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An Interview with Maria Ingram of Alfie Winn Designs
Posted on: 15.10.2014 by Stall & Craft Collective
'I would love to make Alfie Winn my full time distraction from everyday life'
Nationwide | 15.10.2014

NAME: Maria Ingram

COMPANY NAME:  Alfie Winn Designs

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR COMPANY NAME?

It's based on the names of my beloved great-grandparents: Alfred and Winifred.

WHAT DATE DID YOU START?

I started trading under the name of Alfie Winn Designs in November 2013.

CAN YOU SHARE WITH THE REASONS  THAT MADE YOU START ?

I started out just drawing as a hobby. Working as a freelance copywriter by day, I created things for my own children, and then started creating them as gifts for others. People seemed to like them, and after a lot of cajoling I was convinced that other people might like to buy them... So as they say, here we are...

PLEASE GIVE US A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF WHAT YOU SELL, WHERE AND WHAT YOU ENJOY ABOUT IT.

I think there is something special about giving somebody you love an item that has been created just for them, which is why I think that creating beautiful, hand drawn illustrations has to be one of the best jobs in the world. As well as drawing all of my designs by hand, I love to incorporate other elements, such as collage, into them as much as possible. It adds depth and interest, and also helps to ensure that each one is truly unique.

My family like to describe me as 'alternative'; I've never really followed the herd, always preferring to find my own way, and ever since college my artwork has always had a quirky twist to it. Now that 'vintage' has become a real trend, you could say that I've fallen into fashion, but it's more a happy accident than anything else. I'll still be rocking the 'vintage' vibe long after it's no longer fashionable!

I feel truly blessed that I get to be a part of people's special occasions with the drawings that I do for them. It's such a happy time in their lives. You can't beat bringing a smile to someone's face with something you've created!

My collections include everything from weddings to new babies and more. I love the fact that what I do is truly versatile and only limited by my imagination...

WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION?

I'm very inspired by what's going on around me, particularly nature and the changing seasons. My desk sits overlooking my garden and I often find myself just gazing into it, watching the bees and butterflies flitting about the flowers. I hand draw everything I do, and much of my work is floral; I love the freshness and delicate touch it forces me to bring to my designs.

WHAT IS YOUR BESTSELLING ITEM(S)?

My bestselling item is my 'Imagination' Einstein quote. This was a very personal design for me as I originally made it for my son. He's had a tough first year at school, and it's been a bit of a journey for both of us really, one that hasn't always been plain sailing... I wanted him to know that no matter what school, or society in general might say to him, his immense creativity and imagination is valued and admired for the true gift it really is, and that we wouldn't change him for the world.

ARE THERE ANY LESSONS LEARNT ALONG THE WAY THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

I think that you need to remember that these things take time to build. You don't open an online shop and the sales just flood in. It takes time and countless hours networking and building a brand for yourself. If you can put the leg work in, it will all pay off in the end!

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE?

I would love to make Alfie Winn my full time distraction from everyday life. It's not easy juggling a home-based, handmade business with a small family. Most of the time you'll find us all sat around the table, 'sharing' paper and crayons, they love to 'help' Mummy when she works... but I wouldn't swap it for the world.

To view Alfie Winn Designs stallholder page on Stall & Craft Collective click here

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