I recently came across these 2 girls on Twitter when I did a shout out for more people/ businesses to be featured on our Blog as I like to feature a good variety of crafts. They invited me to take a look at their on-line shop to see if I would be interested in featuring them. I knew straight away the answer was yes as I just fell in love with their handmade bag and purse designs. Please have a read and take a look at their designs. Thanks. Lx
Tell us a bit about your background and your business?
We are ‘Cut Out Girls’, two friends based in Peckham, London, who met at Art School in the North and started our craft venture roughly one year ago! Our shared desire to create stylish functional and unique designs with our own hands and traditional skills was the motivation behind collaborating together.
What do you make and what training and qualifications do you have or need?
We have created a collection of bags using a range of traditional skills and back to basic hand crafting, such as weaving, knitting, sewing, and leather craft. Our items where possible use locally sourced or reclaimed and recycled materials, and are made individually by our own fair hands. Our backgrounds in Fine Art have provided us with designing and making skills.
Where do you sell/exhibit your work?
We currently have our own website allowing customers to buy our products online, and place orders for bespoke commissions. However, we also are featured on a few blogs, online shops and websites that sell some of our range. For the past five months we have also had a weekly stall on Sundays at Brick Lane’s ‘Backyard Market’ selling amongst fellow hand-made designers and makers, and hope to branch out to a further range of markets for the spring and summer to try out different areas of London and reach different audiences. Our aim for 2012 would be to hopefully find more outlets to sell our bags and to create some new collections inspired by new finds!
Tell us about some of your favourite or most challenging pieces and what inspired you to make them?
All our products grow through periods of trial and error, and a lot of hard work experimenting with new materials. One of the success stories was our rope satchel that began as an experiment knitting using cotton rope, and has developed to be one of our best sellers!
Our latest development has been a move away from solely knitting , a cotton and leather rucksack, and is a unisex item which is something we want to create more of!
In the whole range our token favourite is our fun little knitted purse which is a bestseller on our market stall.
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
Our creative inspiration comes from a range of influences, mainly street style, blogs, ethical fashion and our own friends and personal preferences. We admire androgynous style and feel this is reflected in our practical and functional bags that we hope can be seen in our designs.
And what motivates you?
As our working process evolves through living together, and making together, we are constantly motivating each other and bouncing ideas, which inevitably results in a rolling progression of our designs. We are also both strongly motivated to do something that we enjoy and believe it, and this propels our hard-work!
What piece of equipment could you not live without?
Our equipment is paramount to the hand-made nature of our creations. As we’re a duo, we couldn’t live without two items – a pair of chunky strong knitting needles, and a trusted grandparent’s leather puncher.
What are your goals/plans for the future?
We aim to make our crafting venture into a full-time career and see this as our overall goal for the future!! In the short-term in order to achieve this, our goals are to find financial investment, and continue to enjoy meeting and networking with fellow designers/makers and craftsman.
When you first started if you could have been given one piece of advice what would it have been and what advice would you pass on?
Looking back we both feel that we would have benefited from financial and legal advice to best know how to go about developing a new start-up. Our advice to others would be that if you believe you want to do something then have the confidence to go for it (!) and on a practical note, make the most of social networking as this is a free way of finding support.
Where can we find you?
We sell online at www.cutoutgirls.bigcartel.com, and have a blog for musings and inspiration www.cutoutgirls.tumblr.com. As our items are hand-made we love to receive commissions or requests, and you can get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also find us on Facebook and twitter!
Carla and Libby
‘Cut Out Girls’