Friday, 27 October 2017

Interview With Award Winning Children's Wear Designer Amy Philips

This week I'm delighted to share my interview with Amy Philip, Etsy Gold Kids + Baby Etsy award winning designer and the maker behind Button and Blue, a contemporary knitwear brand for 0-3 year olds. I found out more about her beautiful, colourful designs, each knitted by hand from quality, ethically-sourced wool, as well as the exciting projects she is currently working on.

1. What is your favourite part of the design/production process?

I love how running your own creative business means you get to do a bit of everything. Designing, material sourcing, making, photo taking and more.
I've never had a job that is quite so varied and I love it. My favourite part of the process by far, is the designing. I love the problem solving aspect of writing a knitting pattern and it is so satisfying seeing a new idea, that came to me whilst doing the washing up, walking the kids to school or feeding the baby, materialise, into something I'm really proud of.

2. What projects are you working on at the moment?

I'm currently working on my first range of knitting kits. These have been about a year in the making and I was so excited to finally launch them this October! The kits contain everything you need to make your own mittens, hats and cardigans for babies and toddlers, which takes the fuss out of searching for all the bits that you need. They are aimed at beginners + and contain video tutorials so you can learn as you go.
I love knitting and find it really relaxing. I'm hoping my kits will make knitting really accessible and spread the knitting bug a bit further!

3. Do you know where/how the wool you use is produced?

I spend a long time sourcing the wool I knit with, as where and how it is produced is really important to me. I am really fortunate to live around the corner from yarn shop YAK, which specialises in ethically sourced natural fibres and often the yarn that I use, is found there. I look for wool that is milled in the UK, ethically sourced and natural.

4. What is your favourite thing that you have knitted, and why?

One of my favourite things I have ever knitted are my cloud mittens. They were the first pair of mittens I added to my Etsy shop when I opened it two years ago. They were picked up by Etsy and included in their Christmas catalogue, and this was such an encouragement to me, as I was just starting out. An adapted version to fit adults was also the first pattern I ever published and I couldn't resist publishing the little version in my knitting kits too.

5. Why is it important to you to use natural fibres?

Firstly, wool is perfect for babies and toddlers as it is non-irritating, good for regulating body temperature (as it is breathable in summer and insulating in winter) and it's also beautifully soft. There isn't really a man-made fibre that can match it. Wool is also biodegradable, meaning it doesn't add to the huge amount of waste from the use of cheap, synthetic fibres in the textiles industry.
And finally, when you knit, you spend such a lot of time handling the yarn it has to actually feel nice! To me acrylic yarn feels scratchy and unpleasant, whereas wool feels soft and luxurious and is so much nicer to knit with.

You can find Amy's beautiful children's wear in her Etsy store here! Amy has also just launched her first collection of knitting kits on Kickstarter. Each kit contains everything you need to knit beautiful mittens, hats or cardigans for babies and toddlers, including some lovely 100% merino wool milled in the UK. The Kickstarter campaign allows for these kits to be produced so you can support Amy by pre-ordering a kit, and helping her to reach her target.

   Beccy x

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