polkadots & blooms
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Heidi, a mum of two beautiful girls and a designer/maker of homewares and accessories made from vintage fabrics. Originally from the northern part of Germany, I have lived in the UK for the past 15 years. I launched polkadots & blooms in September 2009 with the opening of my Etsy shop.
2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
I had been thinking about launching my own business for years, but either my business ideas or the timing were not quite right. Then everything seemed to fall into place. I was made redundant, which I took as my opportunity to set up on my own. I wanted to sell sustainable and quality accessories and homewares but it soon became clear that I wanted to be involved in the whole process of designing, making and selling not just the selling side of a business. Another mum then introduced me to Etsy and I was probably hooked after my first few clicks. I grew up with many different crafts - knitting, sewing, embroidery, weaving - but had ignored my creative side more or less for years to pursue a business career. Since I launched polkadots & blooms I am in a much happier place.
3. Do you sell you items anywhere else?
I am also selling on Notonthehighstreet.com (British website) and Dawanda.com (German website). I completed my first wholesale order for a boutique in Norfolk, UK and am in discussion with two other boutiques in Germany and Italy. I also sell at craft fairs.
4. How did you choose your shop name?
I wanted a name that reflects the vintage aspect of my business. Both polkadots and flowers are very representative of vintage fabrics and polkadots & blooms was born.
5. What are your favourite things to do?
I love the performing arts and really cherish my visits to the theatre. I've started taking my eldest to the theatre, which is just fantastic. I also have a weakness for fabulous architecture and love to explore houses and buildings.
6. What inspires you?
Definitely nature. But my biggest inspiration at the moment are my two girls. I discover and re-discover so many things through them. For example, my eldest is really taken by dandelions, which she also calls fairy flowers. Through her I have re-discovered dandelions and incorporated them into my embroidery designs for cozies and cushions.
7. What made you decide to use vintage fabrics for you items?
I grew up with recycling, re-using or even re-inventing an item's use when necessary, this combined with an urge to live a more sustainable life made the decision to use vintage fabrics an easy one. Sometimes when I hold an 80 or 90 year old piece of linen in my hands, I can't help thinking who may have used it and what its story is. I think there is this added bit of mystery and peek into the past that makes vintage fabric extra special.
8. What is your most popular item?
Definitely my linen baskets, followed by my vintage linen christmas stockings.
9. What handmade possession given to you do you cherish?
Unfortunately, it has long since perished but I still have pictures. When I was in primary school my mum sewed this amazingly beautiful tafeta gown for the carnival season for me. I still have it in my minds eye, it was light blue and adorned with fresh flowers all over it.
10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
It is difficult to only choose three, as there are so many amazing shops on Etsy, but I will chose some of my more recent shop finds:
MaaP Studio - gorgeous porcelain jewellery
lightexture - stunning lighting
Knit Frekkles - beautiful scarves (not just for winter)
Thank you so much to polkadots & blooms for being my featured shop for this week. I found this shop a few weeks ago and fell in love with the linen baskets and the embroidered linen pillows. I love the fact that the material is vintage. It gives it a story. I too love to hold the material in hand and imagine its history. I cant believe that this talent and creativity has not been utilized for so many years. Thank goodness she has found her creative outlet in Etsy and we all get to benefit from it. Take a look at this shop and you find beautiful things that you can use in your every day life.