Holly Dark of Little Laneway Design is a designer and print artist based in Hamilton. From her home studio she produces a range of uncluttered and cheerful New Zealand-inspired designs, which she turns into lovely decor and homewares.
What do you make?
I design and handprint a range of kiwi-inspired homewares, textiles and gifts.
How did you get into your craft?
Quite by chance really. While I’ve been creating different things all my life, it was only last year that I finally did a short screenprinting course and fell in love with it. It combines several of my different passions; graphic design, colour and beautiful textiles. It also appeals to my impatient side, as screenprinting can give you instant gratification!
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
Other than my short course, not really. Like a lot of other creatives, my training is on the job (including lots and lots of mistakes!). My professional background is in marketing and branding, and I definitely think that has helped me give a clear professional look to Little Laneway.
What inspires you?
Hands down, other creative people! When you work from home by yourself, you can spend far too much time over analysing and criticising your own work. When I meet up with other creative people and see them getting on with making and selling, it really inspires me.
Describe your workspace:
I wish I could say I have a gorgeous sunlit studio, but I’m just starting out, so my messy office space and garage are where I do my work. One day I hope to have an off-site shared studio with other creative brands.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I think my favourite feedback was some photos from a lovely customer who had bought a set of my Kia Ora Sunshine pillowcases. She had just finished doing up a gorgeous vintage caravan called ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and the pillowcases matched perfectly. I think to date, these photos have got the most ‘likes’ on my Facebook page ever. Everyone loves a vintage caravan!
What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Oh, What a Busy Day by Gyo Fujikawa. As a kid, I could look at these amazing kitsch illustrations for hours. In fact, I still do! (After the birth of my first baby, my mum hunted through loads of stored boxes and found my original book!)
A favourite quote:
‘Don’t compare your beginnings to someone else’s middle or end.’
What would your advice be for those starting out in a crafty business?
Although it’s so scary to first start putting your creative work out there into the public, just start with one thing and see how it goes. I totally believe in the power of starting something, it will gather momentum all by itself. I saw that with Little Laneway.
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it? It was a gorgeous cloud brooch from Yon at Clay Bird Ceramics. I actually got it for my sister as a present, but somehow it has stayed with me. Note to self, must buy another one!)
What’s in store for the rest of 2015?
Just trying to keep up with the Christmas rush!
Love Holly’s work? Check out more of her appealing products in her Felt shop.
Holly has kindly offered a prize of a choice of one of her gorgeous teatowels, worth $24, for one lucky Felt blog reader. To win this great prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Holly’s ideas and creations. The draw will be made on Friday 28 August and is open to New Zealand residents only.