So what do you do when access to your traditional markets is completely closed down? In mid Spring when the instruction to stay at home was given, we were left with no alternative other than to hunker down in the relative safety of rural Northumberland, and with no weddings or special events at which a couture hat or headpiece could be worn, I looked for alternative markets.
I am writing this blog post with the benefit of hindsight as I thought it would be interesting to have a quick round up of how I spent the months of lockdown that followed the first shutdown, so this second instalment covers mid to late summer 2020 and the rise of Zoom.
If masks were the project for late Spring and early Summer – headwraps dominated the later summer for me.
Coinciding with the boom in Zoom calls and the like, the great unexpected phenomenon of 2020 which kept us all connected with the outside world, was online networking of one sort or another. Now that everyone was working from home, there was a dilemma when personal styling was a consideration and access to hairdressers became a distant memory. As everyone’s hair became more unruly, I realised I could use my beloved Liberty and similar fabrics to help here too. Applying the same strict design principles, I created a new line of effortless wired head wraps, which instantly solved such styling challenges. Not only were they “letterbox friendly gifts”, when not wearing your headwrap at your desk, you could wear it in the garden!
So, with “proper” hat-making showing no sign of a return I was also delighted In September when an Edinburgh friend contacted me. She was concerned that she would not easily be able to buy a Remembrance Day poppy and asked if I would make her one. I sourced a range of brightly coloured 100% merino wool felt and set about designing an interlocking style four-petal layered poppy. She was delighted and ordered more as to keepsakes for absent friends. We both made donations to the Salvation Army, and my “His and His” poppy options naturally followed. So, in no time at all, I had a themed letterbox gift collection of lapel brooches – handmade felt flowers based on seasonal blooms, each flower having four contrasting felt petals.
In my first post of this series, I mentioned walking to all my local post-boxes to check the size of their letter box flaps, so by this time I had found the best sized post box! Lockdown restrictions meant that this daily walk, along the main road, with my head wrap and felt flower deliveries was slightly quieter too. These two products along with silk abaca headbands are now firm staples and can also be found in the accessories online store that I set up with The British Craft House.
To be continued….