Meet the Maker: Sarah McConville of Whiskers & Stitched
Meet the Maker is a new blog series on The Dapple featuring Q&As with the small businesses, creatives, and makers who are crafting unique products for dogs and dog lovers. Know someone we should include? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today on Meet the Maker, we're chatting with the talented designer behind one of our favorite Etsy stores, Whiskers & Stitched. Sarah McConville crafts jewelry, housewares, and adorable pet bandanas out of her home in Manchester. We spoke with Sarah about her creative process and vibrant designs.
What led you to create Whiskers & Stitched?
I love all things relating to cats and animals, and I used to get frustrated that there wasn't a great deal of choice for human products with animal prints on them. I started making my own makeup bags and purses, and gifting them to friends and family. As Whiskers & Stitched started to grow, I added pet bandanas, using the same high-quality, gorgeous fabrics.
What inspires your designs?
I take a lot of inspiration from the seasons for the bandana ranges. Spring is definitely my favorite time of year because there are so many beautiful prints to choose from! Sometimes it can start with something as simple as seeing a color I like.
What’s your process for creating a new piece?
I start by researching colors and prints, searching online and in my favorite fabric stores. I usually end up liking far too many fabrics, so then it's a case of trying to narrow it down. I also look at which fabrics have been most popular in the past to get a feel for what designs my customers like the most. Once I have all my fabrics, I start sewing and photographing each piece to go online in the shop.
Where’s your favorite place to work?
I work from home, so I'm happiest at my sewing machine with my kitties snoozing next to me.
Any exciting upcoming plans for Whiskers & Stitched?
Yes, I'm working on something new right now, so hopefully I will be able to launch a new range soon....watch this space! The Valentine's Collection has just gone live, and of course lots of exciting new fabrics will be added, too.
What’s your favorite item from Whiskers & Stitched right now?
I definitely have a thing for florals! To be honest I have to love the fabric before I add it to the collection, so it's not easy choosing just one item! At the moment I adore the Woodland Print Bandana from the Autumn/Winter collection. The detail is just perfect and it's such a beautiful color.
What's the most rewarding part of your work?
Getting sent photos is one of my absolute favorite things. There's just something so special for me seeing something I've created, in a way I guess it makes me feel proud. And I love seeing gorgeous pets—nothing beats that feeling!