Since starting Knutty Mums I’ve spent copious amounts of time trawling Facebook for all things Knutsford. I’ve come across some amazing local businesses, many of them started by a mum with a dream. This inspired me to begin a series of posts chatting with some of these super mums (and maybe the odd dad!), to hear their stories and encourage everyone to be supporting local businesses.
My first (ever!) interviewee was the lovely Elaine, a Knutsford Mum who started up Poppet and Squidge, making beautiful childrens’ clothes.
Tell me a bit about yourself
I was born in Glasgow but we (my parents and sister) moved to Tattenhall, Cheshire when I was about 9. I went to Edinburgh University to study law and then spent the most amazing year travelling. Eventually, I ended up back in Cheshire studying before starting work as a solicitor in Manchester.
I actually met my husband, Matthew, through a blind date. Some mutual friends set us up, I hadn’t even seen a picture beforehand! But we obviously hit it off. Matthew already lived in Knutsford which is how I ended up here. We now have two children, Verity age 5 and Rory age 3, and a slightly crazy dog called Murphy.
Have you always loved sewing and being creative?
No, not at all, I wasn’t even particularly arty at school!! I was made redundant in 2012 and decided to focus on being a mum. I had dabbled with sewing when I was pregnant with Verity and made a patchwork quilt for her on a basic sewing machine. After I had Rory, I felt that I had lost my identity and turned to sewing as I find it therapeutic. I signed up for a course which got me enthusiastic about sewing children’s clothes. It was only about 18 months ago I began to think that I could turn my new hobby into a business.
So tell me all about Poppet and Squidge!
The name came from my nicknames for my children; my daughter is Poppet and my son Squidge! I started off making girls’ dresses, and have a few different styles, each named after the first girl who wore it; so there’s the Dottie dress, the Verity dress and so on. I have since expanded and now also make some baby clothes in super soft, comfy jersey fabric. There are Scout pants (soft trousers named after my sister-in-law’s niece, Scout), and Ralperts (dungarees, named after my twin nephews Ralphie and Rupert). I also love making bespoke pieces, where I work with the customer to design and create what they’re after!
You have an amazing range of fabrics! Where do you get them from?
I’m obsessed with searching for fabrics!!! There are a few stockists I use regularly but I’m constantly looking at other ones online to try to find some gorgeous new design!
I particularly love Liberty prints and hope to work more with them in the future. I’m starting to move more towards organic fabrics as well.
Where do you work? How do you fit it in around the kids?
I work at our dining table; I’ve totally taken it over, we now eat in the kitchen and I clear it for special occasions only!! It’s hard fitting it around the kids, and I don’t like working late in the evening as I’m more prone to making mistakes. I used to do it during nap times but now try to get it done when my son is at preschool.
Are you doing any special pieces for Christmas?
Yes, stockings, jumpers and dresses. The stockings and jumpers are personalised and available in lots of different fabrics/colours and the Verity dress is available in some gorgeous Christmas fabrics! The last order date is 10th December.