Rosie Anwara

There is talent…and then there is talent…ya’know? Well Rosie has THAT kind of talent. Whether it’s sewing or painting, this lady transforms simple felt or a pair of Vans into pop culture/brightly coloured/textured/cute as fuck handmade and decorated goods!

Painstaking in her detailed depictions and subtle nods to cult movies, Drag Race or even RHOBH, Rosies choice of themes is 100% up my street and It should be up yours. Hey!? even if you don’t get the obscure references and quotes you can absolutely appreciate the amazing work that goes into each decoration or painted leather jacket. With collaborations between big businesses such as Vans and Size?, it’s refreshing to see such a detail orientated one woman show being recognised and appreciated.

I for one can’t wait to see what she has up her reference sleeve next. So, please read on to find out about Rosie and her process…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

Hi, I’m Rosie! I’m from Newcastle but have been living in London for the last 8 years. I studied Fashion at uni and put a lot of my focus into embroidery and illustration. When I left and started working full time, I missed having that creative outlet so I was always giving myself projects to work on. 

In 2016 I got my first proper Christmas tree and spent weeks collecting decorations and I was super proud of it, but in February 2017, I had a huge fire in my flat and lost all of them. The following Christmas I was pretty skint from trying to rebuild my life after the fire and had some leftover felt from a work project…so I decided to make myself some decorations! After two years of doing my thing and posting on Instagram, people started asking me if they could buy them and saying they looked forward to seeing them every Christmas and so, Rosie Anwara was born! 

Rosie Anwara is essentially an explosion of the creative side of my brain. I’m not sure how to condense what I do into one zippy sentence, but my main goal is to make beautiful, silly stuff that brings people happiness!

2. What are your Inspirations?

Cliché but I really do get my inspiration from everywhere and everything. Pop culture, travel, food, T.V. and film, cultural moments, friends, celebrities, politics… you name it and I could probably come up with a decoration based on it. Sometimes it could even be that I have fabric or beads I really want to use, so I work backwards and use those as the inspiration.

My paintings are typically commissions, I try to make them as thoughtful and personal as possible. I always want to find a connection between what I’m painting and the person who will wear/own it so that it’s extra special. 

3. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

It’s completely invaluable for me! I’m still just starting out but without Instagram, I wouldn’t have even made a sale as I don’t sell on any other platform. I also wouldn’t have had any of the opportunities I’ve had to work with brands like Vans and Size? and I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people who inspire, support and encourage me to keep doing my thang!

Aside from making sales, Instagram is also vital in helping me build my brand and create something that’s ownable and recognisable. 

4. Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I used to do a lot of 5 year plans but I realised I was setting myself up for disappointment and anxiety because I never seemed to reach my lofty goals! So I’ve gone back to taking it day to day. I sometimes wish I had an end goal to work towards but life is unpredictable, Not a single set back or opportunity that has come my way was ever in my ‘plan’. I find it less taxing on my mental health to just roll with it. 

And on that note, if I had any advice to give, I’d defer to Little Miss Sunshine…”Do what you love, and fuck the rest”.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? 

First and foremost I have to shout out to my boyfriend Ant Gardner, a graphic designer who has launched his own line of art prints that I just love – @wallgarments. He’s a constant source of inspiration and knowledge for me as well as the creator of all my graphics and branding! I’m very lucky to have him. 

@PaolaCiar paints the most incredible, voyeuristic scenes at a teeny, tiny scale. I love her depictions of unapologetically confident women who love their bodies – we can never have enough of that attitude in the world. I admire Paola so much, her sense of humour and imagination is like no other! 

I don’t have bébé’s myself but I’m obsessed with @PetiteGanache and their beautiful, handmade kids trousers. Maybe when I’m a shrunken old lady I could squeeze into a pair. 

I only came across @CraftyGlass over the Christmas period and I absolutely love what she does, it’s such a unique take on a traditional craft and it’s a little bit silly, like me 🙂

@CastroSmith has talent coming out of his ears. I can think of no other way to describe his jewellery than mind-blowing. Every piece is a true work of art and I dream of owning some one day! 

DaddyBears

“DaddyBears was born out of a great need for physical depth within the cold constraints of mankind’s current dystopia.”

With a bio like the above you know I’ll enjoy, as well as it being an amalgamation of overtly shiny, girly fabrics, ‘only clams’ collections and beautifully disfigured, sculptural teddies to cry on…. it’s a win tbh. I love handmade teddies, plushies or anything remotely comforting, I have a few favourite creators that reside in South Korea as well as Japan, so I was so excited to find this London based maker.

With the added theme of sex, DaddyBears plays upon the naughty vs. nice vs. cute vs. sexual preconceptions that many have and seeks to question and challenge them. I mean, what do you do in your bedroom? have sex and cry into a teddy… duh!? If that is the case, then DaddyBears is your kind of handmade plushie creator/sculptor.

See what they had to say below…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work. 

DaddyBears is a soft sculpture brand specialising in sexy cute hot girl shiny pre made and custom teddy bears 🙂

2. What are your Inspirations?

Main inspirations are usually taken from bedroom designs, animals and childhood nostalgia/children’s books

3.Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

Definitely a help! I would have no brand  or would have to be an etsy seller if i wasn’t able to promote my work through instagram

4. Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I would love to be making larger scale/furniture pieces and also maybe more accessories and lots of money hehe. My advice would be- don’t bother starting anything unless you’re 100percent passionate about it and enjoy it.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? 

artist  @yourhamroll

artist  @mariannmetsis 

artists @materialthinkspace

designers @150mg_

designer @sjodwyer

shoe designer @kiragoodeyfootwear

candle maker @sadwitchsupplies

tattoo artist @studio_linz

fellow bear maker @deanjfhoy

Evie by Faye Joynes

Faye reached out recently as she wanted to share her newly created label, Evie, and of course I was happy to provide a space to celebrate this up and coming brand.

Evie is a 90s/00s dream with stripped back two pieces made from slinky and supple fabrics- with the additional awesome jacket thrown in for good measure! See the last image for Faye’s latest woollen jacket creation and a very exciting nod to what she has up her sleeves.

Passionate about change and re-imagining how fashion can work; Faye uses dead-stock fabrics and has a made-to-order ethos, resulting in less waste and a more considered and tailored product. Also, 10% of profits of any Evie orders go to women’s charities.

Evie is the result of Faye’s talent but also the time now presented to her because of a redundancy due to the pandemic. As I’ve mentioned before the outpouring of new indie business and online spaces has been a highly interesting and refreshing approach to such an odd time. Wonderfully creative and talented people using this time to build something has been such a positive to emerge and Evie is no exception.

I can’t wait to see what else Faye produces and how her business grows, see what she has to say about Evie’s inception below…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

I founded Evie because I love fashion, but I felt guilty about buying clothing which I knew was unsustainable and unethical. I wanted to create a brand that feels as good to buy as it does to wear, because you know you’re contributing to something positive. As well as being a made-to-order brand which means low-waste, I use sustainable fabrications such as deadstock and natural materials. I also want to help empower those often exploited by the garment industry by donating 10% of my profits to women’s charities.Before starting Evie, I worked as a womenswear designer for various companies in London and abroad, but was constantly thinking about starting my own brand. After being furloughed and eventually made redundant from my job, I moved back to Manchester (where I went to uni), and decided to take the plunge!

  1. What are your Inspirations?

My main inspiration comes from nostalgia- I’m a very nostalgic person and love looking back on memories and old photos, magazines and films. I have a lot of emotion attached to the 90s in particular, because having been born in the 90s, a lot of my favourite music and films growing up was of that era, so my silhouette and fabric references often stem from this.Films by Greta Gerwig and Sofia Coppola also really inspire me- Ladybird is one of my all-time favourite films and I love the aesthetic of The Virgin Suicides.

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

I definitely think it’s a help, because I’ve been able to reach people over social media who I wouldn’t have reached otherwise. I also think it’s great to be able to interact with customers/followers – showing them behind the scenes and how their pieces are made as well as getting their opinions of fabrics etc.That being said, I’m finding it really hard to grow on instagram. It’s not easy for a small brand to reach new people but I’m constantly encouraged by friends who share my work!

  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

On a selfish/personal level, I’d like my business to be my full-time job in a few years, as I currently work part-time in hospitality to support my brand. Doing Evie full-time would be a dream! On a more meaningful level, I have a strong idea of what I want Evie to be- a positive fashion brand which can give back to the community in some way as well as being a really fun label to wear. I hope to do this by working with local seamstresses, photographers and crafts people, and contributing to the creative industry in the North. In terms of advice, I would just say start before you’re ready, because if you don’t you’ll just never start!

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

There are so many! A few brands I love are Marques’ Almeida, Acne Studios and Pamola Wool. I also find brands such as Olivia Rose The Label and Maison Cleo really inspiring because they showed me that you don’t need to produce stock in factories to start a label. @saeshablue and @franrowsevisuals are amazing photographers whose work I love and I have been lucky to work with.I also love @rhiannaellington prints, @annarobertsstudio artworks and @thephatchrub vintage jewellery!

Aisling Duffy

Aisling Duffys’ work is my grown up grunger dream attire.

With babydoll patchwork dresses; re-worked denim jackets adorned with handmade patches; and oversized tie-dye long sleeves with added lace edging. Aisling uses a mixture of medias and elements to create her collections, with many of her own illustrations used throughout and much of the fabric upcycled. Passionate about sustainability, Aisling is dedicated to creating and reimaging pre-existing fabric: Which is probably the most consistent and sustainable way of creating new clothing….ripping up and re-using the old!

As Aisling mentions, her collections are very weighted in the culture she surrounded herself with when she was younger and that is absolutely clear to see. With a DIY approach to her work, it reminds me of the ‘can do’ attitude of many of my friends that grew up in the same cultures. With many putting on shows, making zines or creating something off their own back, this way of working is something I absolutely love to recognise in people.

I can’t wait to see what Aisling will be working on next. So, please read on to find out more about her wonderfully nostalgic, considered and genuinely fun collections…

1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work
Hi I’m Aisling. I run a small label where I make handmade mostly one~of~a~kind pieces using my prints , upcycled fabrics and materials. Each year I make two main collections for my stockist & throughout the year I do limited drops through my website.I use deadstock, upcycled and organic fabrics where ever possible.I like to work on one~of~a~kind or made~to~order basis meaning there is no waste or overproduction


2. What are your inspirations?
I am mostly inspired by themes of Identity, Personality & Self-Exploration throughout my work. I use a lot of imagery and text that explores these themes in my prints & artwork.I try to address Social Issues that I am passionate about such as Climate Change, Environment and Sustainable Fashion through my choice of fabrics and DIY aesthetic.Music was a big part of my youth, and still is today, so I think the culture of going to shows and how me & my peers dressed feeds into how I style and design my collections.


3. Lets chat about social media – a hindrance or a help?
I think a bit of both. Having an online presence is very important for any brand or business in todays world. It allows people from all over the world discover and connect with your work. The flip side of this for me is that I find running my social medias stressful at times, this year in particular I have had many moments of feeling very overwhelmed by internet culture. As someone who has anxiety I find that when someone says something negative or critical ( whether or not they mean to) it can cause me to doubt everything I have worked towards & built so it is definitely a fine balance of being a hindrance or a help!


4. Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice.
My main goal over the next few years is to reach a stage where my business is fully financially stable. That’s the dream! I love designing custom pieces for artists, musicians and performers so I would like that to become a bigger part of my brand. I would also love to get some more stockists and launch a sustainable dress collection to be stocked worldwide.
Running a business solo is hard work so my biggest advice would be to stay passionate & know your values – whenever there are big decisions to be made always come back to these values to guide and inform what is best for your business


5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?
There are so many incredible small businesses out there! But here is a small list:
Eloise Hanikenehttps://www.eloisehanikene.com/
Cat O’Brienhttps://www.catobrien.co/shop
Laoise Careyhttps://laoisecareystudio.com/
Lifershophttps://whatislifer.com/
Meg Beckhttps://www.megbeck.com/
Mutter Metalworkshttps://muttermetalworks.com
One Soft Handhttps://www.onesofthand.com/

Rhianna Ellington

Overtly girly and yet tonal airbrush art work? A love for overlooked British design label Meadham Kirchhoff? And an appreciation for Disney? I . Am. In.

Rhianna Ellingtons’ work is a dreamscape of pastiche inspirations, textural art work that looks good enough to eat and vivid but muted tones…if that makes sense. Looking at her work it is clear to see she has previously worked with luxury fashion houses. Rhiannas’ work is honed, polished and considered- with a concise vision of what it is she wants to achieve. From the work that is already being produced, it is clear to see that her future sustainable projects will be totally delicious; this can be seen in her dreamy facemasks and art prints that are currently available. I love finding artists like her, with a similar set of interests and passions, the art that is produced is 100% right up my street and I, honestly, can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeves.

Finally, lets just put our hands together for the collages I was sent by Rhianna. The colours, textures and references. So. Good.

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work. 

I am an English textiles and surface pattern designer who specialises in fabric development, printed textiles and digital design. In 2018 I completed a Masters in Textiles Print at the Royal College of Art and since then I have been working as a fabric developer in the luxury fashion industry for brands such as Acne Studios and Erdem. Currently I am focused on freelancing and developing my own design practice.

  1. What are your Inspirations?

There are so many things that inspire me, from fashion designers, films, cartoons and artists. I have listed a few below.
I love 80s airbrush artwork and advertisements, for example Pater Sato, Yosuke Onishi and Masao Saito are some of my favourites.
I also get a lot of inspiration from nature, the sky and being outdoors.
A lot of my work is very colourful and I get some of my colour inspiration from cartoons and anime! I once based my colour palette for a project from a scene from Disney’s Fantasia. Recently my colour palettes have been getting a lot darker and the inspiration behind this has come from re-watching a lot of David Lynch films such as Lost Highway, Blue Velvet and the TV show Twin Peaks.
Some of my favourite fashion designers that inspire me are Ashley Williams, Mimi Wade, Mowalola, Gucci, as well as vintage collections from Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake. Meadham Kirchhoff was the first designer that made me really want to work as a fashion textiles artist.  

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

A little of both. I have a love/hate relationship with social media! It has really helped me build an audience for my work but I find it a very negative environment and it is becoming harder and harder to grow through social media.

  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I am currently working towards starting my own sustainable, slow fashion brand, focusing on my prints, artwork and fabrics. I really hope that it will grow slowly and I can share my work this way.
My advice for anyone wanting to do something similar is to take your time with it. I am so glad I took time away from my work and spent some time in the industry, as it made me realise what is important to me as a designer and how I want to develop. I have wanted to have my own brand forever and I want to do things sustainably, slowly and beautifully.

 5.Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

I love this questions! I have listed a few below.
Vona (@bravona) is a lingerie/corset designer.Cursed (@yoursocursed) is a new brand set up by a mother and her two daughters.Leigh Miller (@leighmillerjewelry) who makes handmade sculptural jewellery.Pauline Bonnet (@paulinebonnt) who is a ceramic and glass designerIria Ashimine (@iria_mine) a Japanese jewellery brandAnna Mills (@annam.lls) Designer/artistJosefin Zachrisson (@josefinzachrisson) Artist, designer and model. Paula Codoner (@paulacodoner) PhotographerAnna Koak (@annakoak) ArtistLuna Crochet Studio (@LunaCrochetStudio ) Handmade crochet garments made in Copenhagen.Emma Brewin (_emmabrewin_) Clothing brand