When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I was living in London and craving an outlet to be a bit more creative and feel more satisfied. I took up upholstery courses, and realized that I wanted to find a way of making a living by using my hands. I left London for the countryside, and started working out how I could turn my dreams into reality.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
I’m still getting over a Design*Sponge feature at the beginning of this year. I submitted an entry to their Before & After for an old French nursing chair I’d reupholstered using some of my fabric, forgot about it and then nearly fell off my chair when Grace emailed me with some questions about a month later. When it went live the response was just incredible!!
How does the city you live in influence your work?
I’m hugely influenced by where I live, but its’ not a city these days. I live in the countryside and my studio is an old farm building round the corner from my house. It’s basic, but beautiful and rustic. I sometimes can’t quite believe how lucky I am to have it. There’s a resident bat and through the summer I have lambs outside my back door (see my plethora of instagram posts @jennysibthorp!)
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
It was a now or never kind of decision. I just figured that at the time I didn’t have any responsibilities in terms of children or having a mortgage etc and I really didn’t want to be working in an unsatisfactory office job forever. A really great friend just kept on saying to me ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ and he was so right, you just don’t know until you try it.
What are some inspirations for your work?
I’m inspired largely by my beautiful surroundings, bright colours, old photographs; but everything is inspiring, its just learning to hone these inspirations into something that makes sense. But just sometimes, I just want to remember something important to me by putting it into a print – Eggs was born shortly after my chicken Widdy went ‘Missing Presumed Dead’. A lot of my prints can be a little bit tongue-in-cheek like that.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
My favourite one is just chat to anyone and everyone about what you’re up to, you just don’t know who they might be and its amazing how easy it is when its something that really matters to you and that you feel passionate about. It’s really easy when you’re self employed to work every single hour possible and only take a break to eat and sleep, but this is a really important one, try to be disciplined and let yourself take off time every week, be that a few hours or a whole day. It’s amazing what a difference this will make to your energy levels and efficiency.
Jenny Sibthorp’s patterns and colors are as addictive as the cheeriness they emanate. Only one week until our London Holiday Fair, in the meantime find Jenny Sibthorp online here: