Interview with Lucy Alice Designs

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This week we are welcoming some very exciting new stock to the store as the delightful Lucy Alice Arnold has delivered her equally delightful designs to us. Impeccably crafted wooden jewellery, including brooches and necklaces, plus cards, prints and badges featuring a selection of British wildlife, are all now for sale at Emporia. So to celebrate their arrival and our inability to keep our hands off the hares, foxes and bird designs, we took the opportunity to have a little chat with Lucy about her work and what inspires her.

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Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Lucy Arnold and I am the designer behind Lucy Alice Designs, a creative studio based in a seaside studio in Folkestone. It is a family run company specialising in handmade jewellery, greetings cards and home-wares, with all designs inspired by the animals around us. We call it our menagerie of colour and intrigue!

How did you get into crafting?
I have always been very creative and have always made things ever since I was little. I studied Textiles & Surface Design at Bucks New Uni which is where the designs you see in my collections today first materialised. I was approached to take part in a Christmas art market whilst at my degree show back in 2011 and that is how I caught the designer/maker bug.

Which crafters/artists/designers do you most admire?
Three of my favourites are the illustrator Nicola Rowlands, artist Abigail Brown and jeweller Helen Noakes. I love designers who do things differently and don’t necessarily follow trends. They make what reflects their own personalities and passions; their work is wonderful!

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What five things would you say were essential when you set up your craft business?
1. Know your brand – make sure you create a line of products that flow together and have a theme. Create a logo for your business and use the same set of colours and font across all of your packaging, on your website and on signage etc at craft fairs. It will make your business look so much more professional.

2. Keep it simple – Stick to a few products or designs at first and see what works well and what people like. It is so easy to jump in at the deep end and try to do everything at once when you are a creative person. Having a small selection of products is easier to manage at first and easier to market. You can then add new products every few months. Adding new products or collections gradually is also a great idea as it will give you something to blog about, tweet about and talk about to your customers.

3. Work out your pricing and don’t under sell yourself.

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4. Make things that you love – To be able to sell something you have to be passionate about it, if your passion shines through, people will fall in love with your products too. A handmade business should reflect your personality and let your talent shine.

5. Be brave – If you want to start your own craft business my advice would be to go for it! Create a small range of products, create your own brand, price it correctly and then book yourself a table at a local craft fair or start a Facebook page. Shout about what you do and see how people respond!

Name three of your most popular designs.
Anything with cats, birds or foxes on!

What’s new with your craft for 2015? Tell us about some of the exciting things we can expect to see from you in the shop or at the Emporia market this year.
2015 marks the official start of my journey into full time self employment. I am currently working on my new and improved 2015 collection which launches in April. You can find some of my new designs exclusively at Emporia including floral hare and fox brooches and little wooden bird hair slides.

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July Blog Voucher

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This week we are gearing up for the arrival of the new Emporia baby – due any day now – and to celebrate, we’ve not only covered the window in lots of baby pinks and blues, but we’re also giving you the chance to get yourself a fabulous voucher for money off in the shop!

What’s that I hear you say, money off? Yes, please! Now we know there’s only thing crafters love more than a bargain, and that’s discounts. We all love a discount, and now you can bag yourself a whole 10% off all fabrics and haberdashery (buttons and whatnot) from Emporia, giving you the chance to buy even more scrumptious fat quarters, shiny buttons and fabric bundles. The only thing you need to do to get yourself one of these highly sort after vouchers is follow the blog, and you will be sent an email containing the voucher which is valid until the end of July 2014. So make sure you click on that Follow button soon, and get your voucher sent well in advance of 31st July, as it’s only valid until then.

Now, what about those dedicated people who have been following us all along? Well, that’s a very good question. If you already follow the blog, you can get hold of your voucher simply by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post and we will send you yours via email too. Sound fair? We think it does! After all, if you have been glued to our every word since the blog began, we don’t see why you should miss out on this little baby.

Speaking of babies, asides from Clair’s imminent new arrival, there are simply loads of women with occupied tummies floating about the town at the moment, so we thought we would share with you some of our delightful baby blues and baby pinks, in case you feel like getting a bit broody with us and making something for a tiny little person.

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Lovely soft pinks, in wide stripes, fine stripes, spots and flowers – all perfect for something a little bit girly, but not too bright.

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Beautiful blues: cute line drawn wild animals, fluffy white clouds and tiny birds, and blues mixed with peach and white circles, for a not so obvious blue based choice – just right for dungarees or sleeping bags, or anything you fancy for the nursery.

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Michael Miller’s delightful children-themed prints, featuring dressing up, playing games, rolling about with bears and pretending to be princes, knights and damsels in distress – all crying out to be made into something destined to be clutched in a chubby little fist.

And if that little selection doesn’t make you go all gooey and make you think of tiny ickle new people, then I don’t know what will. Either way if you want to make something for a brand new baby, or even a hulking great teenager (they’re still your baby though …) you know what to do – click on the Follow button (or leave a comment at the bottom if you are already a follower) to receive our 10% July voucher.

 

Funky Fabrics and Beautiful Buttons

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Well, put on your sunglasses and wheel your sewing machine into the garden – it seems that spring is here at last! (Or it was yesterday at least.) It’s only just over a month until Easter and the clocks go forward in just three weeks’ time, so we at Emporia are starting to get a quite excited by the prospect of longer days, sunny afternoons and more opportunity to sew in natural daylight – it’s time to put away your headtorches and angle lamps, ladies and gents, and get all the brightness you need from our latest arrivals in the store.

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We’ve had some fantastic new stock come into the shop over the past week or so, and it’s all simply perfect for brightening up these early spring days and putting a bit of sunshine in your sewing. First up, this simply amazing Riley Blake neon bright cassette tape print just screams summer with its good old fashioned 90s retro theme; it’s also spot on for anyone who actually remembers using these old school recording devices – taping the Top 40 on the radio, whilst trying to edit out the DJs anyone? No? Just us then.

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Speaking of old school, fans of funky prints can also get excited about these Michael Miller printed spectacles in yet more brights called 20/20, while the elephants (Romp, also by Michael Miller) are feeling the zingy colours of spring in turquoise, purple, lime and orange.

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Kids’ prints are always useful around Easter if you fancy a spot of chick themed sewing, or some delightful jungle themed line drawn animals in bright, bright blue.

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Asides from all our delicious new fabrics, the newly stocked button table is full to bursting with loads of lovely colours, designs and pictures all waiting to be oohed and ahhed over by you. Giant red anchors, tiny green flower shapes, dinky trains and boats, yellow and orange polka dots, and wooden butterflies are just some of the beautiful buttons we’ve got on sale to accompany yet more ribbons and trimmings in a rainbow of colours and themes.

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What more excuse do you need to come in and have a good old butchers at all our lovely new things? None! we hear you cry, so roll on springtime!

Welcome to the Emporia Blog!

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Hello and welcome to the brand new Emporia blog! We are kicking off the New Year with lots of crafty goodness, as we reopen the shop for business after a much needed Christmas break. Following on from the success of the past year’s Emporia Craft and Vintage market and the launch of the shop, we have now decided to break into the exciting world of blogging! Here you can follow our activities online, get sneak previews of new fabrics and arrivals in the shop, and check out our new classes, which will be starting very soon. We will also be carrying on with our regular knitting and sewing groups, so if you fancy a little bit of craftiness to get your New Year off to a creative start, you can follow us by clicking on the handy little button to your left, or sign up to get Emporia blog posts sent right into your inbox, so you can keep up to date with everything that’s going on in the store.

Emporia Fabric & Crafts is open for business again from 10am – 5pm from Wednesday 8th January 2014.