What is your background?
From a young age I’ve always had a passion for all things colourful; this lead me to study Design Crafts at university with a view to perusing a career in design. This and having previously spent time living in Asia led to me starting up Felt So Good, a Fairtrade registered craft and design wholesale and retail company specialising in ethically sourced felt goods.
What inspires you?
When I was living in India in Goa, I was lucky enough to experience hands on the thriving Indian textiles and craft industry. There’s such an amazing range of different materials in the most beautiful and vivid colours, ranging from silks to hand painted wood carvings. Travelling further through Asia, I came upon the vibrancy and potential of handmade felt.
Tell us about your company and your ethical trade?
Since visiting numerous factories throughout Asia, the importance of the environment that people work in became the driving force behind my business. I could not morally know that my team would be working in a poor environment, long hours and all for an unfair wage. Because of this, I very much feel a shared responsibility for the employees of the cottage industries I work with. My focus is to keep up the hard work and grow Felt So Good so that they can continue to be within a safe and happy working environment and can provide for their family the way they want to.
Have you a favourite animal you like to make?
I’m constantly thinking up of new designs to make! I think that my favourites have to be the really quirky cute ones such as our flying pigs. We’ll definitely have more magic in the pipeline soon!
How have your travels influenced your work?
As I’ve mentioned above, my travels have massively influenced not only my creative design, but also every aspect of the way I run my business. Seeing how much love and care the highly skilled artists in Asia dedicate to their work really set me to pair my creativity with a strong work ethic that I feel greatly reflects that.
What Artists do you love?
When I was at university, I was lucky enough to spend time in work experience with Peter Layton at London Glassblowing. I absolutely love this technique and spent most of my time at university trying to master it. I also have a great passion for fashion designers, some of my favourites are Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. However any artists that are skilled in a craft, whether it be wood carving, painting, ceramics etc I have the upmost admiration for.
What do you love about living in the UK?
Having experienced first-hand conditions within some parts of developing countries; I feel very blessed to live in a country with free health care, a national insurance system and where I know that my loved ones and I are not every day at great risk from exploitation or illness. This is one of the reasons I continue to visit my suppliers regularly to ensure that the artists that create my designs are not either.
Where would you like to travel next?
I’d say somewhere like Morocco where I can spend time exploring all the markets. I’m always on the lookout for fresh ideas, the hustle and bustle and sights and smells would really energise me and I’m sure I’d return with a bucket load of inspiration!
See more of Adele’s Work here http://www.ameliasbarn.co.uk/designermakers-31-c.asp