We take a look into the life of Sarah Foster, owner of Roobarb Gifts.
When did you start your business, and why?
The perfect opportunity arose just as I finished my National Diploma in Creative Textiles at college so I decided to go for it. With the support of my friends and family I opened the doors to my very first shop at the beginning of October 2008. I make a lot of the textile items for the shop; I mainly work at my desk in the shop – which the local customers enjoy seeing what I am working on, and then later seeing the final product available to buy on the shelf. I hand pick other home accessories and unique pieces of furniture to mix well together with the handmade items to give the shop an eclectic range of products.
Recently I have started to focus on making more wedding products after being asked to do a few commissioned pieces. There is a small section on the website. I have done things like quirky badges for wedding favours, personalised prints which make lovely wedding gifts and most recently 3D table numbers.
My favourite product has to be the framed embroidered bride & groom picture. I love making these as they are so personal. The customer can choose a few personal details to suit the couple; for example the hair colour, hair length, hair style, suit colour, flower colour and I finish them off with their names!
I get inspiration from all sorts of different things but at the moment I am spending far too much time on Pinterest! This is a great tool to use when planning a wedding it is basically an online pinboard but anything you pin onto it saves the link from the original place so you can always go back to find things.
I started out making a lot of home ware items at first, like cushions which are still proving incredibly popular. I also handpick a lot of lovely different products that are great to make a house feel more like a home. Many of our things are one off items so the shop changes all the time.
Please give us your top tips for creating a vintage or shabby chic wedding…
I would say to achieve the look properly it is all about collecting things. If you start as early as you can picking up things when you see them, this is also great as it spreads the cost a little. A friend of mine got married in France and she managed to collect lots of vintage and shabby chic plates to use as everyone’s place settings. So get to your local car boots & charity shops!
Any other information you would like to add?
My blog address is roobarbgifts.blogspot.com where I have all my latest projects and also run competitions from time to time. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook @RoobarbGifts and facebook.com/RoobarbGifts