[Behind the scenes] And Interview with S-Gerth Designs

S-Gerth-Designs_Web-01I have been really fortunate to have cross paths with some amazingly talented people within the creative community in London this year, and many (if not all!) of whom I find are genuinely wonderful and really inspiring! So, on that note, I’m delighted to introduce you to this month’s featured designer and small business, the lovely Sabine of S¯Gerth Designs! I first met Sabine, through Viktorija (of And Smile), at the Crafty Fox talks held at the Collective Hub in Camden back in August and within minutes of chatting, I learnt that she was the creative genius behind the beautiful handmade leather coin purse I had been drooling over since spotting Viktorija with it earlier in the year! Like the rest of her products, what I love about this purse, is the sheer simplicity in its design – driven by clean lines and geometry – and the way in which it is beautifully and cleverly constructed….oh and that hint of colour along the edges…..a reflection of quality craftsmanship, really! What I also find appealing about her high quality leather products is that they are all made from off cuts, sourced from suppliers in London, that would normally have gone to waste – an ecological approach to design making each piece even more unique! Fabulous, isn’t it? She’s definitely one to look out for!! Well, I shall quit rambling on and let you read my recent interview with Sabine on the story behind her business:

Hello Sabine! Tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide into wanting to become a designer? I was born in Hamburg / Germany. My school career wasn’t extremely successful but I always loved making things. So after my Abitur (equivalent to A-Levels) I went on to study Communications Design with a focus on Graphic & Typography, but once completing my degree in that I decided to follow my dream in Fashion and did a Masters Degree in Fashion Design in Berlin. After graduating, I did a few internships and worked as an Accessories Designer for 3.5 years.

How did you come about setting up S¯Gerth? And what determined the brand name and range? To have my own label just happened, I never really planned it. But I guess it started with a bit of a shock as my dad died 2.5 years ago and I had to go to Germany quit a bit to sort everything out, which eventually made me take a year off from everything. When I finally got back to London I needed a creative project so my partner and I came up with a gallery project which we held in the bin shed that was in front of our flat and called it “limited space”. As most of it was Darren’s work, I felt the need to create something of my own work to showcase so started making a little range of things like few croched necklaces and small leather coin purses to put on display. I got really good feedback and took this as a push to open an Etsy shop and sell at a few markets. The name is obviously my own family name and Initial.

What five words best describe you and your style of work? Simplicity, practicality, colourplay, accentuated, geometric

S-Gerth-Designs_Web-04I absolutely LOVE your products since I first set eyes on your leather coin purse with the pink edges! What’s the main source of inspiration behind your work? What made you decide in making these lush leather products? I take inspiration from everything I see; I especially love vintage things and all sorts of graphics. For instance, the coin purse you so kindly praised (Thank you!) is based on origami folding and an old purse I once saw! Once you are able to develop the idea, the more and more ideas pop up and you end up with a range of products!

How would you describe your design process and what part of it do you like the most? Normally I scribble ideas down on little scraps of paper (unfortunately these get everywhere – should be a bit more German and organize them better, ha-ha!). I revisit the ones that I still like, after looking at them a few times will develop into a pattern and a toile and then change and change until I am happy with it! The nicest thing of the whole process is to hold a finished product in your hands and then, of course, the very nice comments and reactions from my customers!

How long would it normally take to create your final product; from inception to completion? Oh that is very difficult to say as it completely differs each time…can take a day, a week or moths to develop, some ideas get lost!S-Gerth-Designs_Web-02 S-Gerth-Designs_Web-03S-Gerth-Designs_Web-07

Is there any craft/art medium that you haven’t tried but want to? And why? There are hundreds of things I like to try, but there is a knitting machine waiting for me at my partner’s Dad’s place for when we might have a little more space…..I get absolutely excited at the thought of trying it out someday!

Would you say it’s been difficult breaking through into what is a booming and competitive creative industry? If so, what are the kind of challenges you have faced? Yes, it is quite difficult – I don’t think I have had a full break-through yet myself, but it is very rewarding so far. Surviving the first year was a big challenge, but I did it and feel a bit more confident now. Promoting my work and approaching new shops is always a bit daunting, but once you have done it you feel great about it!

What would be your ‘top three tips’ for like-minded individuals who would like to one day set up a business themselves in this creative field? Not sure I am the right person to ask for advice as I am still in baby shoes myself, but what I can say based on my experience so far, is that being persistent and positive about what you are doing, as well as being open towards any opportunity, helps a lot! S-Gerth-Designs_Web-05

What would you say is the best part part of your business? And is this a full-time 9-5 business or something you run on the side? The best part is being my own boss and making my own schedule, so I can decide myself when to take an hour off or even a day. It is my full time profession since a bit more than 1 year. It is difficult to stop working, so it is very rarely a 9-5 job! Very often I work quite late in the evening, but the workload varies, really. With Christmas round the corner, it gets quite crazy but I like that though.

S-Gerth-Designs_Web-08Of your current range of work, what ‘piece’ or ‘collection’ would you pick out as your favourite? I use almost all of my products and obviously like them all, but I recently picked out a new wallet in black with teal edges and love it to bits!

When you’re not in a design mode, what else do you enjoy doing – any other hobbies or past time favourites? One of my favorite things is going to car boot sales and charity shops. I am a passionate bargain hunter, if I may say so myself! ;) Otherwise I do love cycling. If find it the most convenient transport around London but that may depend on the distance though as I have an old bike with no gears!! Oh and before this became my full time job, I had started learning tap dance, which was brilliant! Right now, it’s hard to find the time and the money for that but so hope to get back into it again soon!

S-Gerth-Designs_Web-QUOTEWhat are your favourite bedside book/s or blog/s at the moment? First and foremost I wish I would read more, as I really enjoy it but these days, I’m not sure where the time disappears to!! I love Margaret Atwoods books; my two favourite ones are ‘Oryx and Crake’ and ‘The Year of the Flood’ – the last one of this trilogy just came out which is on my Christmas wish list so hopefully it will end up on my bedside table!

Name three things you just could not live without? I believe I could live without most things but the tree things that make my life much better are: my bike, chocolate and kissing ;)

Are there any illustrators, artists, designer-makers out there that you find inspirational or you think are ones to keep an eye out for – if so, who? Oh, I met and know a lot of very talented people; a lot of them are friends from the markets, so now I have to pick a few? Well, there is the lovely Viktorija from And Smile, Helen from Mr.Peebles, Jonty and Sascha from Hampsonwoods and Jane Sarre but I could list so many more!!

S-Gerth-Designs_Web-06What would we expect from S¯Gerth in the future? You have been busy with a few craft fairs recently like Broadway Market, Thames Festival and Crafty Fox…..are there any more this year, that we should know of? I hope that S¯Gerth will grow to produce a wider range of items. I am planning to make a few bigger bags in addition to the small accessories and extending the unisex and mens range. If you would like to visit me, I have a stall at the Broadway Market in Hackney every Saturday. Also, for this winter season, I will be showcasing at the Dalston Christmas market on the 1st of December and the Crafty fox on the 8th of December. And in addition to that…..(biggest and most exciting news) I will also be participating in the Handmade in Britain Christmas Arcade at Somerset house, starting from mid November! So hopefully see you at one or more of these events!

Wowee – that is one busy lady! Aren’t her products amazing? (I totally forgot to mention my other favourite piece; the nifty little key holder!!) Anyway, a big THANK YOU to Sabine for taking the time out to share your story and for providing all the fabulous photos – I think it’s wonderful for folk to see how much heart, soul, effort and hard graft goes into each and every bespoke product that is beautifully made! Good luck with all your future endeavours but I think you have a very promising future, If I may say so myself! :) So folks, please do check out her lovely Etsy shop for a more handmade leather accessories….and if you’re based in London (or visiting this season) then I cannot recommend highly enough to drop by at any of those aforementioned markets and events, even to say ‘hello’ (she really is so lovely!). With Christmas round the corner, what better excuse!! Otherwise, you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram to keep in the loop of her whereabouts and creations! ;)

[Image credit: Sabine Gerth and Cara Bermighmam]

[Handmade Gifts]: Lavender Love Hearts

BLOG_STRIP-lavender-hearts-3-WEB Adding a few more of my lavender ‘love hearts’ to the collection. These are smaller in size that would be perfect to have hanging in your wardrobe or to adorn your home with.  They could even vintage-inspired occasions like tea parties, bridal showers or weddings. Perhaps even stocking fillers for Christmas? The options are endless! ;)  Anyway, I’ve listed them up on my Etsy shop where they come as set of three and are currently available in pink vintage floral fabric but I can have them made in different fabric, on request. Do take a look and let me know! xxBLOG_STRIP-lavender-hearts-4-WEB

 

[Handmade gifts] Hush Little Baby

And here’s another one I made, that will be available on my Etsy shop later today. This piece is bigger than the one in my last post, measuring 30 x 40 cm. White card stock is used for the cutout piece which is mounted on recycled brown card – a more neutral and organic look. Again, this can be done in different colours (for both the cut-out piece and the backing board)  so if you fancy something custom-made for whatever the occasion, simply drop me a line via my ‘contact page‘.

Hope you like what you see so far as there’s plenty more coming in this range of work! :)BLOG_STRIP_hushlittlebaby_Web[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

[Handmade Gifts]: Faith. Hope. Love. but the greatest of these is love

This is taken from one of my favorite verses from the Bible (1 Corinthians 13:13) and one that we used at our wedding  that I find so understatedly powerful. And whether you are religious or not, I think these three words can be so poignant to all aspects of our lives; from career paths to relationships to general lifestyle. In this day an age where we live in the fast lane, driven by ambition, financial and social statuses, and materialistic things, I do find myself musing over what’s important in life, and it’s those days when I stop to reassess, I realise how much strength and peace you can seek from just living by these three simple words. Anyway, I’m not here to philosophise but show you how I turned those three words into a bespoke wall art for the home….or for a special occasion! :)

It’s a paper-cutout technique I love (and used many times before) where the layout is first designed, mapped out, each letter individually hand cut and then mounted in a way that it sits a couple of millimeters off the backing card to give you that beautiful shadow gap between the two planes (it’s the architectural side of me coming out here, sorry!) This piece fits an 8×10″ box frame and can be made using various backing card stock to suit your home decor. I’m going to be listing this up on my Etsy shop soon, along with a couple of other ‘paper-cutout’ wall art pieces, so I’ll keep you posted when I do! I can obviously do custom pieces based on your requirements, so if you’re interested – I may be the gal for you! :) x

BLOG_STRIP_faithhopelove_Web [Image Credit: ©MadebyMolu]

Made by Molu Etsy Shop – now open for business!!

SHOP-LAUNCH_MAIN-IMAGE[Image Credit: Made by Molu]

It’s been long-awaited and I cant believe this day has come (!!!) but I am pleased to announce that my shop doors (albeit virtually) are officially open!  You will find a range of bespoke handmade goodies (all made to order) from wall art to cushions to baby accessories whether it’s for the home or for a special occasion. Please do stop by and have a wee look – you can click here or the ‘Etsy’ tab on my sidebar to the right of this post to take you directly to the shop!  I will still be available for commissioned pieces and custom orders so just drop me a line and we can take it from there! Oh, and there’s plenty more handmade prettiness coming to the store as I’ll be listing them up as I go along, so do make sure you stay keep in the loop!!!

A massive ‘thank you’ goes out to my awesome husband, family and dear friends who have constantly stuck by me and all my creative antics (and having endured all my ramblings on wanting to set up a business) over the last two years. It is because of them and the amazing support from my readers/followers that I have finally taken the plunge to make this a reality. FYI – if this goes tits up, you are all to blame!  JUST KIDDING!!! :) I seriously cannot be any more excited (and nervous!) about this and hope one small step to bigger and better things in life! My love and humble gratitude goes out to you all! xxx

Anyway, I sincerely hope you like what you see and if you have any feedback or comments then, as always, I’m all ears! In the meantime… happy browsing/shopping folks!! Oh and please, pleeaaasee do spread the word too!! Thank you!!! xx

Prepping for the Etsy launch!

So, I’ve been super busy prepping for the opening of my Etsy shop in whatever spare time I could find – making sure all my images were picked and edited accordingly, getting all the text right for my listings and giving the website a little spruce up (as you may already see) – all in time for the big announcement. I must say that I realised quickly that it takes time for these things if you want to get it done right (if you’re as OCD as me that is) but then seeing how my work evolves constantly (mostly driven by commissioned pieces and personal gifts to date) I also realised that the shop should grow to reflect that, where I’m not trying to have it stocked up with 101 listings for the sake of the opening! Not only is that physically not viable but makes no sense in the type of products I’m offering. So I’ll start off small and grow progressively over the next few months and years. Anyway, so when does it launch I hear you ask? One more sleep!! Yep – i’m launching it tomorrow so stay tuned for it. In the meantime, here are some of my work you’ll soon find in my shop to be made to order! Eeeek! :P xx

[Image Credit: ©Made by Molu]

Keeping up with Made by Molu!

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[Image credit: Made by Molu]

A little FYI for those who may be new to Made by Molu; you can follow more of my creative-crafty-diy-handmade antics on my Facebook and Twitter page as well as on here! So do pop along and say hi! :) If you like what you see then please feel free to share the word to more like-minded creative design + craft enthusiasts! Also, if you really want to keep up with the regular posts, news and updates then simply ‘follow‘ the blog via email, ‘like‘ my FB page and ‘follow‘ my Twitter account. It’s as simple as that!! :)

Oh and I’m always in search for more inspirational design and craft blogs as well as meeting new designer-makers so let me know if you have interesting ones I can follow too! There can never be enough distractions! ;) It’s all about staying connected on the blogosphere! See you around folks! xx

#madebymolu #design #crafts #handmade #diy

[Wall Art]: True Love Stories Never Have Endings

If you remember me going on about the wedding style shoot that I had worked on back in June/July where I had made two wall arts, some geometric wall hangings and table numbers. Well this post is on one of the main wall art pieces I had done bearing one of my favourite wedding-related quotes.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take photos of all the final pieces before sending them off (as the wall hangings were all made flat-pack to be assembled on site) and if I had I couldn’t have revealed it back then! But if you saw my wee sneak peek at the work I was doing and the behind-the-scenes video from the day of the shoot you probably would have seen glimpses of it? Anyway, I can tell you the official photos from the shoot are out and a  little taster of it will be coming up very shortly after this (!!!!) but in the mean time here’s my ‘True Love Stories Never Have Endings‘ print – where I designed a stencil using Art Deco-inspired fonts, hand cut it all and then used metallic gold pigment ink, which in the right light, gives you this beautiful powdery brushed effect! :)  BLOG_STRIP_wedding-style-shoot-WEB

[Image credit: Made by Molu]

Oh I do LOVE this piece….if I may say so myself!! ;) I have it hanging up on our wall along with all our other collection of prints and love how it’s turned out. The other wall art piece I did in the same techniques had the words “You & Me“. So, if you like this or want something similar made for a special occasion let me know!! xx

[Personalised Gifts]: Meet Elliot…

BLOG_STRIP_Meet-Elliot-WEB[Image credit: Made by Molu]

It’s been a while since I made any elephant cushions and I couldn’t resist making this little guy to compliment the custom-made cushion I did for my friend (see my earlier post). I’ve even added a bit of lavender so that he smells divine! He will be available on Etsy soon (I’ll be doing two sizes, one at approx 20x20cm and another at 40x40cm in different fabric choices) so do stay tuuuuuuned!! xx