Meet The Maker – FancyKnittles, Spotted Peach, Coeterie Design

Fancy Knittles

screen-shot-2015-07-06-at-16.41.38-732x1024We are finishing off the week with a few special delights, there’s something for everyone in today feature from adorable Nursery décor and baby clothes, Leather accessories as well as the most intricate crochet miniatures we have ever seen.

We’ll begin with the lovely  Irina Tretyakova of FancyKnittles. Irina’s work if you haven’t had the chance to see it in person is by far some of the most impressive crochet work that showcases both the dexterity and patients needed to achieve her little characters. Boasting with personality and a great choice in colour we’re sure you’ll find at least one little figure you would want to keep tucked away.


Lets start it off easy. Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

I’m an ex-architect. I’d been working as architect quite a long time. But I think I’m better at making the cute crochet miniatures than at drawing the big concrete buildings ha-ha. So, I decided to change my job. I live in the valley and really love it. I love traveling and photography, smell of fresh air and wet soil. I like the sea and sun too but I hate boiling hot weather and I live in Wales because I love this soft climate. I love miniature things. I love to hold a little world in my hands and I love creating little dolls and stuff they need. When I was a child I loved the story about Gulliver in Lilliput.

We are in love with Irina’s little Christmas wonders, particularly the cake decorations we’ll be trying to think up plenty of excuses to make new cakes and deserts throughout the winter season just so we can get these out on display.

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What skill and techniques do you need to create your products? 

Crochet, knitting, a bit of felting, embroidering, drawing, good imagination and photography knowledge.

Irina is being very humble when discussing her skills and techniques; it’s clear to see her passion for accuracy and attention to detail from her previous job as an architecture has certainly aided her craftsmanship and showcases her ability to create and design such beautiful gifts.

Where did it all begin and where do you see yourself going? 

All began almost 20 years ago… OMG! I start crochet dolls when I stayed at home looking after my little boy. After two years of playing dolls I had to return back to my job and I had a break that lasted almost 12 years. I start my hobby again when we moved to the UK and I understand that I don’t like to be an architect any more! I would like to do what I like to do! (Probably I didn’t play enough when I was a child ). Now this hobby became my busyness and my life.

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We are so glad that Irina chose to follow her inner-child and came back to creating such wonderful pieces that can be enjoyed for years to come. The only question left is which one will be your favourite?

What most inspires your creativity?

Once I understand that the most powerful inspiration comes from my customers. I wouldn’t make some things if my customers didn’t ask me to make them. Sometimes I even don’t know that I can do this. Yes, the family, nature, all things around me are really important but I love my creative customers who give me a lot of fresh ideas.


What is your favourite part of EML? 

I think it is a real Christmas holiday feeling. Lots of amazing things, music, smiles, lights, crowd… And I love to be a part of all this with our team.

DPP_07754 копияreadyWhen Irina isn’t busy creating her wonderful world of miniatures and gifts she’s more than likely relaxing by the fireplace enjoying family life…

love to sit in front of the fireplace. It always was my dream to have a fireplace and finally, I got it!”

If you can’t wait to see her work at this years Etsy Made Local then head over to her Facebook, Instagram or Etsy Store for more lovely delights.


Spotted Peach

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Our second maker is one who loves nothing more than to create a little individuality and personality whilst showing off a little sparkle and of course the occasional pom pom. Katie Wilcox of Spotted Peach makes a variety of products from nursery decorations, accessories and the occasional baby onesie.

I am a full time nurse living in Cardiff with my husband, creating new things and perfecting my current products in my down time. I have been running my business since 2017 online and really enjoy interacting with other makers and my customers. I have taken many different routes with my business and my products and I love the flexibility this gives me when creating new things. Working predominantly with vinyl I expanded my products threefold since starting up and am always trying my hand at something new.”


unnamed (4)readyWhat skill and techniques do you need to create your products? 

I have a good eye for colour and love using different shades and themes in my products. I have always been creative and imaginative with new ideas and love a good brainstorm; I feel I have to think outside the box regularly to keep my products up to date and make them stand out

I trade predominantly in clothing and nursery decor; gifts for parents and a small portion of hair bows.”

We are in love with her felted pom-pom garlands and can’t get over her incredibly complimentary choice in colours. We can imagine hanging these around framed prints, along the fire place or even in the Christmas tree whilst dancing around to a few carols, mulled wine in hand of course.

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What most inspires your creativity?

Colour is what inspires me most creatively; I am a complete magpie when it comes to glittery things and working with all the colours of the rainbow and incorporating them together as much as possible is a passion. A lot of the time I will find some medium to work with and the idea comes afterwards.

With such a variety of products and creative outlets we asked Katie where it all began:

“…when I wanted to move from just using and creating wool felt balls to a much more varied medium; this moved me into the world of vinyl where the opportunities are endless. I currently produce around 80% of my products for babies and children including clothing and nursery decor. I am aiming to expand this to homeware and personalised gifts within six months and from there, watch this space!”


What is your favourite part of EML? 

I love to interact with local makers and to all be together to communicate, support each others products and ideas is brilliant.

When Katie manages to get a few moments to her self she can be found on the sofa, cup of the English Breakfast tea in hand with a blanket near by, that sounds like heaven after a busy day but if you would like to see more of Spotted Peaches work head over to her Facebook, Instagram and Etsy Store.


Coeterie Design

unnamedreadyWe finish off today’s Meet The Maker post with the very talented and Tracy of Coterie Designs. A leathersmith who’s use of raw edges, colour, and texture will certainly add a little uniqueness and bespoke feel to your new leather bag.

Lets start it off easy. Tell us a little about yourself and your business 

Passionate about sustainability and minimizing waste Coterie was founded on the idea of simple and functional pieces inspired by the natural qualities of leather hide. With a distinctive and recognisable aesthetic each bag is beautifully handcrafted from the finest ethically sourced leather and locally sourced traditional materials, combining contemporary styling and a sustainable soul. Each piece is hand stamped with the Coterie mark and comes with a provenance tag so you know each bag is individually made and every part of it is fully traceable right down to the thread!

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What skill and techniques do you need to create your products? 

I have a background in furniture design, product development and manufacture, an eye for detail, aesthetic, technique and process, all of which are involved in the production of every Coterie Leather Bag. Never pre-designed or pattern-cut, I use traditional leather working tools and skills. The leather I use is lightweight, supple yet strong and full of character.

Tracy’s use of sustainably sourced leather and materials not only means each bag is completely one of a kind but also leaves you reassured knowing that it was made with love and respect for the world around us, ensuring minimal waste whilst also looking very fashionable. One of our favourites has to be the raw edge messenger bag. The perfect size for everything you need minus the kitchen sink (because we all hate doing the dishes anyway)


unnamed (4)readyWhat most inspires your creativity?

Leather hide – I work mainly in leather, initially because I wanted to do something with the large scraps left over from my days in furniture design, but also because I love working with leather, the smell, the way the texture alters throughout the hide, thick and tough in some places, soft, supple and stretchy in others, complete with holes, scratches and scars – a testament to the natural origin of the hide. Inspired by the natural qualities of leather I use this as the basis for my work, using the texture and markings to dictate the form the end product will take. I make simple and functional pieces, each one skillfully designed and made with great attention to detail, lots of love and care.

Where did it all begin and where do you see yourself going? 

In 1996 I moved from Wales to London and trained as a furniture and related accessories designer, and when I graduated I went to work for a leading British contemporary furniture manufacturer and retailer. It was here that I started working with the waste leather from the upholstery, making bags from remnant upholstery leather which quickly grew into a little business. In 2007 I moved back to Wales and set up my studio, now with a busy workshop with lots of new ranges and plans in the pipeline for 2019.

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We are so glad that Tracy decided to move back home and is able to join all of us at Cardiff and Valley Creatives this year as we love her ethos and what her business stands for. We’re sure you agree that her bags are going to make the top of your Christmas list, so why not head over to her Etsy store and start adding to your favourites now.

What is your favourite part of EML? 

It’s my first time with a stand so looking forward to joining the community.

When Tracy isn’t enjoying a hard days work at the sewing machine and cutting table she l heads to the beach on the horse for some much needed down time and a little fresh air. If you don’t fancy bumping into her on the very windy coastline then head over to her  Instagram page for a more relaxing discovery of her work.


If you can’t wait until the 2nd of December to meet all of our lovely makers then head over to our Cardiff and Valleys Creatives Facebook Page for more information. Why not follow us on Instagram for even more sneak peeks.