This week's blog interview is with another person called Gemma, this time from Toggle. Toggle make some great fabric goodies, as well as providing a design serivce too.
Here's what Gemma had to say...
Tell me a little bit about your craft(s)
We make knitted and sewn cases for gadgets like phones and laptops. Many of our creations are made from upcycled or recycled fabrics. I love looking for fabric in vintage shops and charity shops because you never know what you'll find. So far my favourite purchases have been deck chair fabric from a sewing shop in Eastbourne and vintage scarves from a clothes shop in Falmouth. I really enjoying mixing retro looking fabrics with modern gadgets.
Bright deckchair design
What inspired you to get started with this?
I've always enjoyed making things, but the idea for the toggle shop took off about a year ago. I needed a case for my mobile phone and I hadn't seen any in the shops that I liked. They were either too expensive, a bit boring...or worse, both! So I decided to make my own. It came out well and received lots of compliments. So we made some for the toggle shop. I got a new laptop a few months ago and started creating laptop cases for the same reason! And it's gone from there...
Woolen i-phone case
What do you think about the level of British craft & design talent around at the moment?
There's been a huge focus to 'get back to the land' in the last few months . I think part of this is due to the recession, but it's also to do with people feeling like they want to have more control over their lives. And the great thing about this is that it's encouraged people to make more themselves, whether it be cushion covers for the house, scarves or cakes and chutneys. And this seems to be helping some really talented crafters to come out of the woodwork, that may not have done so otherwise. Spend even a short amount of time looking about handmade communities like Folksy and you can see there's an enormous amount of talented British designers and makers.
What are your hopes for 2010? Is there a specific goal you want to reach?
For 2010, we are going to try and:
Use more upcycled/recycled materials. It saves resources and it's also great fun to go and have root through vintage clothing!
Expand our product ranges - more laptop case sizes, cases for more phone models and we want to start creating products for other gadgets too
Meet more crafty people
It would be lovely to get our cases into some small shops
Promote our shop!
Do you get out and about to craft fairs? What do you think to the general standard of fairs at the moment?
I have to confess I've only been to one so far but have another booked in for June which I'm really excited about. So I can't really comment on the general standard of fairs, but the one I went to was fantastic. There were a real variety of makers - pottery, glass, cards, jewellery, paintings.
Toggle at a craft fair
Which other designer makers work do you admire?
As this blog interview opportunity came from Folksy I've picked some Folksy sellers' work that makes my pockets quiver!
British Cream Tea because it's so fun
JML Pottery because the work is so simple and perfect
NiftyKnits because I've never seen any other knitted meerkats before, especially one in a Star Trek costume :)
Do you have any pets? If so what are they, and what are they called?
I have a cat called Mischief (I've noticed lots of crafters have cats). He's an 11 year old black and white moggie who loves attention and food in equal measures. Although his full name is Mischief, we've shortened to Chief now because he now rules the household. He enjoys coming to see what I'm doing when I've dropped lots of pins on the floor, my knittings tangled up or I'm hand stitching something.
Mischief the cat (how cute is he?)
Do you listen to music when you're working, and if so, what kind of music do you like?
I do unless I'm having to really really concentrate. I really like Mumford & Sons at the moment, they make some lovely music.
Tell me anything else about yourself / your work that you think might be of interest.
Toggle is a design studio as well as a craft shop
When I was little, I liked drawing and colouring in plates of baked beans for fun!
I want to learn to make felt this year
At the moment I'm working on a big crochet hexagon quilt in my spare time. I've started it now because I think it'll take me until next Christmas to finish completely :)
Toggle can be found online at the following sites
Here are a few more Toggle products that I've fallen in love with!
Navy blue & red hat
Leaf print Macbook case
Vege Leather Laptop case