Interview with: Lupin

Lupin Happy Monday everyone!

And why is this Monday such a happy one? Because today marks the return of the DaWanda seller interview series for 2010! And we’re kicking things off with a fascinating insight into the felt-filled world of Laura, aka Lupin. The Lupin Handmade shop on DaWanda features beautiful hand-stitched felt jewellery and accessories, with a few treats like animal masks and moustache disguises thrown in for good measure. And they’re all put together by Laura herself, who gives us a peek behind the scenes of her shop below:

Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m 27, I live in a little flat in Gloucester (in south-west England) with my long-suffering boyfriend and lots of felt! I spend my time making stuff, writing about crafting on my blog Bugs and Fishes, and drinking lots of cups of tea!

How did you discover that you have creative tendencies?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t make stuff. I was one of those kids who hoards things that might be “useful” in making some complicated crafty creation in the future: shiny paper, boxes, scraps of fabric, odd buttons. As I got older I made gifts for friends and always send handmade Christmas and birthday cards, and always turned to creative things when I needed a break from things like writing essays. It never occurred to me that I might one day make stuff for a living!

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration in nature and really enjoy the challenge of turning a real thing (like a bird or a flower) into a little felt brooch. I also love playing with all the different felt colours in my supplies cupboard and coming up with new combinations or the best way to use a colour I’ve not used much before.

Do you have any role models/inspirations in the area of Design? If so, who and why?
I don’t know that I have any specific role models but I love reading the blogs of other designer/makers. Seeing their work develop and sharing their successes can be really inspiring and it’s great to feel part of a community of people making their business out of making things.

How did you come up with the ideas for the products in your DaWanda shop?
Most of my designs come from something I’ve made earlier, e.g. I make a flower with beading and like how the beading looks so I apply it to a new design, or I decide to make one thing (like my robin brooch which I originally designed for my Christmas range) and end up making a whole range of things (all my bird brooches). My moustache disguises came about because I was making some silly brooches in the shape of moustaches and everyone who saw them put them under their nose and pulled funny faces…. so I added elastic! Then from moustaches came beards and then my first masks and now I think “ooh, what animal could I make next?”

Please give us a brief summary of your creative process:
I start with a lot of very messy sketching when I’ve got an idea for something new. Sometimes I get exactly what I want down on paper first time and sometimes it takes weeks (and even months) of re-drawing to get from a vague idea to something worth making. I then use my sketch to make a paper pattern and sew a prototype. Lots of designs fail at this point or change completely as the colours don’t work out quite how I expect or it just doesn’t look right. Finally I remake it with any changes that are needed and if I’m happy with it I make some more :)

Who are your customers?
Ooh, all sorts of people! People who want a bit of colour added to their outfit, bird lovers, people who love dressing up, plus all the crafters who buy felt from me. It’s very thrilling thinking about my designs being a teeny part of peoples lives all over the world.

What do you want to achieve in the future as a Designer/Creative?
I really enjoy writing about crafting and designing fun tutorials so I’d love to try my hand at crafts writing and I’m currently working on my own range of patterns. Apart from that I don’t have any grand plans, I’d just like to keep on making things that I enjoy and supporting myself through my business.

What role does DaWanda play in your daily creative life?
I check into my DaWanda shop most days, to deal with orders or add new items to my shop. I love how easy the shop is to run thanks to all the great seller tools – if I ever need to change my listings for any reason it’s always easiest on DaWanda.

How has your life changed since you opened your DaWanda shop?
My DaWanda shop and lovely customers have been part of helping me make a living from my work, for which I am so thankful. When I first opened my DaWanda shop I was just starting out making things in my spare time
and now this is my full time job so my life has changed quite a lot!

Please give us the names of three of your favourite shops on DaWanda:
Asking for Trouble
i like pens
White Monkey

P.S. If you’d like to be considered for one of our Monday seller interviews, then please send a filled-out questionnaire to azra[at]dawanda[dot]com

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Post from Azra

write at 18.01.2010 - 11:28.

Category: DaWanda, Interviews


About Azra

Azra spends her time talking to, writing about and shopping with the talented designers on DaWanda's English platform, and occasionally baking the odd cake. » more from Azra