Today we are with the gorgeous owner of NeekieNoo - Amanda Laing.
How did you start your business?
NeekieNoo Handmade started with the birth of my daughter. It was such a wonderful and overwhelming time of change for me. I left my career of over ten years as a commercial interior designer to care for this little bundle. In return she gave me back much more than I would have ever expected. She opened my eyes to the world again and re-kindled a creative drive in me which had always been there but had never fully surfaced. By making things for her, I began to explore different textile materials and craft techniques and I discovered I had a real passion for vintage materials and designs. Over the years my making became somewhat of a passion, something that I had to do to keep sane! My designs eventually evolved into a range of accessories, mainly now for women, but there is still a link back to the child. The connection back to childhood with my fabric choice is of real interest also to me. I believe my designs will keep evolving as I continue to discover new materials and techniques and now with a little son in tow who knows where that will take me!
What inspires you?
So much inspires me! I really adore the whole design process. Sourcing of vintage materials, designing, making and photographing each item. The satisfaction in seeing the finished product is so satisfying and if someone else also sees the value in my work well that’s an added bonus!
I also love the challenge of making jewellery out of inexpensive materials. To take natural twine and make something beautiful out of it is a challenge I love and I am also motivated by the eco-friendly aspect of using natural fibres and upcycling materials.
I really don’t have to look far to be inspired by the natural world either it is a constant resource for me and I think exploring it through the eyes of my children helps me to ‘see’ all of that clearly. Oh and I also adore flowers surprise surprise, I used to draw and constantly pick and arrange them for my mum as a child, daisies are a definite fave of mine. :)
What is your favourite piece in your collection?
It was love at first sight with the vintage flower loom (for obvious reasons!) so I would have to say the flower loom bibs are my favourite. If I get on a roll I can weave a whole necklace in a day especially if I’m using a beautiful natural twine which is lovely to work with. It’s totally therapeutic, flower looming, similar to knitting or crocheting I could imagine.
Where would your dream holiday be?
I really would love to visit Holland. Having a Dutch father and grandparents I have had some exposure to the creative aspects of the Dutch culture in my life but I would really love to see the countryside, colour and design in the flesh.
If you could invite 5 people (dead or alive) to dinner, who would you invite and why?
Mmmm five people to dinner that’s a concept I find hard to entertain these days since my kids are 5 and 1, anyone really would be exciting lol!!!!! But if I had to choose, Antonio Gaudi, Florence Broadhurst, Arne Jacobsen, Debbie Harry and Diane Arbus, yes that would be an interesting enough bunch no?!
What is your favourite meal?
I am not a huge foody but definitely savoury over sweet, at the moment anything spicy or curried hits the spot with a glass of wine thrown in there too yumbo!
Amanda says "Welcome to my store if you are looking for something pretty and floral you are in the right place! I design and make wearable textile pieces from both new and upcycled fabrics, leather and twine just to name a few materials.
My philosophy behind these designs is that you don't have to use expensive materials to create a beautiful jewellery piece and I love breathing new life into old materials. I also have a love of vintage things so my designs therefore frequently link back to vintage styles and or crafts. For example, I use a vintage flower loom to weave my flower pieces from re-purposed 1960's/70's floral sheet fabrics and twine.
I am also happy to design to a custom colour or brief just send me a message with the details. I hope you enjoy!
You can see Amanda's beautiful full range here.