Textiles and Surface Design with Manchester’s Helen Smith!

Helen Smith

Up next in our series of creative showcases is Manchester based designer Helen Smith! Having graduated from a textile course at Manchester Metropolitan University, Helen is now finding her feet in the business world with her wonderful bespoke designs:

“I am an award winning surface designer, creating fresh, modern prints by hand using traditional silkscreen techniques. Simplicity is key to my design aesthetic: inspired by Japanese cartoons and Scandinavian textiles. My bright and friendly designs adorn a variety of products from bespoke organic cotton children’s clothing to contemporary homewares. I also offer a personalisation service, printing children’s names onto organic cotton bibs and t-shirts.

Since graduating from MMU’s MA Textiles course in 2008, I have been running my business from a studio at the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. I also teach and lead workshops. Highlights include working as Associate Lecturer at UCLAN and as Lead Designer on the V&A funded ‘Design For Life’ project. I am always happy to accept commissions and love to draw new characters based on customer’s favourite animals!

I’m currently trying to build my online sales and am thrilled that recently my products have been accepted by notonthehighstreet, there are lots of other fantastic UK businesses on there, and it’s great to be selling alongside them. Notonthehighstreet is one of the UK’s best-loved websites and it is reported that over 40 small businesses apply each day to become part of it. However, over 88% of applications to sell on the site are turned away to ensure that only ‘the best of the best’ are represented.

It has been a lot of hard work to get to this point, but I have had great support from the Manchester craft community along the way. There is such a lot of design talent based in the North West and I am proud to be based here.”

You can follow Helen on her website at www.nellclothing.co.uk, her blog and on Twitter @nellclothing!

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