Stocking ethical and hand printed fabric designs, Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair favourite, Maud of Maud’s Fabric Finds tells us what inspired her to open an online fabric shop and shares her plans for her exhibition stand at The Handmade Fair.
As well as stocking big names such as Birch, Monaluna and Cloud9, Maud’s Fabric Finds is passionate about finding new designers and has built up a large selection of French and European fabrics, bringing a unique selection of high quality, ethically produced textiles. From quilting cotton, jersey, chambray and denim you’ll find original designs perfect for any sewing projects. There’s also a fab selection of hand printed fabrics from the UK and Australia as well as real, hand painted Malaysian batiks that have been dried under the Malaysian sun. Today we’re talking to Maud about her inspiration, and her preparations for The Handmade Fair.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Very busy! I run my business from home and fit it in around the kids, I usually start at 6am prepping the orders I received the day before. Then it’s on to preparing breakfast for the children and dragging them off to school. Once the school run is done it’s straight back to the workshop to finish preparing the orders and re-stocking. If I’ve received new fabrics, I will probably be spending the day taking pictures of the new prints as I make a point of taking every picture for the website myself. Otherwise, I usually spend the rest of the day endlessly looking for new textile designers on Pinterest, Instagram and other social media. I try to save at least an hour a day to do a bit of sewing and to update my blog.
Who inspired you to start doing what you do?
My two boys. I started sewing when I was pregnant with my oldest and just fell in love with it. I started making things for the nursery and when they were a bit older I just loved their happy little face each time I was making something for them. After being a full-time mum for 7 years, I just made the jump and decided to run my own business selling fabrics. When we got back to the UK after living in Spain for a few years, I was missing the fabric designers I was used to as almost none of them were available in the UK fabric shops. So I decided to specialise in European textile designers and hand printed fabrics.
What do you love most about working in the world of fabric?
Being surrounded by creative people. I love it when I get feedback from a happy customer and they often email me photos of what they’ve made. Every single order is very inspiring. When I’m preparing an order I often imagine what they will do with the fabric and the colour combinations my customers come up with.
And obviously, especially with the hand printed fabrics, textile designers are ever so inspiring. The amount of love and work that goes into each piece of fabric is amazing. I do stock a large range and it is nice to think they have been lovingly made in Australia, Malaysia, France or the UK by someone that truly enjoys their work.
What new projects are you currently working on?
Over the next year I am planning on stocking four new European textile designers as well as a new range of handprinted fabrics from South Africa.
What are you looking forward to most about being at The Handmade Fair?
Having as much of a good time as last year! The Handmade Fair is a buzzing place full of very creative people. I’ve made some good friends from both people selling there and also customers. I’s all about discovering new craft and chatting with people who share the same passion as you. Plus, the setting is stunning – I know of worse places to go to work!
Tell us a little bit about what you’ll be doing at the fair?
I approach The Handmade Fair in a completely different way to the other shows. It has to be inspiring, even for people who have never been near a sewing machine before, it’s about getting people to learn a new skill or improve their skills. So I am currently working very hard to make the stand beautiful and inviting, because this is what The Handmade Fair is about. I will have some new fabrics ready to launch at the show, too so there will be something completely new and original for people to see.
Maud’s Fabric Finds can be found in the Shopping Village/Artisan Marketplace, stand E36-E48. Find out more at www.mauds-fabric-finds.com
Check out all the exhibitors and book your tickets for The Handmade Fair now at www.thehandmadefair.com
Images © Maud Morris