I'm lucky to live and work as an independent Designer-Maker overlooking Brightlingsea Creek. Inspired by coastal walks and seaside resorts, I use reclaimed and vintage fabrics to create a range of gifts, souvenirs and home accessories. Combining differently textured fabrics adds a tactile quality to my work which includes textile birds and bold, bright beach hut accessories. Free motion embroidery adds to my signature style which stands out because of the attention to detail and bespoke quality of every piece. Designing and making products that are unique, quirky and beautifully handmade is my mantra. Simply put, each piece is intended to bring a little bit of handmade joy!
In 2012 when I launched Mae Kandoo, I was recognized as being ‘at the forefront of eco-design’ after being selected to run a workshop at Wayne Hemingway’s Vintage at Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire. Since then, I have worked with a broad range of organisations in varied venues. I am passionate about keeping traditional craft skills alive and enjoy encouraging people to explore different crafts to realise their creativity. Leading community craft projects that highlight environmental issues underpins my work as a creative practitioner.
Using household recycling materials encourages people to use their imagination as they created extraordinary fascinators and medals on ribbons made from reclaimed trimmings and upholstery braids to wear for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
I have worked with Coastal Essex for the Path to Prosperity project, Inclusion Ventures in Jaywick, Frinton WI, Help for Heroes at Chavasse House VC Recovery Centre in Colchester, Bocking and Braintree Carnival Association, Colchester Institute Freshers and BTEC Fashion students, Creative Net workshops for Essex County Council, Brightlingsea Winterfest and Tendring Stroke Support Services.
Recently I led an embroidery workshop on Sailing Barge May for a group of ladies from Harwich Homestart and I am really excited about being involved in the Bread and Roses project. Sharing aspirations with other women who are all aiming to provide such a wealth of opportunities for women in the local community (and further afield!) is hugely inspiring and has been a genuinely positive experience!