On the 20th and 21st February 2021, we brought the fabulous craft community back together and hosted our fourth #Postablepopup market! We were ecstatic to welcome around 300 UK based, small independent businesses to our market over the weekend. The hashtag featured a vast range of products from self-care kits, to canine accessories to hand-crafted ceramics, all of which were beautifully presented from the comfort of each maker’s home. With physical markets not able to go ahead due to lockdowns, our online solution has created a community-driven event, that fosters real connections, encourages positive shopping small habits and provides a unique space for shoppers and makers to collide, and for small businesses to continue to show up and showcase themselves within a safe space online.
In the preparation for this market, we encouraged our makers to harness their creativity and really step outside their comfort zones in order to make the most out of the weekend. To supplement our guide of tips for creatives, we put together an Instagram challenge to push makers to experiment one step further online, whilst sharing more detail about themselves and their business with their customers. We were blown away with the responses we received and so began early our nominees for the next #Postablepopup Awards!
This time we hosted 6 awards and today we are proud to share with you our winner of both the February 2021 Crafty Fox AND Best Flay Award winner... Meet Sophie!
Sophie graduated in Constructed Textiles in 2014 and has continued to experiment with her love of building and layering materials to create unique patterns in her statement jewellery. Sophie has developed such an exuberant and playful style, and can be seen in the way she upcycles old materials and gives them a new lease of life! We were so impressed by all the hard work Sophie put into the #Postablepopup weekend, that we named her winner for two of our awards, and runner up for Best In Show! Sophie’s crafty creativity stole the show when it came to her Easter themed stall and her mini egg flat lay. Her work embodied everything we love about our crafty community, brilliant handmade creations with personality and attention to detail, with no limitations and plenty of fun.
Where did your love of your craft come from?
I already had a very creative upbringing with my mum’s art on every wall of our house but it definitely grew like wildflowers whilst studying Textile Design at University. I found a passion for weaving. The hands-on process of constructing layers to create pattern and texture excites me to this day. These days instead of constructing layers with yarn to weave fabric, I hand-cut and assemble up-cycled materials to create dimensional jewellery and statement paintings.
What made you want to start your small business?
I wanted to build something for myself using the knowledge I’ve learnt and the passion I have. I spend my evenings and weekends designing, making and improving my craft. The evolution of my business has grown over the years but lockdown took a whole new direction.
Pre lockdown I had been selling hand-cut paper illustrations. When the opportunity of time arose, I started experimenting with different product ideas and then it was full steam ahead!
It was in April 2020 I was tidying up and instead of recycling or throwing away certain materials, I took it as an opportunity to try and create something from them. After a lot of experimentation with tools, paints and varnishes I created my first collection of earrings. Because of the process, each one is completely unique, super lightweight and weather resistant. I trialled it on Etsy and when I realised there was a market, I expanded into wall art with a focus on reducing and celebrating waste in thoughtful ways.
What is your favourite thing about taking part in #postablepopup?
The creative community is so special. It’s something I missed and Postable Pop-Up brings together makers to inspire them to think outside the box for their pop-up virtual market stall. The source of material that came with the guide put me outside my comfort zone, especially with the live video idea. There were many learning curves but when you’ve done it, you realise you’re capable of so much more!
Who or what has helped you stay inspired to create new work during lockdown?
My customers are a huge inspiration to me! I even named a collection after one of them. Whenever I went to market, I’d get personalised requests and I’d listen to their ideas to research a mood board for my next collection. During the lockdown, the interaction was completely different, I was inspired by live chats during live videos and speaking to other makers about our work in progress collections for when we reach the end of lockdown.
If you could choose any independent business, who would you love to collaborate with?
There are so many! It would be incredible to collaborate with independent up-cyclers to source new or shall I say old materials for new collections of jewellery and wall art.
I would also love the opportunity to work with an independent clothing brand and design matching jewellery. There is a wonderful independent business called Cara And The Sky and Cara the lady behind it designs gorgeous, colourful knitwear made in Britain. It has inspired me for a new possible collection.
What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made?
Because each piece of jewellery/artwork I make is a one of a kind I could not choose just one! However, from each collection, I will pick a favourite to keep for myself! My painting technique is abstract but my favourite thing to do is to pick out surprise scenes and landscapes. So far I have found mystical forests, desert dunes and beachy cliffs. There are a pair of earrings I painted which happened to look like a sunset over a pastel ocean. I couldn’t resist!
If you could describe your shop in three words, what would it be?
Colourful, Eccentric and Up-cycled.
What’s your favourite thing about owning a small business?
The small business community is a close-knit one full of motivation, collaboration and ongoing support. I am passionate about design and the specialised skills involved in each craft. It feels so special to create something born out of your own mind and have people buy/wear/use it. My favourite thing is seeing a picture or reading a review of my work. The interaction I have with each buyer means so much to me, each one is a story to tell.
What advice would you give to fellow small businesses that you wish you knew when you were starting out yourself?
If I could start out again, I would figure my pricing strategy out better. Write down all the costs you can possibly think of and keep a log of all payments going in and out. This way you can start creating budgets for your business and learn how to price your items correctly.
Another huge one is not to compare yourself to other successful businesses. Every designer/maker had a starting point and it takes time to grow. Listen to your customers and keep them up to date. Behind the scenes and close up shots work a treat when you don’t have finished pieces to show yet and it gives an insight into your making process.
There are a lot of creative communities out there on Facebook/Instagram/forums you can get involved in to ask questions, get advice and share stories. They have been a great source of knowledge during the set-up process and beyond.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Sophie!
If you would love to find out more about Sophie Drimmer Designs and see her latest designs then you can follow Sophie on Instagram @sophiedrimerdesigns or Facebook @sophie.drimer, or see her website for more information www.sophiedrimer.com
Seen something you like? Then head to Sophie's Etsy store www.etsy.com/uk/shop/sophiedrimerdesigns
To read more about our other winners, head to the Curated Makers blog here
To find out more about the Postable Pop-Up and when our next market will be held, click here