with Sarah Blythe
Founder and Designer of Sarah Blythe
"We sell eco-friendly floral textiles and botanical photographic prints."
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Tell us about Sarah Blythe
We sell eco-friendly floral textiles and botanical photographic prints. We also specialise in unique preservation of wedding bouquets -- Wedding Bouquet Smash. I'm from Canberra, Australia but moved here to study a masters in textile design at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL in 2015 which focused on sustainability and design. I have always photographed flowers but am experimenting with hammering flower petals into fabric to create abstract artworks.
What does Sarah Blythe stand for?
Blythe is my middle name and my grandma used to call me Sarah Blythe when I was younger so it kind of just came about when mum and I started the business as she is the main influence behind the floral works.
Why did you choose floral as a major selling point?
My grandma is a huge influence to my work as she taught me to paint flowers with her since I was little. We used to collect flowers from her and mum's garden and then paint them together. I guess I'm still doing that today just with other people's flowers and using the petals as the paint instead! Mum and I decided to start working together when I moved to London as she is very good at sewing, so we brought her sewing skills and my designs together to create Sarah Blythe.
What are some of the key features of your product?
Although most of our finished designs are digital, we do use the real flowers (usually floral waste or wedding bouquets) to create the initial design. However, if it is for a temporary installation piece like a wedding backdrop or a window installation then we can use the original piece (with the real flowers in it) as the colours should stay enough for a shorter period of time. The issue with flowers is that a lot of them do turn brown over time when exposed to light so there are only certain flowers that will keep their colour (we do a lot of experimenting!).
What makes a good floral design?
The most common design we do is a Wedding Bouquet Smash, where I will take the bouquet and hammer parts of it into fabric (kind of using the petals as paint) to create an abstract design. We like to photograph this design to preserve the colours the bride had on the day and make it into a digital print to be used as an artwork or printed onto textiles so it can be made into a scarf, cushion lampshade etc.
What’s the greatest achievement of Sarah Blythe?
We were so thrilled to be awarded the 2017 My Country Business Awards - Home Accessory Crafters and Makers earlier this year! Also opening our shop a few weeks ago has been one of our most exciting achievements too.
What is the plan of Sarah Blythe in 2017?
We are excited to have opened our first shop in Kent this year so we will be busy trying to create more stock and taking orders there. We were also at the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court from 15-17 September.
Any advice for future entrepreneurs and startups?
Appreciate the process and celebrate little achievements along the way!