Meet the Maker: An Interview with Loominessance

If you have been following my journey for a while then you will know that I am just crazy about weaving! I love everything about it- the skill, the texture, the unique qualities of each piece. You name it, I love it. What I love even more is that even though weaving has become incredibly popular, each artist brings a whole different set of skills and creative vision to their pieces that give them that signature appearance. Hannah is a classic example of an artist that I have followed from the very beginning and seen her business and skills develop over time. I have purchased so many of her pieces and love each one for their own personal reasons and charm. If I had it my way, I'd have a house full of weaves and I think after seeing Hannah's work, you'll totally understand why...

1. Tell us a little about you and your business.

Hello Hello, I am Hannah, 28 years old (as I type) maybe 29 by the time you are reading this! I live in Croydon, South London (England). I have a day job of working for a local council doing Property and Facilities Management, as well as my weaving on the side! Weaving gets squeezed in the evenings and weekends if I’m lucky! I share my business journey all on Instagram, with the day to day life stuff (including my 2 cats) on my stories.

2. What inspired your business name?

My dad actually came up with the name Loominessance; it took us a little while to come up with something relevant and appropriate! When he came up with this one it just sounded right. I wish I could give you a fancy story or an interesting fact behind the meaning but google isn’t coming up with anything!

3. How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I first saw the craft when I came across the Instagram page Sunwoven. I very quickly fell in love with woven wall hangings and would have loved one in my home. At this time the craft only seemed to be popular in Australia or The United States. This meant it cost a lot if I wanted to purchase one! I had not long before learnt to crochet so I had some wool at home and decided I would try weaving for myself. I ordered a very cheap loom online which took over a month to get to me; I had completely forgotten I ordered it.

Once I got started on my first weave I instantly became obsessed. The same day I started my first weave, I visited my local farm where I have been going since I was a baby and even used to work there. While there I had a chat with the “spinning ladies”. The spinning room at the farm had been there for years and years, the whole time I worked there, I never had any appreciation for what was in that room. The room was full of looms, woven tapestries and spinning wheels; bags upon bags of wool from the sheep on the farm and every bit of inspiration I would ever need to go home and finish that first weave. I got some weaving tips; I spun some wool and came home with a handful of wool and alpaca fleece to weave with.

I often wonder whether I would have continued to weave at the speed I did if I hadn’t visited them that day, but I’m glad I did! Carole (one of the spinning ladies) runs a monthly craft morning for her friends and has invited me a couple of times to run weaving workshops for them. She is the cutest and I want to adopt her as my gran!

4. How long has your business been running?

I started weaving in December 2015 and started my (secret) Instagram page almost straight away and even set up my Etsy shop fairly soon after just to see if anything sold. I made so many weaves I had to try and do something with them! Although I shut it within a couple of weeks as I had no beliefs it was going to go anywhere. It wasn’t until March 2016 when I got a message asking to purchase one of my weaves that I got my first official Etsy sale. I then filled the shop with weaves and it hasn’t stopped since!

5. What inspires your creations?

Instagram is such a great place to get inspiration. I follow and interact with a lot of home interior pages. I have a passion for home décor and have never really been able to embrace it. Instagram allows me drool over everyone’s homes, get tips for my own home and gives me up to date knowledge on styles and colours people want.

Trends are changing so rapidly it suits me perfectly as I like to constantly change what I am making. I don’t tend to repeat styles; I don’t often plan what a weave will look like. I will have a colour pallet in mind and let my hands create whatever they want!

6. What is your proudest achievement to date?

Apart from the pride that comes with every sale I get (which is still surreal), I would have to say doing the workshops. I have done a few now which for me is a big step. I used to be very shy and would never dream of walking into a room full of strangers and teach them something. I have to advise people that I am no professional, my weaving is all self-taught so may I not know all the lingo but I am proud at what I seem to know and by seeing the quality of the weaves people walk home with, I am able to successfully teach other people too.

7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. I tend to live in a bubble, do what I’m doing, watching what’s going on but not getting too involved. When it comes to this small business of mine, I have learnt it is best to do what works for me, do the work I want to do, say no if I want to and be honest with what I am trying to do, people really do appreciate it and there is always someone out there to support whatever decision I want to make, no matter how big or small.

8. What is your favourite make?

It is quite often I will say “this is my favourite piece” so it is hard for me to really pick just one. However this piece is probably high up there as a favourite as it was my first big piece. My dad made me a very large and versatile loom, I sat down and warped only half of it and I had a vague idea of what I wanted it to look like. Surprisingly it didn’t end up too different to my vision (which is rare!). This piece was filled with so many different materials from crystals, suede and mini pieces of driftwood within the body of the weave. It went off to live in the USA which made it even more special!

9. What is the best feedback you have received?

I have received so much lovely feedback; Etsy has a feature for people to leave feedback which I love to receive, but just getting a message from any customer to say how happy they are with a piece I have made is amazing. I recently completed a custom order for a mother’s day gift for someone’s mum who used to weave; the gift was a complete surprise for her to receive in the post directly on Mother’s Day and loved it. It’s amazing to be part of such a thoughtful gift.

10. Is there anything you regret?

I don’t let myself regret anything in life (a bit deep sorry!), my business is a side line for me and I work full time with a house to run. So far this little business has bought nothing but pleasure, I am lucky enough to have full support from a whole range of people who help me along the way.

11. What are your goals for the future?

I would love to host more workshops, I just need to try and find the right locations, all my following is on Instagram meaning everyone is spread around the country!

I am quite happy for everything to continue to plod along as it is right now. I am one of those people that don’t tend to plan anything; I just go with whatever happens.I can’t be disappointed then!

12. What is the best part of being a maker?

I love the fact that there are so many homes around the world with a piece of my work hanging. I never imagined I would have a business making things and to now have people asking ME for advise on becoming a maker is just crazy.

13. What is your least favourite job to do?

Sewing in the back ends!! There are so many little pieces of wool hanging out the back of a weave that need sewing in. I often finish a weave and leave that part until it sells, which I then think to myself “why didn’t I just do this before!”. I have however had to message quite a few customers after they have shared a picture to tell them it is hanging back to front. This must mean by backside is very neat so it’s worth taking the time to do it properly!

14. What advice would you give your old self?

Don’t doubt anything and just give it a try. I starting this business on a complete whim and never thought it would be successful. So there is no harm in trying something, if it doesn’t work out, try something else.

15. What advice would you give other makers?

Just do it!! I get lots of messages from people saying they would love to try to weave (or other things) and all I can say is just do it. That’s what I thought that day I ordered my first loom. Workshops are becoming increasingly popular, in a whole range of crafts so it is much easier to learn something new these days. Get on google and see what’s around!

To find out more about Hannah and to see more of her gorgeous work, follow her here:

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