Tuesday, 4 June 2013


Today we have  our first interview on the blog. We are sharing our tea and biscuits with a talented and creative artist which I absolutely adore her work. I was so honored when Rebecca Kemp and her Emporium of little awesome creatures accepted my invitation to join me in a chat so we all can discover a bit more about them. 

Who is Rebecca Kemp? Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name’s Rebecca from Rebecca’s Emporium. I started up my little Emporium early in 2011 and have never looked back since!

I still work full time with my parents, helping them out with their truck and trailer parts business, but I spend my lunch breaks and evening plotting and planning new felty characters to unleash on the world!

What keeps you motivated?

Keeping myself motivated is one of those things that I don’t realise I need to keep an eye on until I find myself leaving jobs until tomorrow. I find keeping things fresh really helps! Re-arranging my work space, buying some new materials to work with or just dedicating an entire day to researching new artists and techniques works a treat. Even just spending a good few hours doodling something random helps kick start the imagination. Always try something new! It’s easy to settle into a routine, but I try to shake that up whenever I can.

Describe your work setting.

My work setting at the moment is a bit up in the air to be honest. I’ve recently moved house and we’re now expecting a new, tiny member to our family! (Yeey!) But I have a desk which has to be by a window. My laptop’s always nearby so I can have endless episodes of Poirot and Miss Marple on loop, and just little things to catch my eye. I find that my best characters come to life when I’ve been a bit distracted by a bead in a pot on my desk that I think will work wonders as a belly button or eye!

How is your creative process?

My creative process differs a lot of the time. Quite often, I will sit with a ball of felt and just ‘go for it’. I love not really knowing where the felt and my needles are going to take me. I’ll have a rough idea of colours that I want to use and then suddenly this little character will start emerging and then I get a real idea of who he/she is and then things start getting interesting! So many Pheeples have been born that way. Other times, especially with jewellery pieces, I find myself inspired by people around me, the hustle and bustle and the things that people miss. I love creating pieces that are fun and interesting. Pieces that will cause you to look a second time and not just pass it off as something normal and every day. Making the little things in life fun!

Wich one of your creations do/did you most enjoy making?

What a question! Which one of my creations did I most enjoy making? Umm, gosh, that’s a hard one. Each little character feels like a little part of me, I feel quite mean choosing one above the others! 
It’s a tie I’d say between my monster Pheeples – I utterly adore making crazy little monsters with the freedom to give them as many eyes and noses as I want! And the Granny Pheeple custom order sculpture I made. She had a lovely pink arm chair and a little plate of Jammy Dodgers too, her favourite! She was such a joy to make, and quite a challenge too. I’d never made a felt arm chair before!

Tell us the ups and downs of having your own handmade business?

Having your own business is definitely a bit of a rollercoaster! Especially seeing as I’m working a full time job too. It’s very much a case of having to allocate time for different things. If I had it my way, I would just felt all day and night long! But then there’s the online side and promoting your work so that people see what you’re up to. There’s also the paper work side of things – don’t talk to me about tax forms! But also I’m finding, especially with our family growing, that you need to be able to fit in family time too. It’s a tricky little juggling act.

Why buy handmade?

Handmade is SO important! Despite the fact that it’s actually become quite fashionable now, I do think that buying from people who literally love every piece that they make is so worthwhile. I see big companies trying to recreate the ‘handmade look’ with tags saying ‘made in China’ or somewhere, and they just don’t have the same quality as a truly handmade piece. As well as helping the hard workers and small businesses that are trying to make it in the big wide world, I just personally feel that these are the people that deserve my money. I would pay extra to know that the piece that I hold in my hands was made in someone’s house/studio, with love and attention to every design and detail of making. It’s much more soul satisfying that putting money in the pocket of someone who doesn’t really care about their product or who buys it.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

My favourite inspirational quote has been stuck in my head since my GCSE’s in secondary school.
I have no idea of who it came from, but scratched into my desk by someone from years before me was this wonderfully inspiring phrase:

“Face your fears and live your dreams”

And it’s stuck. Every time I get a bit frightened of what a big decision could mean for me and my work, this phrase pops into my head, and I go for it. No looking back. In fact, it might even be down this doodle on a desk that Rebecca’s Emporium went from being a dream to reality.

Future plans for Rebecca's Emporium?

I would love to take Rebecca’s Emporium further and further! My ultimate dream of course is for my ‘on the side’ felting career to become my full time felting career. I hope to be able to get my own studio one day for all of my felt work to thrive in and to be sold in shops as well as online. There’s a lot in the pipeline for Rebecca’s Emporium. Admittedly I will probably have to take a step back for a bit when the baby is born and I’ve got to learn to be a mother, but once we’ve settled, things will kick off again, and hey, in the future I might have a little helper working with me in my studio!

Your favourites:

Artist: Has to be Louise Bourgeois. Her work just grabs me and won’t let me go. The contrast of materials that she uses, the shapes and the power of them! There are lots of artists that I admire and feel inspired by, but I could easily get lost admiring her work.

Creative Skill: Drawing is most definitely my favourite creative skill. I think without it, the world would be an entirely different place, and I would be a completely different person. Whether it’s a piece of chalk on the wall or paint brushes on a canvas, there’s something so therapeutic about it, it’s as if it’s essential for survival.

Book: Has always been the Hobbit. When I was in primary school, our head teacher read us chapters on a school trip that we went on, and it stirs so many memories for me. He never finished the story so I got my own book, read it all the way through and scooted onto The Lord Of The Rings, but the Hobbit has always been my favourite adventure.

Thank you so much for this wonderful chance to tell you a little bit about my world!

Thank you Rebecca! All the best for you and your Pheeples.

To find more about Rebecca and her work visit:
Blog : rebeccasemporium.blogspot.co.uk
Shop: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RebeccasEmporium
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RebeccasEmporium
Twitter: twitter.com/RebeccaEmporium
Website: www.rebeccasemporium.co.uk


Ruby - Veiled Haven /Paper Whispers said...

Love this interview! Glad I was trawling through the EST blogpost thread :)

Cris Loureiro said...

Hi Ruby! Thank you for your visit!
Really glad you like the interview. :)