Made in Britain, Meet the Maker - Littlenestbox

Monday, April 01, 2013
Today we are pleased to bring you Charmaine aka Littlenestbox. Her brightly coloured mobiles and felt garlands should be in every home (we think!) - over to you Charmaine:

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Charmaine and I am the designer and owner at Littlenestbox. I grew up in Bristol but moved to London to study for a Fashion Design degree. I then worked as a Fashion Buyer for several years before leaving to set up Littlenestbox two years ago. Littlenestbox is a handmade company specialising in modern, playful and colourful kid's decor. The collection includes crib mobiles, art prints, garlands and pillows.

Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I really enjoy baking and trying out new recipes. I also love exploring new places at the weekends and camping in the summer. 

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I know it sounds predictable to say that I always enjoyed drawing and making things when I was little, but it’s true! I always had a project on the go… drawing with my Granddad… lino-cutting or fabric printing at school, sewing with my Mum. The overriding theme in all of these activities is that I have always loved creating with my hands, which now manifests itself in the Littlenestbox collection.

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
I love that I am constantly surrounded by colour. It wasn't a conscious decision to make the collection as colourful as it is, but it certainly is a happy coincidence! I also love that I have found and become a part of this little community of small business owners who are so happy to share experiences and advice.

 Where does your inspiration come from?
I draw inspiration from so many things… a flash of colour in a painting, book design, a vintage pattern, colours and shapes found in nature. I am also striving to refine the littlenestbox aesthetic, which informs my decisions on colour and material. I feel very lucky to be able to work from home, it affords me the time to take notice of the small details and develop at my own pace.

Describe your studio or workspace?
My studio is at home. I have a small desk with shelves above housing fabric, stationary and various business-related paraphernalia. Our home is incredibly light, so although my space is small, that helps!

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would love to visit the studio of Alber Elbaz, the creative director of Lanvin and one of my all-time favourite fashion designers. I love his wit and use of colour, and would love to be able to see his drawings in person.

How would you describe your creative process?
Sometimes I will draw the design on paper first and then work it through into 3D. More often, I will start working directly with a fabric and see where it takes me. Once I have a basic design, I’ll keep refining until I’m happy with it.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I am currently making a hand-pieced quilt with Liberty tana lawn. It is a certainly a feat of endurance, but I am enjoying seeing it come to life as it develops.

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
I try to take some time to step back and get on with something else. The joy of my job is that it is so varied. One day I’ll be making products and fulfilling orders, the next I’ll be tweaking my website design, so if one aspect isn't working, there are plenty of other tasks to be getting on with!

Where would you like to be in ten years?
Wow, that’s such a hard question to answer! I would love to be doing what I am doing now, but also grow the wholesale side of my business and develop new product lines. I am a great believer in going with the flow and not having a set plan, as some of the most valuable experiences come from experimenting, plus you never know what is around the corner!

Thank you Charmaine, we have our eye on your star garland for the MIB office.  You can find Charmaine's work in the Made in Britain shop - who can resist rainbow coloured felt?!

Made in Britain shop is OPEN daily
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm
Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol

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