Meet the Maker - Rebecca Denton

Sunday, November 23, 2014
Joining us at the Made in Bristol Christmas Gift Fair at the Colston Hall is textile designer Rebecca Denton.  Rebecca likes to use the three R's when designing a piece and loves to incorporate recycled items into her work.  We caught up with to find out more about her processes...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hello, I'm Bec, I live in Bristol and dAKOTA rAE dUST is my label. I embellish handmade clutch bags and purses, women's t-shirts, kids and baby clothing with an eclectic mix of bold, vinyl prints and applique panels. I design all my prints on a computer package called 'Illustrator', then cut them in super bright vinyl using a roland plotter. These patterns are combined with applique panels, hand cut from lovingly sourced vintage and unusual fabrics. I am a self confessed textiles magpie and after years of hunting and gathering without really knowing the purpose of my collection it’s very exciting to have finally devised an outlet for my creativity and a justification for my hoarding! I love dressing up, body adornment and costume and keep sketchbooks full of magazine clippings and fashion/street photography. These, and my collection of charity shop jewels and vintage treasures provide me with inspiration for my work. My creations are manifestations of all these ideas in one easy to wear piece. ‘reduce, re-use, re-cycle’ rules so where possible I revive second hand or garments my customers already own with my prints and patterns by offering a custom embellishing service. Where new manufactured garments are used they will be 100% organic cotton and sourced from suppliers that ensure their products are made ethically and using methods that are environmentally concious. 
How do you prepare yourself & your work in the months running up to the Gift Fair? 
I have been trying to focus on what shoppers will be looking for at this time of year. Small stocking filler gifts will be popular I imagine so I have increased my range of rosette pin badges to include some more festive styles. For someone looking for an extra special treat I have been working on a range of t-shirts and sweatshirts that can be ordered to each customer’s specifications and delivered in time for Christmas. 
Do you have any tips to someone who is just starting out, on selling at Christmas markets?
hmmm I’m not sure I’m qualified to advise on this just yet… personally I am spending some proper time thinking about how to display my products. I want my stand to look eye catching, like an enticing window display at Libertys...a scaled down version! I’ve got a range of different products so I want to find the best way of displaying each one while keeping the overall look cohesive. 
What special little touch do you offer your customers? 
Yes definitely. I’ve just started gift wrapping my Etsy orders and commissions. I’ve been using ribbon but no tape so if the item is a gift the customer can take a peek before they present it to the recipient. I offer a custom service on all my products. Making something completely unique for someone who appreciates your style is the best part of being a designer maker. Just a few weeks ago I was making ‘feminist as f**k’ and ‘no more page 3’ rosettes for a customer I met at a market. I enjoyed making them and I’m sure she’s going to enjoy giving something completely personalised to her friends and family at Christmas. 

What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list? 
I’d love a patterned notepad by CL.AM correspondance
What is your favourite part of Christmas?
Hot mulled drinks. I love a hot spiced rum with apple juice and star anise and in the craft department, it has to be the wrapping. Finding the perfect jazzy paper, fancy ribbon and decorative nicknack's to embellish a gift. 

Which UK artist/maker’s Facebook or Twitter feed do you find most inspiring and why? 
I’m a big Instagram fan! I follow lots of small fashion labels and stylists who are big users of bright colour because they excite me and inspire me to be braver. Other than that, anyone who includes the odd snapshot into who they are and their private lives. Its always fun to build up a picture of the personality behind the work, after all that is what makes buying direct from an artist/maker so unique. 
What is your favourite family Christmas tradition? 
My favourite family Christmas tradition is that we’re not very traditional. Twice in the past we have eschewed the traditional turkey dinner for a full Mexican feast. I’ve been drip feeding my mum and brother enticing Mexican recipes since October so hopefully I've got another year of comida de meh-hico secured :-) 

Finally, if you could re-design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why? 
Its not strictly a re-design but I’d like to push the idea that decorations don’t need to be restricted to the tree. I’d like to see more Christmas bunting. In my old flat we had rings permanently screwed into all the corners of our living room so we could put up and take down each new generation of tasselled bunting more easily. Its the best type of decoration because it instantly fills a space… or maybe that's just the way i make mine? MORE is MORE if you ask me. 

Thank you Rebecca!  Such colourful pieces, we love them!  Good luck with the Mexican Christmas dinner too!
Made in Bristol Gift Fair
Colston Hall 

Saturday 29th November 2014
Sunday 7th December 2014
10am - 4pm

Saturday 13th December 2014 
10am - 3pm

No comments:

Post a Comment