I know it has been awhile since I have posted an interview but this one is a biggie to make up for it…I am doubly excited because the readers are getting a sweet 2-for-1 with this post – a great interview with a great giveaway!
Julia Douglas, the one lady show behind baffie, a Scottish online boutique that offers a beautiful selection of carefully hand picked products for your home has agreed to doing an interview and wants to give readers the opportunity to win a special treat from baffie! Her relatively young online shop, baffie, hosts a gorgeous collection of quality housewares that are all produced by independent designers, makers and small businesses.
So on with the interview show!
Question. Tell The Row House Nest readers about yourself:
Response. I have been a self-employed visual artist for more than eleven years now, since graduating with a degree in Textiles and a MA in Art & Design, and have been using the home as inspiration for my work continuously in all that time. I have a passion for functional and carefully crafted home accessories and love to design and make: to think up new ideas that will make people laugh out loud or make them think about an object in a different way. I also adore looking at other artists and designer’s handcrafted works. The slight imperfection of the handmade and the time and effort involved in crafting an object seems to make it more covetable and of a higher quality than the machine made, mass produced. A handmade item is not a throwaway item.
Jug by Caroline Nash
Doorstop by Astid Weigel
Question. How did you decide to open your own shop?
Response. Making a living as an artist is erratic and I longed for my career to be a bit more stable but still hold my interest and enthusiasm. The initial idea for baffie came about through a discussion I had with my husband, Colin Usher (who just so happens to be a digital designer with his company bluemungus). ‘You should open an online slipper shop and call it baffie’ (the Scottish name for slippers) he brilliantly suggested. I loved the idea, but with my continued fascination with interior products, I just had to expand the range to also include other beautifully crafted home wares. The name, ‘baffie’ seemed to sum up my aims for the shop brilliantly: to be soft, homely and comfortable.
Lambswool Slippers by Mhairi Wild.
Question. Tell us a little about your favourite item in your collection?
Response. Goodness! That’s too hard! I have personally bought items from almost all of the designers featured. I am now the proud owner of a set of Grenade Salt & Pepper Shakers from Kitty & Dude, use the Just Be Radiant Facial Oil daily, am spoiled with a Chunky Knit Lampshade from Jessica Wilson and have as many stylish tea towels as Cinderella herself could need! My next purchase will be one of Caroline Nash’s brilliant peg bags…or will it be the ‘Fine & Dandy’ one by Tex & Jo…or a Charlotte Macey ‘White Wine Glasses’ apron…so many choices of so much I love!
Chunky flower rug by Kelly Connor
Question. You are an artist and designer yourself, how does this influence your collection?
Response. I think it makes me very particular about the products I choose for baffie. Not only that they are of a high quality but also that they are original from a design point of view. I think I may have quite quirky taste and I just trust that there are others out there who also like what I like.
At the moment I am planning on expanding the baffie collection to include patterns as digital downloads. I am currently searching for knitting and crochet patterns for home accessories and home comforts, so please do get in touch if you are a pattern designer. As a maker myself I know how it feels to create something yourself, for your home or to wear or to give to a loved one as a gift. Choosing just the right colours, size and design to make it personal and unique. I find the act of making to be therapeutic, calming and immensely satisfying as well as completely affordable and eco friendly. As I said before, a handmade item is not a throwaway item, it is special and treasured, and I believe there are many people who agree with this, who will soon be able to enjoy perusing baffie’s pattern collection and creating their very own handmade items from scratch. Please ‘like’ baffie on facebook if you’d like to be kept ‘in the loop’! (http://www.facebook.com/baffiegifts)
Cream coffee beans cosy by Charlotte Macey
Question. What is your greatest extravagance?
Response. Cheese and wine.
Question. When and where were you happiest?
Response. My wedding day has to have been one of the happiest days of my life. I spent the morning pampering in a sauna at a posh hotel with my friend of 26 years, Caroline, then drove to the stunning little village hall in Tyninghame, East Lothian. My husband, Colin, was a drummer in a pipe band at school, so, as I hate the sound of bagpipes, I asked him if he would drum me down the aisle. He organized for his brother (and best man) and our friend to join him and gave our 120 guests a shaker each (as a wedding favour). Everyone joined in to welcome me and my mum, who walked me down the aisle. The sound was amazing…and the mood electric! It was a humanist ceremony, so truly personal with laughter and tears from all throughout. With the man I love committing to be with me forever, fantastic and touching speeches from his mum and brother, and my stepfather; a stunning cake made of a mountain of cheese rounds; a wild ceilidh which included the ‘Propeller’ dance…twice; a room packed full with the people I love;…I truly felt like I was queen for the day. Just brilliant!
Paisley blue ceramic coasters by Caroline Nash
Question. What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Response. I am proud of my achievements to date as an artist, one of the highlights of which has to have been having one of my sculptures, ‘Highly Sprung’, included in the permanent collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery. I also recently sold a ceramic chandelier titled ‘A Teeny Wee Bit of Light Relief’ (made collaboratively with sculptor Clare Waddle and ceramicist Rebecca Wilson) to the high-end design shop Anthropologie, for their new store in Edinburgh, which will open on the 15th June. Very exciting!
Response. Regarding your household possessions: ‘What you really collect is always yourself’, Jean Baudrillard.
So here is the great news, baffie wants to offer one lucky reader an apron from the baffie range! Julia is even going to let you PICK which apron you would love to wrap around your waist if you win! This giveaway will allow a reader to choose from the following selection of aprons available from baffie.co.uk:
- Oilcloth pinny’s for kids by Bluebelle & Button (full collection here).
- Witty designs for men by Gillian Kyle (full collection here)
- Classy designs for women by Charlotte Macey and Rachael Taylor (full Charlotte Macy collection here) and (full Rachel Taylor collection here)
- Dandy design for both genders by Tex & Joe
Some of the possible choices include these fine specimens (which were MY favourite!)
Here are the prize details:
- One winner will receive 1 apron from the baffie apron selection (not including the textile sets)
- Contest is open to readers in United Kingdom only
- To be eligible please leave a comment telling us about your favourite item from the baffie homewares range.
- For another extra entry, please follow baffie and Row House Nest on Twitter and tweet the following message: Great dandy apron @baffie_comforts giveaway over at @rowhousenest, head over to enter now http://tinyurl.com/5s5nost
- For another extra entry, “Like” the Row House Nest on Facebook and baffie on Facebook and update your personal FB status to say: “Sweet baffie gift giveaway over at the Row House Nest blog, go to www.rowhousenest.com to enter!”
- Comments/entries will close at 11:59pm GMT on Monday June 13th, 2011.
- The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced via email and as an update this to this post on Tuesday morning, June 14th, 2011.
So get on it gang, get your entries in! We can’t wait to see what your favourite items from the baffie collection is/are!!!
*Disclosure note: I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein. For more information about this disclosure, please see cmp.ly/0/izv19e.
The baffie giveaway has now been shut!
I am excited to announce that random.org has picked a winner! The winner of the baffie apron giveaway is reader Janet Mcgroggan ! She said this: “My favourite item are the beautiful lambswool slippers by Mhairi Wild IWANTTHEM” & she also posted on her Facebook! We will send you an email Janet!