Hootchie Mama manufactures oilcloth & fabric lifestyle accessories for adult and children. Our range goes from dribble bibs for babies to mobile cases for adults.  We are based in a workshop in Redruth and I work part-time presently as I have a 3 year old & 4 year old. I have a lady who works for me one day a week in the workshop and another who works from home making the fabric covered button products.  We have about 19 stockists currently so when we’re not busy making wholesale orders, we prepare for fairs we do throughout the year such as the Royal Cornwall Show.
What influences / inspires your work?
With 2 small children I need products that are practical, durable but that look nice.  My oilcloth products for adults I feel fit this profile & I often get repeat customers who want to add to their Hootchie Mama accessories with the whole range (mobile case, make-up bag & purses).


For the kids ranges, for me the dribble bibs were all about the fabrics.  I steer away from the normal ginghams & baby fabrics and go for bold & retro prints from the American design houses. I then wanted to design a range of things for kids that were practical and fun such as the crayon bags and cutlery rolls.

I also quite often get suggestions from my customers or stockists of things they’d like to see.  When we can, we work with them to develop new products.

 

Tell us about your favourite piece of work. 
My favourite things to make at the moment are the Crayon Bags for kids.  We recently bought 4 rolls of slicker fabric from Robert Kaufman fabrics & it’s such an interesting material to work with.  It’s much thinner than our oilcloth but the principle is the same; pvc coating on cotton fabric.  It’s so pliable and also washable which is a great feature when making products for kids.  I’m currently making some cutlery rolls with it too & have just received the cutlery to go inside so I’m like a kid at Christmas!

How has your work evolved?
Over time you become more confident in your ability to sew without a doubt! We still have some of the products we made in the very beginning such as the oilcloth purses but we add new lines to it every year and experiment with new products to see how the public react to them.  Some never make it to the range but others take off in ways we never thought possible. An example would be the kids pocket money purses.  I love the fabrics we use for the bibs but we get quite a bit of wastage.  As the fabrics we use are top quality quilting fabrics, it’s not easy to make products such as purses with them as they’re too flimsy.  So I started experimenting using pvc myself. Unable to coat the fabric to make oilcloth (that uses big expensive machines!) I sandwiched the fabric between normal pvc & sewed it into purses. It’s hard to work with but we had made our biggest selling product using up our scraps!


 





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