I am so delighted to introduce to you Toni from Driftwood Sails. I have been following her on Instagram for quite some time now and she has very kindly took part in #mamaswhomake I have really enjoyed finding out more about the 'behind the scenes' of these beautiful products and hope you enjoy too.
What is my inspiration?
I have lived on the Kent coast since I was 9 years old and I never get tired of the coastal landscape. The beaches vary a lot, some are made up of large pebbles, like Whitstable & Deal (very beautiful, but harder to walk on!), some are sandy like my local beach Botany Bay in Broadstairs. We also have a lot of mussel shells in this area and of course chalk, from the 'white cliffs'. My artwork is inspired mostly by the seaside houses, coastal cottages and beach huts that Kent has in abundance. I like to use beachcombed treasures in my pieces - driftwood, chalk rocks, dried wildflowers, shells, even sand.
What do I create?
The first piece I ever made was a Sailboat, created with driftwood, nails, wire & fabric. That was where the name DriftwoodSails first came to me. Since then my work has evolved and these days I mainly craft salvaged wood cottages, harbour scenes and beach houses, with the occasional sailboat thrown in for old time's sake! I also have a custom order book - people often ask me to re-make a piece that they have seen or their own house (from a photo).
How do you juggle work & being a Mum?
My daughter is now 18 & pretty good at getting herself off to college in the mornings 😊 my working day starts around 7.30 with a cup of tea, while I catch up on social media sites, respond to comments, place marketing posts, check the order book, keep up-to-date with the accounts etc. Usually I'm in the studio by 8.30 and that is most definitely my favourite part of the day! After lunch, I wrap & package parcels ready for the post office run, then list items in the Etsy shop and more social media marketing & catch-up, before cooking our evening meal.
Why do you do this?
The simple answer to that is because I absolutely love it! Three years ago I never would have dreamed I would be doing this. I am actually a qualified nursery teacher but when the owner of the nursery that I was working in retired, I jumped at the chance to do something different. Now I wake up every day excited about working in the studio. I feel very blessed 😊
What is you best piece of advice?
I would say, create what you love. Your work will reflect what you put into it. Artist first, businesswomen second.
You can find a more of these beautiful pieces:
Thanks for reading. 😃