My dad is self employed and after seeing him grow his business over 25 years I knew I would always work for myself - though I worked for him for a little bit first to get some invaluable lessons from him!
My business has evolved over the 2 years I have been trading, starting off as Your Handmade Home I made home accessories such as doorstops, draught excluders, aprons etc using very popular Clarke & Clarke fabrics. After about 12 months the market was flooded with companies doing the same. So I changed it up. I spent some time working as a freelance seamstress for a homewares company and sketching my own fabric designs in my spare time, the money from the seamstress contract allowed me to buy my screen printing equipment and my sketches became my first range of hand screen printed designs and Melissa Smith Textiles was born.
All my items are made by hand. I get my silk screens professionally exposed with my designs on and I have a studio in the basement of my dads shop, which is perfect as its not to hot so the ink doesn’t dry out! After I have printed my designs onto the base cloth fabric they get sent to be heat set which locks in the ink to the fabric. Then they’re ready to be turned into anything you want! I use my spare room in my house to sew up cushions, tote bags and pouches and make lampshades too. I also sell kits and the fabric so people can use it themselves for projects. I love to see what they come up with!!
The first thing that struck me about this pouch was the bright pink design - its really eyecatching and looks lush! It brightens up my make-up shelf and is no trouble to find amongst the rest of my accessories.
The pouch has a simple yet effective geometric design, and is unusual compared to other designs I've seen amongst simular businesses. I like the fact that it can be used as not only a make-up bag but a jewelry bag, skincare bag, accessory bag, hairbands and hairclips bag, or even a nailcare bag.
It is beautifully handmade, yet looks professional. It is eco-friendly and made with water based ink, so you don't need to worry about damaging the environment.
My husband and friends are a great help when I’m designing a new fabric as they give a fresh perspective to them and are honest in their opinions. They are also great at testing out products for me too!
I use google to find fabric suppliers and have lots and lots of samples sent to me before I decide on a cloth that suits my needs. I am moving over to GOTS certified organic cotton in the next print run and look forward to this as I’m a big believer in organic and eco-friendly products. My inks are water based and eco-friendly too!
I also run a craft fair called ‘The Handmade Bazaar’ which is run in my local town centre. Myself and my crafty friend Maria from www.ilovethecakeshop.co.uk met when we took part in The Mall ‘Retail Factor’ competition in 2012. I won the competition and Maria came a very close second and we decided we could join forces to open a shop - we ran a pop up shop with 15 concessions in The Mall Sutton Coldfield for 8 days and it was a HUGE success. We now run 'Al Fresco' events in The Mall Sutton Coldfield and these are taking place on 20th July & 17th August. I love seeing the different mix of crafts and the quality of crafts at the moment is amazing - there are some very talented people around and we hope to change the way people see handmade.
It is screenprinted onto 100% cotton, and is durable yet light. It is strong enough to hold even the heaviest of make-up products, and wide enough to fit all my eyeshadow palettes. It's not hard to tell that a lot of work has gone into Melissa's products, as you can see for yourself by her 100% positive feedback.
It is washable (a must have for a make-up bag!), and lined with a soft emerald fabric.
Melissa's products are made to order with international shipping, with free UK postage. So what's stopping you from ordering right now?
Go to Melissa's website at www.melissasmithtextiles.co.uk
Go to Melissa's Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MelissaSmithTextiles
Follow Melissa's twitter at @MelissaSmithTex
Follow Melissa's facebook page at @MelissaSmithTextile