MEET YOUR LOCAL GIRL GANG MEMBER // MAKE DO AND PUSH

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Hello Rebel Girls, today I'm introducing Hannah to the girl gang, which feels like a serious #rebelgirlmoment for me!

 I have admired the lovely Hannah, Founder of Make Do and Push from afar and now I get to introduce and feature her as a REBEL GIRL. Good times!

Hannah is the self-confessed 'Mother of Explorers & Chaos Coordinator', as well as being an award-winning Blogger and Photographer. Everything she posts is so full of warmth and has a rare open and honest feel to it that is sometimes hard to find in a world of reality vs insta-reality.

I'm not a parent, but I love my day job working with children and through Make Do and Push, I am reminded that we all have the strength inside of us to do what makes us feel happy and fulfilled. Hannah runs her own business and juggles being a Photographer, Writer and Mother, so yeh, it's official - She is a total  GIRLBOSS! 

Read her interview with The Rebel Girls Club below...


  



Hi Hannah! Firstly, as a reader I just wanted to say how uplifting and lovely your blog is... I’d love to know what inspired you to set up Make Do and Push? Was it a lightning bolt moment or a project that basically evolved over time?

Hello! Thank you so much!

I started Make, Do & Push when I was pregnant with my first daughter, six years ago now. I wanted a way to document my journey into the wilderness of Motherhood, and also wanted a creative outlet as I was working for the NHS as a business manager at that point, and felt very stifled in that role. I thought starting a blog would be a good way to get me writing again (my degree is in English and Drama) - turns out it was!


Society can put a lot of pressure on women. Not only do we have the ordinary pressures of life and work, but our bodies come under enormous strain and scrutiny as well. What do you hope your female readers take away with them after visiting Make Do and Push?

I always try to be as honest as I can on the blog (and on Instagram), and I hope that my female readers and followers come away feeling less alone, having related to something I’ve written. Be it realising that postpartum bodies are jiggly, bloody and don’t bounce back immediately (as some celebrities would have us believe). Or that miscarriage is something that we can and should discuss as women. I want us to be open as women, as there are so many things we’ve been conditioned to repress, gloss over and change about ourselves to make us more pleasing to men and society as a whole.

 





I love how you’ve documented ‘baking a (baby) bun’ on your blog. I can imagine it gets pretty hectic running your blog, photography business, take care of yourself and parenting… Do you have any advice for other mums who are juggling pregnancy, motherhood and building up a business like yourself?

Make time for ‘you’. I’m struggling with this a lot now our youngest has arrived, as I want to soak up as much of her newborn-ness as I can because she’s our final baby, but I didn’t take maternity leave (social media never sleeps!) so I also have clients to communicate with, deadlines to complete and photos to shoot. But making sure you take time out and take care of yourself is so important.



Also, communicate with your partner. My husband is incredibly supportive, and will help take some of the load when I’m feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so making sure you look after yourself as well as your family is imperative.




Some of the brands you’ve worked with are fab and I love how you photograph their products whilst going about ordinary family life, it’s really refreshing! I know you run a photography business, alongside blogging full-time. What kind of methods did you use to promote yourself and keep followers of your blog engaged?

Thank you so much!

Instagram is probably my key place for promotion. In fact, I’m over there more than I am my blog at the moment because I love Stories and my brain is rather sleep deprived, so writing has taken a back seat for a few weeks.

Also, Facebook and Twitter are great places for promotion. I also attended a number of blogging conferences when I first started, so I could network and meet other bloggers.





And finally, Hull is evolving every day and new places keep popping up! Here at The Rebel Girls Club we love to support local… So I was wondering where in Hull you like to relax or explore with your family at the moment? #motherofexplorers

Oh goodness! There are SO many places! My husband and I love our coffee, so Two Gingers is a firm favourite of ours right now (although I’m sad that Donut Friday has been paused because Bea (Hello Baker Girl)’s donuts are incredible!). I also adore Marla’s for yummy lunches, and of course Trinity Market for a whole plethora of amazing food.



My son has a milk allergy, so we love vegan coffee shop Blondes in Cottingham, which is also dog friendly!

In terms of exploring, we LOVE going to the beach as a family - especially in winter/spring when it’s colder and less busy. Fraisthorpe, Wilsthorpe and Danes Dyke are favourites of ours for dog walks.


Thank you so much Hannah for agreeing to be featured on The Rebel Girls Club. Welcome to YOUR LOCAL GIRL GANG. 


Hannah's Social Media Links 
www.makedoandpush.co.uk

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MEET YOUR LOCAL GIRL GANG MEMBER // JB MILLINERY

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It's time to add another rebel to our local girl gang and who better to choose, than the truly inspirational and talented Milliner - Jess Bennet of J B Millinery.*

Jess is the Designer and Creator of some stunning headpieces. Her designs make me want to gallop to the races or gatecrash someones wedding (watch out all you love birds!). 

I was always obsessed with the art of hat-making as a child, so getting the opportunity to interview and feature Jess is a real pleasure. Not only does this woman have an outstanding amount of talent and skills, she is also a HULL lass with loads of ambition!

Be sure to check out her full collection online and find out more about this total mega babe BELOW.

(*Photo Credits go to Jason Shipley & Josh Moore)




Hi Jess, could you start by telling all of us Rebel Girls a little bit about yourself?

I’m a mum who is also an obsessed hatter/artist from Hull who loves designing, creating and making exciting millinery.




I have a Textile Design background and when I was small, I really wanted to make hats. So much so, I did my work-experience aged 16 at ‘Hats on Top’ *Top Deck of Prinny Quay to all you Hull folk*. What inspired you to choose Millinery and start life as a Designer/Maker?

I  did a degree in fashion design, and there was nothing I loved more, than when we got to make hats. I was totally hooked. I loved the freedom of it, compared to the maths-based pattern cutting and construction of fabric. It was love at first sight!



I know you offer a bespoke service to customers looking for that special piece of headwear. What has been your favourite design so far or the piece you’re the most proud of?

The hat that I’m most proud of is from a mini collection that I did, inspired by bees. It’s a large beehive made from lotus pods, with a huge tassle fringe. Almost like a haunted Amy Winehouse/Marge Simpson. I’m doing another collection based around this one piece later in the year, so watch this space!





Working Freelance can make that work/life balance a bit tricky. Do you have any advice or valuable lessons to share with anyone who is looking to embark on a creative career or set themselves up as a Freelance Designer?

You have to be laser focused on outcomes. I have a year goal planner that I work with. Its a lot of organising and creative planning. 

I feel that when you are obsessed with something you eventually get to where you want to be. In a nutshell, know your outcomes.



Here at The Rebel Girls Club, we talk a lot about Hull’s creative industry. We are a small Northern City and this can have it’s challenges. Has it been difficult to establish yourself and promote JB Millinery here and have you seen any positive changes since we became City of Culture?

I’m still trying to establish myself, but I’m confident I’ll get there eventually. People seem proud of Hull, more so than before. I think Hull has HUGE potential to become a more creative city.  I think connecting with your creative tribe within the city helps you and your business grow. It's essential to be around inspiring, uplifting people who are sharing the same city space as you. People like yourselves are helping this happen!




And finally, we would love to know what the future holds for J B Millinery? I love to hear about people’s goals and dreams, however big or small!

I have two major collections coming out this year. One is based around bees which are a massive muse for me creatively and the second is based on women that I find inspirational. Both are very different but I’m equally excited for them. 

Long term I want to keep designing, creating, and pushing myself to make J B Millinery a household name in fashion. I just want to keep going and see how far I can actually get!





Thank you so much Jess, for letting The Rebel Girls Club interview you. I can't wait to see what 2019 brings for you. 

Be sure to check out J B Millinery on Instagram or visit the website.


XOXO
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MEET YOUR LOCAL GIRL GANG MEMBER // I SPEAK STYLE'S DEBBIE HUNTLEY //

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 It's time to introduced another Rebel Girl to our local Girl Gang this week. 

The lovely Debbie Huntley had already become an insta-crush of mine before we even started chatting. So imagine my joy, when I delved a little deeper and found out more about Debbie and her background in Fashion. Also known as I SPEAK STYLE, Debbie is a Designer and was named 'one to watch' by Clothes Show Live and ASOS Market Place.




Debbie is a self confessed style and interior-lover, as well as a first-time Mum. She has her own Independent Label as a Freelance Fashion Designer and has been featured in ELLE and Instyle Magazine, to name a few and has had her designs worn on the red carpet.

To top it off she's a local lass, so welcome to your local girl gang Debbie. It's a pleasure to get the opportunity to feature your work and find out more about you.


I'm not going to give away anymore spoilers, but I hope you all enjoy reading Debbie's interview with The Rebel Girls Club and join me in supporting another talented Designer/Maker in Hull.


Hi Debbie, could you start by telling all of us Rebels a little bit more about yourself?

Hi Katie, I am a currently on Maternity leave from my role as Designer and Garment Technologist for the PPE industry, my main background is Fashion Design where I worked on my own independent label and as a Freelance Designer. Most days at the minute I am rocking the- very tired first-time mum look- who will happily go and fuel herself with some fellow rebel girl's baked treats and I am slightly interior obsessed!


I’ve seen some of your collections and love the wedding dress you designed. What inspired you to get into Fashion Design in the first place and do you have a creative background?

Thank you, the wedding dress was a delight to design and make and given it was for one of best friends it was very special to be able to be trusted with such a responsibility. I always just liked fashion, I have a friend who can remember me drawing a dress when I was younger and me claiming I was going to be a fashion Designer. My entire education is creative I studied Art, Design and Textiles at A-level, followed by a Diploma in Fashion which fueled my love of designing but gave me an insight into pattern cutting which I love! I then made the decision to take my studies further in the specialism and went on to complete my BA Hons Degree in Fashion Design with Manufacture, Marketing and Promotions, I interned for Alice Temperley and Paul Smith in London on my gap year-both amazing experiences which gave me great insights into the luxury fashion market. I love most creative industries as I think fashion, art, textiles, photography etc all cross paths at some point so I would definitely say my book collection confirms the creative love.




Here at The Rebel Girls Club we love sharing people’s wow moments! What has been your favorite project or the thing you’re most proud of achieving over the years?

I would have to say whilst running my own small independent label; L.2.Mae , I was shortlisted as one the 10 emerging Designers to watch in conjunction with the Clothes Show Live and ASOS Marketplace. I got to exhibit at the Clothes show Live which I used to love visiting as a student and I got interviewed by the iconic Caryn Franklin once more which was amazing as I used to watch her on TV as a child- maybe that was an early influencer, who knows?! The events presenter Annaliese Days actually wore a piece to present a runway show on one of the days which was great exposure and Ashley James was attending the event who is a keen body positive spokesperson and as part of my mission statement was to design for women, I used various size models in my photoshoots which she loved so she wore a piece of my collection to a film premiere on the red carpet which was great to see. So, a few yippee moments all within one event.

 



I know you’re a Mum, alongside working Freelance. How do you find keeping a balance between parenting and pursuing a creative career? I was wondering if you had any advice for creative working mums like yourself?

As a new mum I had a lot of plans for my maternity leave from my main job as a Designer and Garment Technologist …but that was very naïve of me! Motherhood is hard and non-stop but now she is nearly 7 months it is becoming easier to carve out the evenings as ‘my time’ to work on my creative projects and plans for the future. It does make you become a master at time management meaning you can have a to do list and eventually work your way through it. Take your time! Its something I’ve learnt becoming a new mum, I’ve always led a fast paced and hectic life with juggling studies and part time work and then full-time work and projects- I constantly have a million tabs open in my head- but I know that things take time and it’s not a race and to be gentle on yourself and keep working to your goals and plans. Procrastinating is key for any creative I think as pressure just puts up barriers to your thinking, so if you spend a week thinking about what you want to create or do…but don’t do any of it…it’s fine. Its all part of the process. Slow down and take your time and a glass of red wine always helps.




I know friends who have interned in Fashion or tried to establish themselves in the Fashion Industry and I can imagine things get pretty competitive! Do you have any advice for people who are looking to establish themselves as a Designer/Maker?

What I love about the industry-and other creative industries- is how much it has all changed since the development of the digital platforms. When I was even studying it was all very competitive and trying to find people who worked at places seemed top secret-it’s like their email addresses were the crown jewels for only selective eyes! It’s all so different know, people work together more and its very transparent, it’s a huge industry so I think there is room for everybody. Be confident in yourself and your own work, that is something I’ve learnt over the years as you try and fit into a market but you’re not being true to yourself. Challenge things and think outside the box as that is what moves the industry forward and yourself as a designer. I am a very different designer to what I was 5 even 10 years ago as my mindset has changed with the more I grow and evolve as a person, so allow that to come through in your work. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, if they don’t reply instantly don’t sweat it, reach out again and again and eventually they will. Knockbacks are part of any career it’s the get ups and working back on your goals that is key.
I feel like I am writing these words and reminding myself to take note of them!




I love your website and your Insta (please check them both out people!)
What do you feel like the future holds for I SPEAK STYLE?

Thank you. I will be focusing on a lot more of my own creative projects, in a sense I am starting again to re establish myself also and rebrand the label I worked on years ago. I’ve unfinished business as a designer for my own work and experiencing different job roles and markets fuels your fire again to regain your focus and work towards your ultimate goal. Sometimes you have to take a step back to fall back in love with things again which is what I’ve essentially done- Diane Von Furstenberg did this many time so here’s hoping the empire can be like hers!
I’m a huge nerd in anything about sustainable fashion and creating products that can be ethically made but also, I want to give back. If you are familiar with Selfish Mother she supports charities and that is something which I would like to do with specific products. I think becoming a mum makes you want to ensure even more that there is a better future for your child and giving back helps towards that, it makes you a better designer. I have some new products to launch this year, the samples are in, starting simple but with long term plans which I hope some rebel girls will feature in! As they say… watch this space.




Check out Debbie Huntley on INSTAGRAM and on her WEBSITE to find out more.

Thank you for reading 
xoxo

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MEET YOUR LOCAL GIRL GANG MEMBER // HEY TEZZY

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So very excited to introduce Laura at HEY TEZZY to the Girl Gang!

Laura's bold and beautiful makes are exactly what we need to inspire us during the post-christmas slump. As soon as Hey Tezzy started popping up on my Instagram feed, I was in love... 

I mean, what's not to love about brightly coloured, uniformed little pom poms!?



I knew straight away that I'd love Laura to join the gang. As a part-time crafter, I am always intrigued to find out what inspires and motivates Makers like Laura and how much time and effort it requires to set yourself up as a small brand. 

Hey Tezzy has been so popular, it even had to shut up shop early in order to send out all those Christmas orders! So here we are, facing 2019 head on and feeling excited for what Hey Tezzy will produce in the NEW year!

To find out more from Laura herself, then have a little read of her interview below...


 



Hi Laura, can I just start by saying ‘Who doesn’t love a pom pom?’ I’d be so suspicious of anyone who said that they don’t haha… What inspired you to start pom pom making?

Ah thank you so much Katie! I bloomin’ love a pom pom too but of course I’m biased! Always the brighter the better! I have to admit, Hey Tezzy is a new vision, it isn’t a concept I’ve had squirrelled away in my mind for a long time. It is something that sprung up out of a brainwave only at the end of October! My lovely friend Megan and I were chatting a few weeks earlier about wanting to start my own little side hustle doing something I love but I couldn’t quite put my finger on that “something.” I’d toyed with the idea of putting my GCSE textiles into play and making awesome unisex children’s clothing but there are already so many fab ladies out there doing that (check out Maple & Pea, we love Jo’s things!) I couldn’t even begin to compete. Especially since I haven’t used a sewing machine since said GCSE! Ha. Then it all fell into place one day at the end of October when I nipped out for some Halloween goodies. I saw some awesome pom poms whilst out and about but I couldn’t afford them the day before payday (good old maternity leave!) My friend Megan messaged me and said “why don’t you make some? Start this business you’ve always wanted to and I’ll be your first customer!” So it’s all down to Megan giving me a kick up the bum and being awesome that Hey Tezzy is here today! I made Megan a gorgeous navy, white and mustard garland for her lounge and myself a wreath ready for Christmas, took a chance by posting them on Instagram and they received so much love! Much to my amazement it spiralled from there and I actually had to close my Christmas orders early to give me chance to catch up as it’s just little old me at Hey Tezzy HQ!



Can you tell me a bit about your life and how running ‘Hey Tezzy’ came about?

I’m currently on maternity leave from my job in mental health with my second son. I wouldn’t say I have time to kill as he’s a little koala baby that would be stuck to me 24/7 if he could be. I’m not used to it as my first son was always happy to be left alone! But what little spare time I have I wanted to put to good use and what better way than to make pom poms! I always knew I wanted to do something fun and crafty. I used to joke to my husband, “I just want to stay at home and knit scarves!” but considering I can’t actually knit (yet!) that was never going to happen. Pom poms all the way though!




I love your branding for Hey Tezzy, do you have a creative/design background or is this something you’ve taught yourself over time?

Thank you! I wanted something that was 100% me and I think we have it! I’m all about bright colours, monochrome and glitter. I don’t have a design background at all but I’ve always loved finding fun and different things for the home, putting together fab Halloween outfits for the kids, organising my wedding and my mum’s 60th birthday had me in my element and I love making things when I can’t quite find something in the shops that I need and but I’m not a whizz on the computer as I only have a 10 year old laptop with Windows 7. Clip Art didn’t quite cut it so I got in touch with JJ at The Gin Fox and we worked together to create my branding. I love it so much! In fact, in the new year my living room walls are also going to be adorned with monochrome dots. Hey Tezzy at home! 





When you’re not putting gorgeous colour combinations together and crafting, what do you like to get up to?

Now I have to admit, I love a good Netflix series! Since having my second son I haven’t had much time to catch up on all the good stuff so I have a huge list for a rainy day. I haven’t even watched the second series of Sinner or Making a Murderer yet. Serious lack of dedication on the Netflix front right now!
I also loved nothing more than spending Sundays at Fruit with friends, the kids and our Labrador Daisy, grabbing some lunch, a beer and listening to the fab local music talent. I was absolutely GUTTED when Fruit closed but now the Acoustic Sundays have started in Trinity Market, it’s the next best thing. We went last weekend and ate our way around the market. Those gyros and halloumi fries... just perfection!
My all time favourite past time though is Disney. I dream about Disney World every day and I bore my husband by talking about it non stop. We took our son, who was 4 at the time, in November 2016 for the Christmas celebrations and it was just magical. We’d saved to go since the day he was born! I went again with our son, my friend from work and her daughter in October 2017 for Halloween and OH. MY. GOD, it was amazing! Everything I’d dreamed of and so much more! (Can you tell Halloween is my thing?) So now all I can think of is our countdown to going again with both of our boys in October 2021! Week!





I know you are a mother, as well as a badass pom pom maker! Do you have any words of inspiration for any mums out there looking to set themselves up as a designer/maker, or who are perhaps juggling parenthood, work and working freelance?

The juggle is HARD. That isn’t very inspirational I know but stick with me. I’m doing this whilst on maternity leave with a very clingy baby so I have different struggles at the moment to if I was back at work so when I do return to work next year, designating time to work on Hey Tezzy is going to be the most important thing in helping make it something feasible for me. I love what I have created with Hey Tezzy so far and what I love even more is seeing my work make other people happy! It is so rewarding in that respect. My wreaths for example, take anywhere between 9 and 13 hours to make but I adore that feeling of satisfaction when they’re finished. What makes it even more worthwhile is seeing that post on Facebook or Instagram of my work in somebody else’s home or reading somebody’s message to me saying they’ve had so many compliments on their Hey Tezzy little balls of fluff. It really does make my day! 
So my advice for anybody thinking about doing this is to find something you really love and just go for it! Set aside a little bit of money to get started and to nail your branding then once you have everything to get up and running, designate the time you need, put aside a couple of nights a week for example, and off you go. I am very new to this small business lark, I’ve worked in nursing for the past 11 year so by no means an expert in the business field so it’s all a huge learning curve for me too! A perfect starting block though is Instagram. Instagram Instagram Instagram. I can’t stress enough how essential Instagram is when starting up a small business. I’ve only been doing this since the end of October and all of my customers so far have come through my Hey Tezzy insta account. I’ve also met the most amazing people on there running other local crafty small businesses and people like yourself Katie, willing to cheer on us new starters from the sidelines! For that I can’t thank you and Instagram enough! 


And finally, what are you plans for the future of Hey Tezzy? Whatever those plans may be, The Rebel Girls Club wishes you ALL the luck!

You’re a gem! My next step is setting up an online shop to make the ordering process much easier. With all the Christmas orders I’ve had, I just haven’t had the time to focus on my shop and all the other ideas I have that are whizzing around my head but I am not complaining one tiny bit, I’m so grateful for it! When I’m not awake with my baby at 2am, I’ll suddenly get a creative idea pop into my head and that will wake me up too! So, before I reopen I’m going to take some time to make up some of these designs that I’ve had floating around my busy brain for a long time, get them photographed and get my shop open! And I’m soooo excited for this.  Designating actual work days instead of relying on my husband being around on his days off to take over baby duty will help massively too so that’s definitely something for the new year. I also have lots of ideas for future projects but they’ll be quite a way away yet as I don’t want to get ahead of myself. One step at a time! 

 

Check out Hey Tezzy on Insta: HERE



 Thanks for reading Rebels

XOXO



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