As a DIY enthusiast, I have major appreciation for all things handmade and each year when I visit the One of a Kind Show, I’m always so in awe of the time and effort that each artisan puts forward in order to bring their best work and pieces to the marketplace. Each product is like a work of art, because when it comes to handmade goods, every item is unique. No one item is identical to the next, and that’s what makes them all so very special.
A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to spend the Sunday afternoon with Danni, Founder and Designer of Pepper B., one of my favourite One of a Kind Online Shop home goods artisans. I visited her home studio and learned how her new collection of hand painted pillows were made. And the best part? I got to make my very own!
I’ve been following Pepper B. for a while and even own a few of their tea towels and mini cases. I was under the impression that all of the fabrics and textiles were silkscreened and produced by computers and machines and had no idea that the new collection of pillows is actually hand painted by Danni in her home studio!
The patterns were all designed by Danni, and then as orders are placed, each pillow is created by transferring the chosen pattern (Loop, Stripe, Dash) by hand with a brush using colour pigments that she pre-mixed ahead of time.
They are then left to dry, and later ironed before Danni brings them to her seamstress. I learned at the seamstress’ that each pillow takes approximately 20 minutes to prepare and sew! It was an eye opening experience to see how much love and effort goes into each pillow.
Pepper B. works only with local craftsmen and businesses to source all the materials and fabrics in order to bring the products to life. Though ready made products are available, DIYers such as myself also have the opportunity to take measurements and order textiles for projects at home.
Danni and I actually met years ago at an event, and I learned at that time, she had aspirations to design her own line of fabrics and textiles, and honestly, I was so thrilled to see that just in a short couple of years, she made her dream come to life.
I have much respect for fellow girl bosses and asked her to share a few tidbits on starting her business and hopefully, it’ll inspire some of you to follow your ambitions as well!
1. Why did you start Pepper B. Design
I had worked in the home decor design industry for several years and was SO ready to design products that I felt more connected to, and also that were made locally in Canada instead of overseas. I love being involved in every part of the process, instead of just the beginning.
2. Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
All over! Travelling, photography, art, or just whatever sparks an idea or image in my mind of a pattern or a motif. I always start by sketching ideas out, and then move them to my computer to refine the idea and create a repeat.
3. What Advice do you have for other makers starting out?
Don’t wait, just start! It’s impossible to be 100% prepared. Part of the fun is learning what you need to know long the way. 🙂
And I totally agree with her advice that it’s impossible to be 100% ready! From my experience in both my daytime gig and my life as a blogger, I’ve learned that if you’re serious about your goals, the best preparation is to do your homework, and put your best foot forward. There are so many learnings along the way, and just like life, running a business is an evolution!
I hope after reading this post, you’ve been inspired to follow your dreams or to support the many other local artisans from OOAK online that work so incredibly hard to create unique products for all of us to enjoy!