Home Interviews Meet Kate from Flourish and Fly – creator of gorgeous crochet jewellery and decorations
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Meet Kate from Flourish and Fly – creator of gorgeous crochet jewellery and decorations

by Camilla

Meet the Maker: Kate Green from Flourish and Fly

Kate Green from Flourish and Fly makes crochet jewellery in bright summery colours. But her gorgeous crochet is just the start of her creative ambitions. After putting her art to one side while her three daughters were very young, she started Flourish and Fly because she felt it was time for her to go after some dreams. “Butterflies only reach their full potential (and fly) in the second half of their lives. I realised I was entering the second half of my life and it was time for me to ‘flourish and fly’,” she explains. We talked to Kate to find out more about her colourful contemporary crochet and jewellery and what she has in store for the future…

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?
Hello! I’m Kate Green. I trained as an art teacher but my artwork went on the back burner while I raised three gorgeous girls. I turned 40 a few years ago and I felt it was time for me to flex my creative muscles again and reach for some dreams. I’ve developed a business called Flourish and Fly, making and selling colourful crochet jewellery that I hope brings a bit of sunshine to people.

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I turned 40 a few years ago and I felt it was time for me to flex my creative muscles again.

How did you learn to crochet?
I actually learnt to crochet not long before I started selling it! I’d taught myself to make a flower so I could teach others at a creative arts café, at a youth camp I helped at one summer. I found I really enjoyed it and decided to learn properly. I researched patterns, different types of yarn and hook sizes, and developed the designs I wanted to perfect.

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There’s an expression ‘God is in the detail’, and I literally believe that. When you look at Creation, you find colours and patterns and structures that can be nothing other than expressions of pure joyfulness in the act of creating. I want to try to reflect that in my own work.

I decided on a select and complementary colour palette, so all my pieces could be mixed and matched. I use 100 % cotton yarn (Pattons & Rico), which gives neat and vibrant results – I think that helps take crochet from looking “granny-ish” to contemporary craft.

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Crochet fits well round family life – it’s not messy, it’s small and I can carry it in my handbag, ready for use in the toddler group, the post office queue or the doctor’s waiting room.

I’ve found that crochet fits well round family life – it’s not messy, it’s small and I can carry it in my handbag (ready for use in the toddler group, the post office queue or the doctor’s waiting room). When researching contemporary crochet I was most inspired by a lady called Greta Tulner (ATERGCrochet) from Holland, who uses all the colours I love and sells her crochet patterns.

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Esme flower long crochet necklace – handmade crochet jewellery by Flourish and Fly

My husband gave me a mini break – a couple of days off being a mum – which I used to register myself as self-employed, create a website, design business cards and take my work round to local retailers.

How did you go from learning to crochet to starting Flourish & Fly?
I founded my business in Autumn 2013. My husband gave me a mini break – a couple of days off being a mum – which I used to register myself as self-employed, create a website, design business cards and take my work round to local retailers. Not long after that, I created my Folksy shop. I found the shops I approached really wanted to support me as a local artist and gave me invaluable help with pricing and packaging suggestions.

how to crochet a flower

I use a complementary colour palette, so all my pieces could be mixed and matched. I think vibrant colours take crochet from looking “granny-ish” to contemporary craft.

All sorts of unexpected doors have opened to me along the way. Last Christmas I was invited to exhibit in the Cambridge Showcase (alongside a group of 15 artists), I’ve signed a contract with Li & Fung (a large manufacturing company in Hong Kong, selling in stores across USA), I’ve had a three-page interview in Cambridge Magazine, a gallery page in a crochet book published by Quarto and been featured in Simply Crochet magazine, as well as showcased on various blogs. It’s great to be asked to share my story and work, as I hope it inspires others to reach for their dreams and embrace the creativity inside them.

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What’s the story behind the brand name, Flourish & Fly?
The name Flourish and Fly was inspired by butterflies. Butterflies only reach their full potential (and fly) in the second half of their lives. I realised I was entering the second half of my life and it was time for me to ‘flourish and fly’.

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Crochet Baubles – handmade Christmas decorations by Flourish and Fly

My crochet Christmas baubles are my best sellers, especially the multi-coloured ones. I plan to start building up stock for these during the summer this time, as I struggled to meet demand last year!

We really love your Christmas crochet baubles – how did they develop?
My crochet Christmas baubles are my best sellers, especially the multi-coloured ones. I’ve already received four orders this June in preparation for Christmas! I love making them as they are so pretty. I plan to start building up stock for these during the summer this time, as I struggled to meet demand last year!

crochet christmas baubles

Set of three Crochet Christmas Baubles by Flourish and Fly

I love making the crochet baubles as they are so pretty. I’ve already received four orders this June in preparation for Christmas!

Can you tell us about the names you give your crochet ranges? 
Once I’d developed my main crochet designs and was happy with them, I decided they needed names. So I asked my daughters to choose their favourites and named those ranges after them, then I had fun thinking of names for the rest. Rosie is my range using polka dot buttons, Betsy is the name for my mini crochet daisy flowers, and Esme is the name for the bigger crochet flowers.

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Betsy daisy flower hairclip – crochet accessories and jewellery by Flourish and Fly

My daughters chose their favourites designs and I named those ranges after them – Betsy is the name for my mini crochet daisy flowers

What does the future hold for Flourish and Fly?
Flourish and Fly has been going for nearly three years now. Crochet was always my first step towards further creative plans once I had more time and space, and my success has surprised me. Now my youngest daughter has started school and time is opening up, I’m seeking to develop as a fine artist. I’m currently turning our garden shed into an art studio and getting weekly painting coaching sessions by Skype with an artist in America. I’ve launched a blog on my website this month where you can follow me on my journey.

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It’s great to be asked to share my story and work, as I hope it inspires others to reach for their dreams and embrace the creativity inside them.

But I still love crocheting pretty things! I find it relaxes me at the end of the day, so I’m not stopping (however successful I become as a fine artist). To make things easier, I’ve reduced the number of ranges and colour choices I offer, and I’m honing in on my best sellers. In the future I also hope to experiment with how to combine my love of crochet and paint in mixed media pieces.

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DNA and Goldilocks 2016 by Kate Green

I’m currently turning our garden shed into an art studio and getting weekly painting coaching sessions by Skype with an artist in America. In the future I hope to experiment with how to combine my love of crochet and paint in mixed media pieces.

Where do you look for inspiration?
There’s an expression ‘God is in the detail’, and I literally believe that. When you look at Creation, you find colours and patterns and structures that can be nothing other than expressions of pure joyfulness in the act of creating. I want to try to reflect that in my own work, whether it’s using yarn or acrylic.

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Maisy crochet flower bunting by Flourish and Fly

My perfect day would be a day of solitude. It would be a morning painting in my new sunny art studio, followed by a walk through a flower-packed vibrant garden, leading on to an evening crocheting pretty flowers.

How would you spend your perfect day?
My perfect day would be a day of solitude. It would be a morning painting in my new sunny art studio while listening to Einaudi, an afternoon at a cutting-edge contemporary art and craft show, followed by a walk through a flower-packed vibrant garden, leading on to an evening crocheting pretty flowers while devouring a TV box set, partnered with a Chinese takeaway, a Belgian Bun from Greggs, a chocolate fountain with watermelon and a can of diet Pepsi. Well, you did ask!

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Discover more colourful crochet jewellery by Flourish and Fly

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