Piglet & Chestnut Macrame Nursery Decorations

0

Published:
4:00 PM 11 June 2022



Where does your love of arts and crafts come from and why do you appreciate it so much?
I have loved all arts and crafts since I can remember.

I think I just like being able to draw or do something and get lost in it. It’s a way of escaping.

When did you first try macrame and what did you like so much?
Last summer, my youngest, Chester, asked me to make him a dreamcatcher and it all went from there. I started watching YouTube videos, reading books and I was hooked right away.

I love its endless possibilities, how you can have a spool of cotton and just make a bag or make a plant hanger or just something pretty like a rainbow!


One of Gem’s macrame rainbow nursery decorations
– Credit: Assessed

What made you decide to take the plunge and start your business, Piglet & Chestnut?
It really came out of nowhere, it was just a hobby last summer and it’s snowballed ever since. To be completely honest, macrame was taking over the house and my husband said I should start trying to sell it.

I never expected it to reach this level, where I made it on Not On The High Street and sold it to John Lewis. It seems surreal!


Some of Gem's macrame wall hangings.  She became addicted to the craft when she learned it a year ago

Some of Gem’s macrame wall hangings. She became addicted to the craft when she learned it a year ago
– Credit: Assessed

Tell us about the products you started with…
Macrame rainbows were one of my first creations. I think it was comforting for me, after the losses I had suffered. For many of us it’s a symbol of hope and positivity and I think that’s why I loved and still love doing them, over 700 rainbows later.

Where does the name Piglet & Chestnut come from?
These are the nicknames of my two sons Elijah and Chester. Elijah was an absolutely huge baby with a huge appetite (which he still has!), just like my little piglet.

And while I was pregnant with Chester, he was always my little Chestnut.

What inspires your creations?
Colors! I love looking at interior design accounts on Instagram. I’m not looking for anything in particular but if I see colors that go well together, either on Instagram or on the go, I try to incorporate them into my designs.

Tell us about your DIY kits…
Clients have been asking me for some time, really ever since I started making rainbows.

So I used my skills I learned through tutoring along with my arty side to design the kits and I’m so thrilled with how they were received.


Gem recently had a Piglet&Chestnut pop-up shop in John Lewis, Norwich

Gem recently had a Piglet&Chestnut pop-up shop in John Lewis, Norwich
– Credit: Assessed

What does running a small business look like? What challenges did you find?
I’ve been self-employed full time for several years now as a private tutor, so running a small business is nothing new to me.

However, since the two companies are completely different, they both came up with their own challenges. I would say the main one for me, which actually applies to both, is isolation. It can be very lonely at times and not everyone will approve or support you when you are running a small business.

I admire all small business owners because I know what courage it takes. It’s definitely a way of life and not something to be taken lightly.


Sustainability is important to Gem, so they use recycled cottons to make their macrame pieces

Sustainability is important to Gem, so they use recycled cottons to make their macrame pieces
– Credit: Assessed

Tell us about how you try to make Piglet & Chestnut as sustainable as possible
Because I often teach about renewable energy, sustainable living, and the importance of being eco-friendly in my classes, I deferred this to Piglet & Chestnut.

I tried to think of everything! The business cards are printed on recycled and recyclable cardboard with inks based on natural vegetable dyes. The paper tape, tissue paper and stickers I use are also made from recycled materials and themselves recyclable. The cottons I use are made from recycled cotton and naturally dyed.

I am acutely aware that publishing nationally and internationally increases my carbon footprint and so I approached a company to plant trees to offset those emissions as well. I work hard to be a carbon neutral small business.

What have been the highlights so far?
For me, accessing the Not On the High Street sales platform and being accepted by John Lewis.

With Not On The High Street, my initial application was rejected, but I tried again a few months later after upgrading Piglet & Chestnut and checking off the suggestions they gave me.

I wrote on my second application ‘tell me what to do as I will continue to apply until you say yes!’ And luckily they said yes.

See Piglet & Chestnut online at notonthehighstreet.com and follow on Instagram @pigletandchestnut

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.