Its taken me a while to get to this Meet the Seller but it is well worth the wait!
Read below to find out all about the brains behind the Devonport Craft Market and the brand Cotton Kiwi.
Introducing Sarah Bird
How did you come up with your stall name?
It was one of those 3am moments of inspiration. My stall was originally called TOTO (which means 'child' in Swahili) but I wanted something that was more catchy and reflected a little bit more on what I made. I googled the name and was amazed to find noone else was using it and relaunched as Cotton Kiwi last October.
How long have you been crafting?
Since I was little. My Mum is very creative. I grew up travelling the world with my parents and we often couldn't buy nice clothes where we lived. Mum would make all of our clothes and all of hers so I learned how to sew and knit by watching her.
What is your craft?
Sewing mainly with some knitting and the occasional bout of painting. I started off making childrens' applique t-shirts, bibs, aprons and soft toys (particularly sock monkeys and babysafe toys) but then branched out to include a few bits and pieces for adults. My most popular item is probably the Tape Measure Rose Brooches I make. I also make tea-towels appliqued with tea cups and cupcake and coffee cup pincushions which are made using felted sweaters.
How did you start creating?
As with many crafters out there, my Mum had me crafting from an early age. I was constantly getting in trouble for cutting great big holes out of the centre of expensive pieces of fabric to make a dolls outfit or messing up her embroidery threads and patterns. She was very supportive though and taught me a great deal (still does!). I was given my Nan's old sewing machine when I left home but rarely had the time to use it when I was living in London. Since having children, I've been inspired to make things for them and comments and requests from friends and families started the whole ball rolling. I've been actively crafting for about 2 years now and make time to learn as much as I can. There is so much information to be found online from fellow crafters and bloggers, it's really easy to pick up new skills.
What inspires you?
My children, my Mum, other bloggers, pictures, books and photographs from 1950s- 70s (I'm a big fan of retro and vintage items), old sewing patterns and seeing what other people are making all over the world online.
What is your favourite book?
I love sewing books by Emma Hardy. Her instructions are so easy to follow and are always beautifully photographed.
I have so many other favourite books but recently read The Time Travellers Wife and loved it. I seem to spend most of my time these days reading Milly Molly Mandy and Cat in the Hat stories!
What is your favourite food?
I do love sushi but most food is a hit with me if it eaten with friends or family and a few glasses of wine.
Favourite inspiration site; blog or online shop?
I have so many but these are favourites:
ETSY (American based handmade website)
FELT (NZ handmade website)
And these bloggers are favourite places to visit for inspiration:
The Crafty Crow (this is aimed at kids but I still love to visit!)
The blogs of many of the Devonport Craft Market sellers are very inspiring too. You can find them in the side bar of the blog.
Aside from the Devonport Craft Market, Where can people buy Cotton-Kiwi?
Online at my FELT store or my ETSY store and I usually sell at Crafternoon Tea Market in Kingsland as well as the Devonport Craft Market. I also get a lot of orders from people just emailing me so feel free to do that on firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah has a giveaway over on her blog this week to celebrate a year of being online. Why not pop over to the Cotton Kiwi blog and enter to win some lovely goodies?