Today we’re chatting to Louise, the designer behind Thirtyfive Flowers. If clean, colourful design with a Scandi touch is your thing, then it may just become your new favourite store. Louise’s homewares deliver an eye-catching graphic punch, without overwhelming – thanks to her carefully sourced fabric and custom pattern design. And we love her newer purses for carrying a pop of colour with you wherever you go. Drop by Thirtyfive Flowers and have a read of our interview with Louise to find out how it all came about:
Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in Hertfordshire in the UK, in a small town on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. Our home backs onto the canal and we have fabulous countryside on our doorstep. I live with my husband and two daughters – we are all creative, which makes for a wonderful inspiring home.
How did you discover that you have creative tendencies?
There really was no one moment. I was drawing, painting, sewing and creating when I was very small and it’s always been a part of my life. I was very lucky that my creativity was encouraged, especially by my mother, and we spent a lot of time together trying out different arts and crafts.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from many areas, my local landscape, my garden. We take regular trips to Cornwall, it has a style and colour all of its own and I always feel very inspired there. In terms of art and design, I love Scandinavian style, Stig Lindberg, Catherinholm, but also vintage 50s and 60s pattern design, Marian Mahler, Lucienne Day and Mary White.
Do you have any role models/inspirations in the area of Design? If so, who and why?
I do admire Sir Terence Conran; I grew up at a time where Habitat and Heals were bringing original design into the home. He has such a clear vision for his work and design and has really changed how we decorate our homes. I have some vintage Conran textiles and they are very treasured possessions.
How did you come up with the ideas for the products in your DaWanda shop?
It came about by needing a simple way to update the look of my own home without the constant need to re-decorate. Cushion covers are the perfect way to change the feel of a room without huge expense and upheaval. I sell them without inners, customers can simply change the covers on their existing cushions and I can also make covers to size. Quite often customers ask me for particular colours to suit their home and so I have recently started designing my own fabrics to accommodate this need, a few of which are available in my DaWanda shop now. More designs are in development, it’s very exciting! I’ve also started to add smaller items such as purses to my range, initially as a way to use my fabric leftovers, but these are becoming very popular, especially at Christmas for gifts.
Which materials do you use to create your products?
I source my fabrics from suppliers here in the UK and a few designs from Sweden. I always use natural fibres such as linen and cotton and the buttons I use on the back of my cushions are made from mother of pearl.
Please give us a brief summary of your creative process:
For my own textile designs I start with a scrapbook of pictures and colours, a kind of mood board really, and then with that in front of me I draw out initial ideas by hand and then finish them on the computer. I carefully check the colours I’m using, I’m obsessively fussy about colour, if it’s not exactly right it drives me crazy! The finished designs are then digitally printed and I can then make them up into my products – sometimes a fabric will inspire something new.
What characterises your products/your style?
I have a very clean, fresh style, very precise designs, quite graphic and symmetrical but there are always the small details which are slightly random which give the finished item the human touch.
Who are your customers?
Men and women, though it is mainly women, young mothers who are buying for their family home, young people who are decorating their first home but want to add a bit of stylish individuality.
What do you want to achieve in the future as a Designer/Creative?
I want to continue to develop my own designs and this is the area I’m focusing on most right now. They’re being very well received which is wonderful, if I can just keep designing and making, I’ll be totally content.
What role does DaWanda play in your daily creative life?
DaWanda has allowed me to reach customers across Europe which has been really fantastic. My designs seem to suit European style and I’ve been delighted to find regular customers in so many countries. The forums are also a fantastic place to connect with other sellers and pick up tips on running a business and selling online.
How has your life changed since you opened your DaWanda shop?
I have a much clearer focus for my work and designs now and have a better sense of my own style.
P.S. If YOU would like to be considered for one of our Monday seller interviews, then please send a filled-out questionnaire to english[at]dawanda[dot]com!