Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Dreams can come true !

2017 has got off to a very exciting start, in fact probably the most exciting thing that has ever happened in my creative life.

It all began on a Saturday December at a craft fair in Chagford, Devon. It had been a really great day, it was an incredibly busy I was feeling very positive about my work and the way ideas had been developing. Then in came a lady busting with positive energy, I hadn't met her before in person but I had received a lovely email from her after she read my blog on my love for Liberty fabrics and how I used them in my work.

Her name is Linda Bassett, her Instagram handle is Liberty Lindy Lou
She is incredibly passionate about all things Liberty and stitch related. Her feed is very inspirational and well worth a look. Linda developed a great relationship with Ed Burstall the American MD of the store, and continued to have strong connections with the buying team after he left.

We managed to have a lovely conversation, over my stall in between customers. Linda took a few photos and said she would send them to Liberty. I was thrilled but at the same time I didn't dare believe that anything would happen.

I have loved the Liberty brand ever since visiting for the first time with my Mum at the age of 7. I clearly remember the beautiful wooden staircases, the amazing colourful scarves and the sense of history that seemed to ooze from the walls. Mum bought me a lovely gold box containing a foam bath oil and soap, but the best thing was the black and white picture of the store on the lid.
Today it is full of tiny scraps of Liberty fabric.
My Liberty box

My passion continued as a student when I became a regular visitor to the Manchester branch of the store, especially at sale time.
I had also, a few years ago, taken my wearable butterflies to the Open Call at the store, a fantastic and positive experience. The process was filmed for the Channel 4 documentary but unfortunately I ended up on the cutting room floor.

Three Liberty Peacocks
So I continued to work with these beautiful fabrics and decided to work on a bigger scale and create British butterflies and moths.
Anyway back to this December, the day after the Chagford Fair an email arrived from Liberty, asking me for details about my butterflies. I think I almost stopped breathing I was just so determined to get this right. A week of emails between myself and Julie Hassan, the senior buyer for home, led to an appointment to go to London to take samples.
I had about three weeks to make new pieces and prepare myself, all the time pinching myself that this was really happening.

The day arrived, I had planned it down to the finest detail train times, parking, tube routes nothing left to chance. As you might expect I was incredibly nervous, I had a little time to kill when I arrived in Regent's Street so I lapped the store and found a little café for a cup of chamomile tea.


After entering the Liberty office building I waited a few minutes and was called to take the lift to the third floor. Here I was met by Julie, she put me at ease straight away. She was so easy to talk to and very encouraging, her buying experience meant she knew exactly what would work and how the pieces would be presented. I think I was maybe there for about 45 minutes and then emerged onto Kingly Street, excited and emotional. I rang my sister and we both burst into tears.
A dream come true is an understatement, my work will be stocked by Liberty of London! I owe so much to Linda and I cannot thank her enough.  
I will write about the new pieces I created for my first order in my next blog!