In our first journal entry, we have the absolute pleasure of talking with Rachel, the talented creator behind Little Beacon - a beautiful brand offering slowly and thoughtfully produced handprinted textiles for the family home!
Images by @wnaaa
What do you make?
I make handprinted textiles: muslin blankets, linen quilts, wall hangings & more! I use the best natural fabrics I can find and print with hand made stamps using a natural earthy colour palette.
How did Little Beacon come to life?
I was bored with the baby/kids prints on the market and wanted to create something that added to the house rather than something I wanted to put away! I also think children's products should be gender-neutral.
You have a young family, how do you juggle that work/life balance... asking for a friend ;)?
Oh, I wish I had balance. I have a 3.5-year-old & a 7-month-old, and it's pretty hectic! I print at night which means I'm a tired mum at the moment! If you find a tip to balance please let me know.
I read in Annie Ridout's book 'Freelance Mum', "don't feel bad about the work/life balance being off. It's good for kids to see that mum is following her dream & working". So I'm really trying to remember that!
What are you inspired by?
My prints are simple shapes from nature. There is so much beauty in the texture & shapes around us every day. I particularly love the sun, moon & ocean - I'm sure you can see them in my work.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I want to create simple/timeless textiles that everyone in the family loves. All products are suitable for all seasons around the world.
What is your creative process?
My mind is a consist mess with ideas always running around, patterns pop into my head at the 2am feed! So I tend to scribble them down on paper as fast as I can.
I take lots of photographs of shapes & textures that inspire me. I make all the stamps myself which is so fun! If I have an idea then I can make exactly want I want - if it doesn't look right I can change it straight away.
Tell us about some of the techniques involved in producing one of your pieces:
To make the stamps I will cut & curve the shapes out of lino block. Then stick them to wood scraps to make the stamps. So I have a wonderful collection of the stamps.
I then hand paint each stamp & press on to the fabric. Each muslin blanket takes around 30 - 40 minutes just to print! It's a very slow process.
Describe your workspace:
I wish I could say my space was a beautiful white studio filled with natural light and plants but at the moment I print at home around the kids. So I have set up an old dining room table in my garage or I print on the veranda!
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
I have a beautiful customer in LA who has brought every single piece for her daughter including some bespoke pieces! She places an order every couple of weeks! I feel so honoured that she wants to surround her family with my art!
Why do you think it’s important to buy handmade goods?
I love buying handmade as I know there is sooo much love that goes into each piece! Hours & hours of designing and making! And to know that you are supporting another woman/mother is pretty amazing.
You can shop an edit of gorgeous Little Beacon pieces here.