieces of jewellery I made were Christmas presents for family. The Urban Magpie brand came about by accident, as people started asking me to make pieces for them. I got the bug and carried on making pieces of jewellery for fun. Eventually I’d made so many that I realised I should start selling them.

I studied Fine Art at De Montfort University in Leicester, where I focussed on mixed media art & assemblage collage. Years later, and my jewellery making has at its root the idea of jewellery as tiny, wearable mixed-media artworks. I’m interested in recycling and upcycling objects which have a patina of age and use, a back-story, or a historical resonance.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

I wanted a business name which would serve as an alter-ego as well as a brand. The name Urban Magpie comes from my habit of collecting shiny found objects wherever I go, and my love for recycling the flotsam and jetsam of the city. I think it describes me rather well.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I have a part-time day job, as a retail layout designer for a large supermarket. Most of the rest of my time is taken up by Tiny Magpie, who is nearly six, and Micro Magpie who is nearly 10 months old. I squeeze jewellery making into what’s left of my spare time, as it gives me a creative release from the computer-based design work of my day job.

How do you make time for it all?

I’m an obsessive list maker, and I grab tiny pockets of time throughout the week to get through all my tasks! Most of my making is done in the evening once the little Magpies are tucked up in bed. The bigger Magpie likes to ‘help’ me with my product photography.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

I love having the chance to be creative and experiment with materials which aren’t usually associated with jewellery (for example brass architectural antiques.) I also really enjoy the idea that I’m rescuing long-lost treasures and giving them a new life. For example with the vintage bone china flower brooches which I painstakingly restore and convert into necklaces, rings & hair accessories. What’s even more exciting is knowing that people enjoy wearing them, and sometimes even become avid Urban Magpie collectors.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

I recently had the privilege of designing a bespoke collection of jewellery for a mini series being filmed in Yorkshire. Unconstrained by considerations such as scale, practicality, or the need to produce multiples, I could dig into my box of trinkets with gusto and do some really fun recycling. I created a collection of mixed media jewellery for the show, which included recycled Victorian brass drawer handles, antique metal belt buckles and copious vintage pearls. My favourite was the complex shoulder-piece worn by the main character.

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Describe your business in three words

Jewellery from Junk!

We just love your whimsical and fabulous creations Zoe – and we adore your Recycled Jewellery Creative Craft Classes too! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Urban Magpie collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet the Makers of OHC: Lisa’s Little Fairy Doors

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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 Lisa of Lisa’s Little Fairy Doors….

How did you become a designer/maker?

I became a designer when my parents (who make fairy doors in Canada) convinced me that I could do it. I was a stay at home Mum to 3 boys and thought that some extra money couldn’t hurt, so I decided to give it a try.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

I wanted my business name to say exactly what was in the tin….Little Fairy Doors made by Lisa. It’s easy to remember and my customers automatically know my name, so it feels friendly.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I run my business part time as my husband and I also run a beef farm. I also work part time at my local sports centre. I fit in my making whenever I can.

How do you make time for it all?

Luckily, I can do all of my painting in the evening when my kids have gone to bed, while I watch TV. Actually, I never “watch” TV, I listen as my head is always down painting!

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

My favourite thing about running my business is how happy my fairy doors make my customers. It’s such a wonderful feeling when I see how excited grown ups get when they buy one of my doors. They usually come back for more!

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

My favourite fairy door is the beach hut door that I made for a holiday cottage in Scarborough. I will definitely be making more! Although…each and ever one of my doors is unique and I love putting the finishing touches on them all.

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Describe your business in three words

Cute, busy, fulfilling.

Your whimsical little doors always make us smile Lisa! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Lisa’s Little Fairy Doors collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet the Makers of OHC: Made by Lolly

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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 Laura of Made by Lolly….

How did you become a designer/maker?

Although I studied Multi Media Textiles at Uni, I didn’t really know what to do with myself after I’d finished my course. I ventured out into the real world, but after 5 years working full time, I found that I needed a creative hobby and I started needle felting. It wasn’t long till I realised

I was far too impatient and clumsy for this particular pastime to be a suitable (or safe!) way to relax, so instead, I started cutting and folding felt sheets to create different shapes. Skip forward a few difficult years (that involved some major life-changes including a new job and a move to Yorkshire) and I found that I had a lot of time on my hands and lots more felt accessories than I knew what to do with! I guess that’s when I realised that I was a maker after all.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

When I started, I had no understanding of business, of marketing or any clue about branding, so my business name was purely descriptive – lots of stuff made by me! Looking back, I probably could/should have chosen more carefully or more cleverly… However when I went through a major brand overhaul at the beginning of 2015 I decided to stick with it. On reflection, I think it was a good decision because I feel the words ‘made by lolly’ not only characterise the products that I sell but they also epitomise the business I have created!

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

As well as running made by lolly I work 28 hours a week as an administrator for Citizens Advice Bureau. On the surface, my two jobs look very different, but over the last few years I’ve really been surprised at how many of my creative skills I’ve had to use whilst at the day-job, and how much my administration background helps with my business!

How do you make time for it all?

If I ever do find time for it all, I’ll let you know! Life can seem very busy sometimes, but I’ve found that by streamlining my products and processes I am able to successfully manage my business in evenings and weekends. I have also recently discovered Bullet Journaling and have found that this really helps keep my to-do lists under control!

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

Watching from behind the counter to see the smile creep across a new customers face the first time they encounter one of my products and realise they love it!

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

Creatively, I’m incredibly fickle and always love the newest thing I’ve made more than anything else! At the moment my favourites are the pieces of embroidery hoop art. They are so colourful and positive – and I get to work on a much larger scale than when I am making my felt brooches!

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Describe your business in three words

Very, very colourful.

We certainly agree that your creations are very, very colourful Laura – and we adore them! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Made by Lolly collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Meet the Makers of OHC: Paperweight Products

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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 Sue of Paperweight Products….

How did you become a designer/maker?

By accident! By day I am part of a family printing company in India, and I was asked by a client to train some of our team to make folded book art, as she could no longer deal with the demand herself. I did, and we successfully completed a large order for the US. Unfortunately the client’s business model didn’t work for her, so I decided to try setting up myself, with a view to getting more permanent work for my folding ladies in Assam.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

Paperweight in printing refers to the paper stock you are using. I like paper, and I will always caress a piece of paper be it a book page, a leaflet or whatever to feel what stock has been used. The business I would like to develop combines our printing business and upcycling paper in various forms. Each different product has its ideal paperweight (so I find book folding works best on 70gsm book printing paper, for example!) so the name seemed to fit.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I run this bit of my business part time. I would love to do more, as I have many ideas for developing more products, making it a more viable business for employing others and doing even basic things like getting an online shop going, managing some social media and so on, but hey.. Other than this I am Director of Finance and Human Resources for our company in India, (we spend half the year there), I work with my husband on his UK business which imports print from our Indian company, and we are also working on some book publishing and another export business dealing in Assamese produce and handicrafts.

How do you make time for it all?

With difficulty, but it helps that we work from home so have some flexibility. Firstly we are split between India and the UK, so I tend to do more of my UK business when I’m here. I generally do my folding at night in front of the television, as I find it quite relaxing. I used to do the marking at home and then the folding when I was in the car on a long journey, in hospital waiting rooms while I was pregnant, in coffee shops when my daughter was a sleepy baby… Nowadays it is harder as I use a different technique which really requires a table! I find that giving myself 5-point to-do lists everyday helps, as does restricting myself to work burst of one hour on any one task so I make a little progress on everything and work on every business everyday.

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

The freedom of making your own work hours, getting to live in two countries and working with my husband. This has meant that we look after our daughters 100% ourselves with no need for childcare, which I find is a huge privilege and one that I am happy to forego a large salary for. I also really enjoy being able to do what I like, and being able to pursue ideas if I feel like it. I used to work as a supermarket director, which was intense, very long hours and following a definite structure and company policy, so very different to my life today.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

To be honest, I get more excited about the books than the folding. I love old books with a tale to tell other than the story (such as an inscription in the front dated from 1926 to commemorate someone becoming head boy!), or really retro covers, or… the list goes on. My shelves are full of books I bought for folding but then decided to keep!

Of my folds, I guess my two favourites are a “Wish” book and a “Mum” book, not really because of the design, but because both designs fit exactly into the book with no spare pages, which is very satisfying. The inlay on the Wish book was fantastic. The “Mum” book was in a book called “The Good Wife” by Leslie… I love the cover, and it made me laugh because my Mum is called Lesley but she’s extremely feisty and not at all in line with the pink frilly cover and title of the book!

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Describe your business in three words

People, paper and print.

We just love your Folded Book creations Sue – and we adore your Creative Craft Classes too! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Paperweight Products collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

Our Creative Crafts for October: ‘Tis the Season….

It’s only 100 days to Christmas (Arrgghhh!)  Why does time go so quickly?! If you’re planning a Creative Christmas then our Creative Craft Classes for October all have a festive feel to them – and might just give you a few ideas of what you gifts you could make….

On 6th October at 6.30pm the lovely Lynn of Lydia Teapot will be showing us how to make 5 festive felt delights to adorn your tree! These little cuties look like such fun to make, we can’t wait to decorate our trees with them :)

Class cost is £25.00 and bookings can be made by popping into the store or calling us on 0113 4182304.  You can also book online through Eventbrite (subject to a small booking fee).

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Sue of Paperweight Products will be showing us the mysteries of Folded Book Art on Thursday 13th October at 6.30pm.

You’ll receive two festive patterns, with one being folded in class and the other to fold at home…and perhaps all of your family and friends will receive folded books for Christmas!

Class cost is £20.00. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book, or book online with Eventbrite, subject to a small booking fee.

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Sophie of Sophie Dumont Designs will be encouraging you to play with wire on Thursday 20th October at 6.30pm, to make your own  Wire Christmas Decorations.

You can bend and twist to your heart’s content and shape wonderful, whimsical creations from your own imagination!

Class cost is £30.00. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book, or use our online booking with Eventbrite (subject to a small booking fee).

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Lynn of Lydia Teapot will be making a second appearance on Thursday 27th October at 6.30pm, when she will be helping you make two festive embroidered hoops.

You’ll receive everything you need to make a large hoop, and will take home all the materials and instructions to make a smaller hoop with a sumptuous Christmas Pudding…which you can keep for yourself or give as a gift!

Class cost is £25.00. Call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book, or book online through Eventbrite, subject to a small booking fee.

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And, if you want to get in the seasonal spirit a little early, then Claire of Little Shop of Lathers will be showing us how to whip up some bath bombs next Thursday, 22nd September at 6.30pm.

Using all natural ingredients, you can create your own colour and scent combinations with lots of shapes to play with – and she has informed us that some seasonal scents and moulds will be available!

And if that’s not fun enough, you will also get a FREE Make Your Own Kit to take home so you can make bath bombs for everyone to pop into their stockings :)

Class cost is £25.00. Simply call 0113 4182304 or pop in store to book, or book with Eventbrite (subject to a small booking fee).

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These are the last classes we will be holding in 2016 so do make sure you don’t miss out!

We can’t wait to share a cuppa and a biscuit with you (and maybe a little mulled wine or a mince pie…)

Claire & Nat x

Meet the Makers of OHC: Wrapped By Alice

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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 Alice of Wrapped by Alice….

How did you become a designer/maker?

By chance! I never thought I’d be doing this; in fact, I had always planned on becoming an academic or researcher of some sort – I have a Degree and a Masters in History, and had plans for a PhD – however a series of long term health problems meant that, sadly, that wasn’t a possibility.

It was in the summer of 2013, while I was training to work in schools, and finding my health deteriorating again, that I decided I needed to have a radical rethink about my future career. Having little to lose at that point, I decided to set up Wrapped By Alice, as a way to work for myself from home, and I haven’t looked back since!

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

Bit of a no-brainer really: gift wrap handmade by me + my name = Wrapped By Alice.

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I do run my business full time – I relish the challenge of running my own business, and I love the fact that I get to be creative every day. Running the business from home also means that I’m able to manage my health much more easily – I couldn’t ask for me really!

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

The challenge, and the fulfilment…ok that’s two, but they’re linked! Even though my health puts limitations on what I’m physically able to do, that doesn’t mean I just want to coast through life – that wouldn’t fulfil my need to be challenged.

Running your own creative business is hard; it requires a multitude of skills and knowledge, which you need to amass quickly, and continue to develop, in order to be successful. Some days or weeks it’s a struggle, but it’s worth it to feel like I’m achieving something on my own terms; watching the business grow over the past year or so has been incredibly rewarding.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

I try to be as eco-friendly as possible in everything I make, sourcing sustainable materials wherever possible. My favourite material to work with is the 100% recycled kraft paper, which I use in the majority of my products; every sheet has its own individual character – this is due to the materials used in the manufacturing process, and the fact no dye is added, you therefore get the raw, natural product, in all its beauty.

I use this paper as the base for my favourite products – my hand stamped gift wrap range. The range features a host of quirky animal characters, which are all printed individually, by hand, using custom stamps produced from my original artwork. My favourite? I love all my creatures equally, so I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite!

Describe your business in three words

Artisan. Quirky. Eco-friendly.

We just adore your cheeky and cute little creatures dancing across your giftwrap Zoe! Thanks so much for dropping by and telling us your story. You can find the Wrapped By Alice collection in store now.

See you at the shop x

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Three Leeds Indie Awards nominations – WOW! Thank you!

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Whoop! You guys are absolutely awesome and you’ve been nominating us for not one, not two but THREE Leeds Love Affair Leeds Indie Awards! We’re so chuffed – thank you all!

Voting is now open for us to win and we’d dearly love to have trophies on our counter for Best Place to Shop, Best Place to Treat Yourself and Best Business Owners :)

Do you remember our cheesy grins when we won last time? Imagine what they’ll be like if we win again….

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If you love what we are achieving with our little shop as much as we do, we would really appreciate you taking 30 seconds and voting for us to win – we can’t tell you how much it would mean to retain our Best Place to Shop title, and to hopefully add Best Place to Treat Yourself and Best Business Owner too!

The standard is very high and there are twice as many nominees in each category this time so we’re up against some great competition! Every vote counts (and if you REALLY love us then perhaps you can vote from your mobile or from work too!)

You can vote here: http://www.leedsloveaffair.co.uk/news/leeds-indie-awards-vote/ or use our handy QR code:

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We promise that if we do win we’ll do a very happy dance (or three!) and have even bigger cheesy grins on all of the photos 😀

Claire & Natalie x

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