Let's Meet: Oh Squirrel

This month we had a little chat with Katie from Oh Squirrel.  After admiring her work for ages we eventually plucked up the courage to ask her if she would be interviewed by us and she said yes!  In between Renegade and Craftacular and making many many sashes for the Wedding season of course!

So let's have a look at what she has to say and look at all the gorgeous things she has to offer of course too!

What was the first thing you remember making?
My mum used to make clothes for us when we were little and with her scraps I had a habit of making tiny pull string bags! I have no idea why…

How did you find your creative side?
At school I was more academic than arty, but when I discovered all the fun I could have with a sewing machine that quickly changed. It was probably after Art College and University that I really become creative though - I think having the space to create in my own time was what really gave me the chance to grow and find my style. Oh Squirrel's signature style has evolved over time, but in a very natural way. The ethos is to produce fun and original handmade products that are different to other things out there, and have a sense of humour at the root of them… especially the cards!

What has been your favourite ever make? Whether that be for your business or pleasure – tell us about it.
It has to be the hen party sash. It sounds like such a cliche, but it started out as just a fun thing for a friend. I've now hand-made and sold thousands of them all over the world! I still get a sense of satisfaction when pinning on the badge and packing them up each time. It started out as a solution to a problem of there being nothing nice to buy for a friend's hen party, and then after getting a load of enquiries based on a photo I shared online I realised there might be something in it!

What are your favourite ways to stay inspired?
Doing something new - especially visiting a place for the first time. Last year I discovered Immersive Theatre and that opened up a whole new world to me! That said, a simple evening with my phone off, good friends and lovely cocktails works pretty well too.

Who are your favourite Designer/Makers right now?
I met the lovely Hannah from Pup Tart at a craft market and she's since become a really good friend. I think she's a genius - everything she makes is incredible and so much fun! Her watermelon purses are ridiculously good! I was lucky enough to mentor a few lovely makers in the run up to Crafty Fox Market recently and one whose work I just adore is You Are Small. Hannah (another one!) makes the loveliest kids clothes and hand dyes tights in an array of shades. I'm hoping she'll branch out into tights for grown ups too *hint hint*

What crafty item is top of your wishlist?
A magical printer that prints on 300gsm card and never runs out of ink?! I don't think that is a thing sadly. Oh and a sewing machine that can sew at double speed!

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Last year has been a bit of a whirlwind and time off has been a bit of a rare luxury. I fell in love with New York when I visited last year so am trying to use any opportunity I have to spend time wandering around London and discovering new things in the same way that I enjoyed New York. I spent an afternoon at an exhibition at the Barbican a few weeks ago and had the nicest time! I then shared cupcakes and a film with my flatmate in the evening so that was a really nice and relaxed day! Now it's summer I can't wait to get out and enjoy the parks again. I'm really trying to sort out the work/life balance!

Tell us a bit about what you have coming up?
It's full scale wedding season and so very busy! I love the variety of my job - it changes all year around! Although there are sashes to be made most days still.

Wow, looks like Katie is going to be pretty busy!  We saw her at both Renegade and Craftacular and her stall is always busy and full of people.  I have the 'Don't be a Knobhead' pencils on my wishlist for sure.

H, xxx

Photos courtesy of Holly Both and Lisa Jane Photography, except first photo.

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