Here at Bustle & Sew we absolutely love discovering new talented designer-makers and I was delighted to come across Rebekah’s Attic on Instagram. Rebekah makes the most gorgeous, colourful felt flower wreaths from her home in Scotland and popped by to tell us more…
Hi Rebekah! We’re so happy to have you here. Can you please tell us how long you’ve been working with felt?
I’ve been crafting all my life, using whatever craft supplies I had access to! I love drawing and sewing, as well as amateur flower-arranging. After I had my kids (Ellie is 7 and Keith is 5), I started making things for them. I had been given a “do-it” book (sometimes known as a “busy books”) as a child and wanted to make them for my own kids. Felt is the best material for these, so I bought a full rainbow stack of nice felt. Making those books opened my eyes to the possibilities of working with felt!
How did Rebekah’s Attic come about?
Rebekah’s Attic started when my best friend, who runs a charity called Wheels in Motion, asked me to take a table selling crafts at her Christmas coffee morning. At the time I only made crafts as gifts for friends, so asked what on earth she wanted me to sell, and she just said ” I don’t know, but I know you should just do it!”. I had a load of leftover felt from those busy books, and set about making a random assortment of things, such as notebook covers, brooches, and hanging decorations. I created so much mess about the house while I was making these things that my husband “suggested” that I should keep it all up in the attic, hence the name “Rebekah’s Attic” was born! I sold loads that day at the coffee morning and that gave me confidence to keep going. Gradually I found confidence in my own creativity, and that was when I started making flowers from felt. At the time, I knew no-one making these and realised that I had finally found my niche!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Prior to creating felt flowers, I confess that I mainly took my inspiration from other crafters (usually online via Pinterest). This maybe won’t be a popular confession, but its where my journey began. I realised pretty quickly that I didn’t want to re-do other people’s original ideas, so I stopped looking at other crafters’ work, and focused on what inspires me most… God’s creation. He is the ultimate creator – and the shape, colour, and form of flowers, leaves, and plants are now my primary inspiration-source. I work directly from the natural world I see around me, and am very influenced by the seasons. I am also inspired by the gorgeous Scottish countryside – from the beautiful skies and sunsets, to the hedgerows and wild plants (my felt thistle is my most popular design).
What do you wish you’d known before you started?
I wish I’d known to trust my instincts. I wishI had believed that when it “feels” wrong it usually is, and of course vice versa. I still get surprised when people love my designs!
Can you describe your typical working day?
I actually have a day job – I’m an Occupational Therapist by day! I use my evenings and days off to work on my Attic business. I work best when focused on one task at a time, so I’ll cut out a pile of felt for petals, before then having a session of forming them into flowers, then pulling them together into the products I sell. I need to set specific time aside for creating new products, because this takes a different kind of focus and energy.
What’s the best thing about owning your own business?
I love the fact that you can see the results of your own work – I really like to be able to sit back at the end of the day and say “I made that”! My day job can be very draining, and I find that having a creative outlet is essential to my own health and well-being. The satisfaction of making beautiful things with my hands is probably my most motivating factor. It still doesn’t feel like owning a business though, its more like I’m just doing what I love and other people decide they love it too and pay me for it!
What advice would you give others wanting to start their own business?
If you can, just start where you are. Don’t feel that you need to have everything perfectly organised before you start. Just start and you will learn as you go. I started without really having a proper business name, no logo, no branding, and no real business plan! I still have lots of plans for changes, improvements I need to make, but if I don’t just keep going then I’m never going to get there. And one last thing: don’t compare yourself to others – your journey will always look as individual as you are.