Introduce yourself to us!
A textile designer/maker of The Vintage Drawer (with a passion for all that is floral) who recycles-reloves-reclaims old unwanted linens and haberdashery and creates them into new ‘much loved’ wedding stationery/home/gift products.
• Describe your style…
I have a magnetic attraction to all that is floral from beautiful strong contrasting printed florals of the 1930’s, embroidered delights of the 1940’s to painterly florals of the 50’s – all this inspires and is absorbed into my work. ‘The Flower Lady’.
• What do you love about the medium you work in?
I love the story, the journey, the timeline that the linen has travelled. That someone 60, 70 decades ago has laboured, loved and invested time embroidering a linen tablecloth or place mat – then time has passed as it serves its owner, it becomes tired and damaged and then comes to life with me. I bring to the linen a new life, new love and if I decide to sell the piece a new owner too!
• Where do you find your inspiration- who or what inspires you?
As my studio is full of hoardings – I tend to sit for hours layering fabrics and patterns and haberdashery findings together. I am not necessarily inspired by a certain designer or blog. I tend to be inspired by ‘rummaging’ around. A new antique shop, vintage stores, bric-a-brac stalls, car-boots tend to be inspiration. I love looking at how floral designs are constructed, roses with forget-me-nots, violas and peonies, different scales of florals as they are grouped together on a cup, a fabric, a vase and take inspiration from gathering these together. My work space continually looks like a ‘junk shop’.
• How do you translate your inspiration into a design?
I take the inspiration above and then cut out lots of varied florals from vintage fabrics and the occasional Liberty fabric and create new compositions. Not one placement of pieces is ever re-produced.
• How do you structure your working day?
I write lists, I have lists to tell me what my lists are about. Although I have to be disciplined and structure in deadlines – I love the fact that every single working day is so different from the last.
• We all get creative block. How do you combat it?
Time away in my caravan is always good for the soul. Making life stop, a camping chair, a glass of wine, fresh air, and a new notebook always works for me.
• Share your favourite tool with us.
A needle with thread.
• Describe your dream creative space…
I have this image on my wall. It is the space I dream of. I would like china cabinets and bookcases to line every single inch of space, one large pattern cutting table to one end and then space the size of a ballroom. I could change it around every month to suit the nature of current orders. I love changing my work and living space around all of the time. I can’t bear routine and dislike possessions and furniture being in the same place for too long.
• What lead to the moment that made you decide to sell your products professionally?
My degree is in Embroidery and Textile Design so I have always, since a very young age, been a maker of sorts. It has just been a very natural progression through out my career to make and sell.
• What are the obstacles you've encountered on your journey so far?
Not having enough arms.
• The biggest high of my career so far is...
For anyone who is self employed the biggest high is the satisfaction of every day being able to be creative for a living. To sit in my workspace and have the freedom to do what I love.
• What's the biggest lesson you've learnt on your creative journey so far & what advice would you give to a newbie?
Don’t say yes to everything and every opportunity that comes your way – take a breath and evaluate the positives and remember all takes your ‘quality time’. Put aside a pocket of time too for personal creative direction. You began your journey because you love and are passionate about what you do. You don’t want that passion to fade. Keep yourself inspired. A short while ago I became locked away in this studio of mine, too busy with orders to do anything else, I learnt a lot in that space of time and now ensure that I work on projects that involve being with ‘people’ and getting out to places too. A lot of my work is via mail order, communication is via email, twitter and facebook and the only living person I see between the school runs is my Post Lady.
• What's next for you?
This year is a little ‘life changing’ as I have always had a little person with me for the last 7 years. My girls are both now at school full time – so I can now concentrate on my business full time. I am in the middle of developing new projects with other designers and stylists, working with companies to develop greetings card collections, and most of all enjoying developing my collection The Vintage Drawer and within this is the development of products for the home (which I am very excited to start). I am also enjoying developing The Wedding Institute which is a new series of wedding fairs in the North of England that is focusing on creative’s who happen to be working within the wedding market, having an absolute ball with this.
• Take us on a crawl of your favourite shops. Where do you like to shop and why?
I love ‘good’ carboot sales as well as antique fairs such as Newark and Wetherby.
When I do go a wandering I love RE in Corbridge because of it’s recycling element as well as Something Different in West Auckland and when feeling particularly indulgent a trip to Sloane Square to visit the beautiful ribbon and haberdashery store VVRouleaux, I can spend over a hundred pounds in there and still only come out with the teeniest of bags – but that ribbon is all for me and no one else, just me and a personal project.
• What's on your bedside table?
A lamp, a bottle of water, a notebook, head ache tablets, and my sanity which I place in the top drawer every night so it gets some rest too.
• iPhone, blackberry or android? And why?
I own one ‘emergency phone’ which is never charged and is that old it can never get a signal.
• Complete the sentence: "On a rainy day I…"
• You're planning your last ever meal and celebrating with a dinner party. You have 6 seats around your table-who would you invite to join you and what would you serve up?
Can I be really boring but romantic. Can I say my husband and four empty chairs? We are so, so busy at the moment that it would be so wonderful to have an empty room, a crate of good wine, small little bowls of all our favourite foods and a dance floor please...
• Give us a song! Which one song helps you whistle while you work?
Nouvelle Vague – Dancing With Myself
I'd always been a fan of Vicky's work as a stationery designer, but I fell in love with her beautiful embroidered designs when she launched The Vintage Drawer earlier last year-she takes the concept of wedding stationery to new heights. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me Vicky and I'm excited to see how work and life progresses for you in the future.