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Shop Talk :: Hollowbourne

Mr Fox brooch

This week we’re talking to Mandy Holwell from Folksy shop Hollowbourne

Could you describe your shop?

This is me! I make things I like and hope someone else is on the same wavelength, my folksy shop reflects my personality and eclectic interests. I can be a bit fluffy at times, hence the silly/cute animals , I like to read science fiction and fantasy hence the robots and dragons. I love the pre raphaelite/arts and crafts/gothic revival period hence the more serious metal work. I’m a born doodler,these are doodles made from metal. I make what takes my fancy on any particular day,with no regard for fashion or conformity. I see my work as small pieces of art that happen to be wearable and I just want people to smile when they see my work.

Who does your Folksy shop appeal to?

Everyone I hope. People who appreciate owning something unusual and handmade, who have a sense of humour, and would like to have an original piece of art .

Is this your day job?

Part of me wishes it was, but I would not like to have to make dozens of the same thing. At that point it can cease being a pleasure and become more like factory work. So I work part time selling central heating boilers to make ends meet. It’s just bigger pieces of metalwork!

egg and chick brooch

Have you been into craft and the handmade lifestyle for long?

I did a degree in silversmithing and jewellery at Loughborough in the early 1980s, so yes, I suppose so. I used to do craft fairs but ended up in a full time job with no time to make jewellery to sell. So for years I just made things for presants and my own amusement. The “crafts and the handmade lifestyle” was not a conscious choice, my family are all creative, there are 4 of us selling on Folksy. The Need ( with a capital N ) to handmake runs strongly in my family. We all paint,sew,knit,or make stuff fom wood, metal etc.You name it, someone in my family can probably do/make it! I rarely buy
anything if I think I can make it myself.

Where do you promote your shop?

Almost nowhere. I have a facebook page as Hollowbourne and as Mandy Hollowell and an underused blog, self promotion is something I’ve never
been good at. I have my own Hollowbourne website where my work appears first, and I sell on Etsy and Dawanda as well as Folksy.

Do you have plans to expand your business in the future?

No I have no plans for world domination……..I would like to sell more but would not want to expand to the point where I was having to pay
someone to make for me.

Small flat cat brooch

What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening up a shop here on Folksy?

Go for it, you may need to experiment a bit to find your own particular niche, try to make something totaly original and true to your own
personailty .

We’d love to hear your comments!

Get in touch if you have an idea for an article you’d like to see on the Folksy Blog – hilary@folksy.co.uk

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Victoria April 13, 2011 - 9:52 am

Your work is really cute, love your photos all very clear. Can certainly see the inspirations coming through into your pieces.

Alison April 13, 2011 - 12:17 pm

I’ve always admired Mandy’s metalwork brooches – and as of today i have my own – and yes it does make me smile! Great work Mandy, thank you.

StephieStephie April 13, 2011 - 11:29 pm

OOOoooo I love your metalwork. I have just checked out your shop and My favourite is this daisy brooch


It’s just so lovely.

Stephie :-)

frabjoustings April 14, 2011 - 10:12 am

Very interesting to hear so much more about this artist and her training and lifestyle with attitude and historical design tastes that she had not revealed before in words.

As she says: “self promotion I have never been good at” but her work speaks very much for herself and all the many things that inspire humour and detailed observation..

I am especially in love with the “fluffy” things but very much also the wild, detailed etched creatures. I bet David Attenborough would love the insects!

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