Alice Bohannon, a Fine Art student at the University of Central Lancashire, talks to LEP’s Karishma Patel about accidently bagging herself a business opportunity and her future dreams within illustration...
“It all started when I was sat at work making some baby shoes and one of my colleagues noticed this, and was interested in them.
“She owns a bookstore and wanted me to create some for her to stock.”
Initially unaware that her crafting hobby would enable her to make a profit and flattered by the proposal, Alice now sells her handcrafted creations.
Selling from between £4 and £6, Alice’s hand-sewn, embellished and embroidered baby shoes have been hugely popular and she is now taking orders by email.
The 19-year-old has been making and creating for as long as she can remember.
She said: “Creating things has become a part of me, it’s just who I am and what I do, it’s almost addictive – I don’t do anything else!”
In contrast to how she feels about sewing today, as a child she was not as enthusiastic about learning the skill. She reminisces on her sewing lessons with her mother
“I think when I was very young, my mum used to try to get me to sew, but I didn’t enjoy it at all!
“I wanted everything to just appear before my eyes without any work. I’ve learnt that the most important thing is that you enjoy the process. “
“If you don’t have fun with what you’re trying to create, why are you doing it?
Now, Alice appreciates what her mother has taught her and says her love for embellishing and textile stems from her mothers love for it.
“I think a lot of my inspiration for sewing and my patience when embellishing very detailed time consuming textile items comes from my mum.
“Now that I enjoy sewing, my mother and I sew together a lot. She has always been creative, but won’t admit it.”
Youtube has also been a vital aid in Alice’s development.
“A lot of my pattern cutting skills and in depth garment production has come from Youtube. I find that so many people have tutorials on how to cut and sew garments together properly. Once I learnt the basics inside out, I was able to do my own thing and make the rest up.”
Although most of Alice’s crafting materials are from her favourite store; Hobbycraft, she also loves to create garments and accessories from absolutely anything such as old shirts or material.
Alice, from Fulwood, believes that everything should be handmade.
“I make my own embellishments and bows; I don’t like buying everything for a handmade product.
“If you are going to call it handmade, it has to completely be handmade.
“I have been using lots of leather embellishments such as cut out shapes of animals and hearts, using contrasting textures and colour make my creations more unique, which is what I am trying to achieve.
“I even hand make my business cards and write every single one out by hand.
The design inspirations come to Alice from nature and looking at the environment around her: “Flowers inspire me a lot within design and illustration, but recently I’ve made my booties more contemporary.”
Among watercolour painting, sewing and photography, Alice loves drawing and illustration. Illustration is a passion that she hopes to take further into a career and will be starting an illustration course at UCLan.
Although Alice is unsure of whether to go into illustration for children’s books or fashion illustration, she is sure that Illustration will be her future.
She says: “I love that illustration lets me explore all of those things, and still keeps it relevant to illustration. It’s very free.
Interested in ordering baby shoes? Contact Alice at: firstname.lastname@example.org.