This week in our lead up to thread festival we chatted to Rebecca Engels who set up Rebecca’s Aix Home. Rebecca shares with us some thoughts including tips on starting up your own business and how you can get the most out of your day at thread.
We are really delighted to welcome you back to thread again this year and can’t wait to see you and all of the gorgeous kantha quilts, linens and other goodies on your exhibitor stand. How did you get into working with textiles and how did that lead you to forming Rebecca’s Aix Home?
Many years of collecting fabric and making curtains and cushions for my own home, meant that my cupboards were overflowing and if I wanted to keep on buying, then I should really start selling some of them.
How do you select the beautiful range of Antique & Vintage Textiles that you choose to stock? I am very lucky that we have a second home in France, so I spend a lot of time trawling antique markets and brocantes for textiles and haberdashery. I love colour and pattern and interesting textures, and try to keep my style quite modern but using antique and vintage fabrics.
What has been your most enjoyable and proudest moment whilst running the company? I love it when I get feedback from my customers about how pleased they are with their purchases. I also love spotting kantha quilts that I’ve sold in magazine.
What tips do you have for anyone thinking of starting their own business? Social media is a must – I find instagram better for selling, but have more fun on Twitter commenting on radio (I’m a big Archers Fan) and TV programmes etc – you never know where you will find your next customer.
I follow magazines such as Selvedge, Reclaim, Homes and Antiques as they have featured my products. I also follow some bloggers e.g Kate Watson – Smyth at Mad About The House and journalists – e.g Katrina Burroughs – a Sunday Times interiors journalist for inspiration on new trends.
Please tell us about what visitors to thread should expect to find at your lovely stand? I will have a colourful selection of vintage kantha quilts and throws – they can be used to make cushions, blinds,curtains, headboard covers – the list is endless. Some cushions and bags made from antique and vintage French and hungarian textiles as well as a selection of rustic French and Hungarian linens, grainsacks and floor runners. Oh and a bit of haberdashery as that proved popular last year.
This is your second year as a thread exhibitor. Can you tell us about what you enjoyed most about thread last year? I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of your attendees and their creativeness – I sold quite a lot of pieces of linen and hemp for sewing projects as well as larger pieces for the home.
How can a visitor get the most out of their day to a textile show such as thread? As an exhibitor I always miss out on the talks and workshops, so plan your day around those but don’t forget to come and do some shopping as well.
thread…festival of textiles takes place on Saturday 30 September 2017 from 9am – 6pm. For £5 advance tickets click here. A day ticket includes access to the marketplace, talk programme and exhibitions. A full schedule of bookable workshops will be available shortly via craft.farnhammaltings.com. A workshop ticket includes day entry to the festival.
About thread: Spend the day celebrating textiles at thread! Browse the curated marketplace for artisan fabrics and haberdashery to purchase for your own textile projects or buy from artists and makers showcasing their own unique handcrafted work. Join in with the programme of talks, exhibitions and demonstrations from professionals or sign up to one of the bookable workshops. Following it’s success in 2016, thread will once again be exploring the social and ethical aspects of textiles through activities. Join our community of textile enthusiasts for a sociable and inspiring day out. A full listing of marketplace exhibitors, the talk programme and additional information will be available shortly at craft.farnhammaltings.com and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for news and programme updates.