Friday Feature - 07.07.17

As part of our Meet the Maker series on our blog, we have created Friday Feature. Every Friday we will feature a team member and their Etsy shop, to give you a quick glance behind the scenes and discover more about our diverse team members.

Friday 7 July, 2017 - paperCutts designs

Name: Gemma Cutts

Location: Tooting, South London

Etsy Shop: paperCutts designs

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:

Hello! I'm Gemma! I am a designer/maker specialising in embroidery! I grew up between the UK and the Middle East where my earliest memories were of sequins, beading and embroidery, probably a good deal to do with my love of shiny things now! I studied embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I specialised in digital embroidery. I learnt to convert my drawings into stitch and off I went! I am nearly full time working from my tiny studio in Tooting with my Jack Russell Nora and podcasts and Radio 4 for company, where I draw, stitch, sew and create all of the products you see in my shop. My hobbies include painting the walls of my home bright colours, planning holidays I can't yet afford, reading, cooking and now I am attempting a lot more regular exercise!

Brutus Black Leather Cushion

Brutus Black Leather Cushion

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED ON ETSY?

Etsy was the first platform I started on when I began making again. I love being a part of the local team. There is a great sense of community and I love doing the markets as everyone that takes part and comes to browse/buy is always so lovely and willing to have a chat. The support for designer/makers is invaluable. Etsy is not my biggest selling platform, so I am always researching and trying new ways to increase the number of people looking at my products. Something that can never be ticked off the to do list!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN/MAKING PROCESS:

Everything starts with a drawing. Sometimes, I carry on and make a lino print and work from that as well. The drawing/print gets scanned into my computer, where I use specialist software to outline every single element of the drawing. Sometimes I vary stitches (satin, fill, running), overall the digitising process takes quite a long time. Once I have made the file, I sample on the machine. I have a 6 needle machine, so depending on how many colours the design has, sometimes I have to rethread the machine with a different colour halfway through stitching out the design. Then whatever I have embroidered gets made up into whatever it is; make up bag, clutch bag, cushion or blanket.

Gemma with one of her embroidered make-up bags.

Gemma with one of her embroidered make-up bags.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

I love being surrounded by so much inspiration. Whether it is on my studio walls or through following other designers/photographers/national geographic on instagram, I love how varied and full of colour this world really is. The studio is my favourite place to be, and whilst it is a very tiny room at home, one day I hope to be in a much bigger space so that I can work on much bigger projects! I do find that I berate myself for not doing enough each day, but I have learnt that I am not the only one, and that it is so important to recognise what you achieve each day rather than what you feel you should have done!

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU JOIN THE TEAM?

I think it was a couple of years ago, and I joined in order to apply to be in one of the markets. I don't think I got in but having gone to one of the meet ups, it was so fantastic to meet other makers like Suzie Lee Knitwear and Jinny Ngui who were so brilliant when I asked for advice on stockists etc. The support as a network is really invaluable for anyone no matter what stage they are at in their business.

To find out more about Gemma follow her on social media:

Instagram: @papercuttsdesigns

Facebook: @papercuttsdesigns