Featured Shop: Original Minnie
The first in a series of posts featuring shops that I love on Etsy and Folksy :) Today the spotlight is on my friend Helen’s shop Original Minnie. Helen is a fellow crafty Lincolnshire girl, who I met at the Grantham Christmas Fair. She’s incredibly creative and artistic, has a BA(Hons) in Visual Arts and has now turned her hand to creating gorgeous button jewellery and handmade cards. I especially love this zingy button bracelet, it’s light and colourful, and perfect for sunny summer days.
When did you set up Original Minnie and what do you make?
I started Original Minnie in 2008, after I finished my art and design degree in the Summer. I make textile inspired jewellery and greetings cards using buttons, ribbons, beads, and fabrics. I prefer to use vintage, reclaimed, and recycled materials as much as possible.
What was your inspiration?
Lots of things …
I named Original Minnie after the lady in my pendant logo – my Great, Great Auntie Min – she and the things she liked are part of my inspiration, because we share similar interests – a love of collecting, clothes, accessories, and colour.
I also find inspiration visiting charity shops, junk shops and museums – seeing vintage/retro objects. I especially love clothing, and period interior design.
I love fabrics and sewing, and generally being creative and ‘making things’. So something which combined this with vintage, fashion, etc. it made sense to start making jewellery from buttons, beads and fabrics that I, my mum, and grandmas had collected over the years. I still enjoy looking out for new and old materials now to use in designs.
Finally, I like quirky, unusual jewellery which has ‘personality’, and stands out from the crowd.
I think Great, Great Auntie Min represents all that Original Minnie is about – a love of vintage, fashion, and original quirky items.
Where do you sell your wares?
I have an internet shop on Folksy. I also like to attend as many arts and crafts markets as I can. In 2009 I am attending events in Lincolnshire, Nottingham, and Norfolk. I have an events page on my blog that I keep updated with new events. www.originalminnie.wordpress.com
Which is your favourite piece?
I love the ‘Buttons and Bows’ brooches – I’ve set one of the little gold ones aside just for me to wear.
Tell me a little bit about your art background…
I started art classes when I was 8 years old, but years before that I remember being creative – making presents for my family from bits of kitchen roll – in a ‘Blue Peter style’. After GCSEs I followed my other interest of health/biology, but after a few years the ‘pull’ to go back to art was too strong, so I completed an Access Course for art and design to enable me to go to uni. For my final project I designed and hand-printed wallpapers and fabrics, with a design theme of afternoon tea – one of my favourite pastimes! I graduated in 2008 with BA (Hons) Visual Arts by Negotiated Study. I then set up Original Minnie, and the rest as they say is history…
What are your other interests?
I’m a fan of afternoon tea, so I enjoy finding quaint little teashops. I like going to London for the museums and exhibitions – the V&A is my all time favourite (it has stunning original rooms in the café – one was designed by William Morris!) I also love music, and enjoy going to live music concerts whenever I can.
Where would you like Original Minnie to be in two years time?
I would like to have expanded the product range to include textile items such as bags and purses, and even clothing/household textiles printed with my own designs – incorporating some of the skills/projects I gained on my degree.
Check out Helen’s Folksy shop for more cute and unusual bead and button jewellery, including the “Buttons and Bows” brooches, plus her range of greetings cards, and visit the blog for all the latest Minnie news :)