Monday, January 10, 2011

An interview with Overspill

overspill on Etsy

1) How did Overspill come to be?

" 10 years ago I set up a small business selling hand made quilts and hand knits, which was hard work, but a lot of fun. When, 4 years ago, I found myself expecting my daughter, I realized that I was going to have to find something else to do that was closer to home and more manageable with a small one around. I gave up my studio space and started selling off my excess supplies while I thought about it. Then I discovered just how much fun supplies and haberdashery were and invested my savings from not paying studio rent into more stock. From there, things just sort of grew..."

2) What do you like Most about selling Supplies?

"All of it! Well, except for doing the books - I don't enjoy that part much. But I love haberdashery for it's usefulness and for it's beauty - rolls of ribbons draping themselves over the table, shades of binding stacked up into a rainbow and quite honestly, playing with buttons is so much
fun it shouldn't be called work! "

3) What are your Goals for your Supply Business for 2011? 

"Goals? You mean I'm meant to have some sort of plan?
ok - the main goal is to start producing more handmade supplies, particularly buttons and bias binding. Certainly in the UK, the supplies market has contracted to the point where most items are coming from a handful of large companies - I want to be able to offer my customers something different, something that you won't find elsewhere and that will, hopefully, inspire them to go on to make their own unique pieces. To this end, I've also set up my website where I sell handmade buttons by other artisans."

4) Are you an artist and do you work with the supplies that you sell? 
What is it that you make with them and do you have any tips for using your supplies? 


"My handmades textiles are still chugging along at though I have to say that my focus has switched recently. A year ago I was lucky enough to buy a kiln and since then I've become gradually more and more obsessed with clay. I suspect that over the next few years, I will be working more and more with this, in both my handmades and supplies shops.

Tips? Nothing really on techniques, but I would say, whatever medium you work in - experiment! Play around, have fun, explore all the possibilities. When I was sewing full time, a lot of people informed me "You can't make quilts out of [fleece, velvet, upholstry chenille]" while I was, quite successfully doing just that very thing. Don't ever listen to the voices that say "You can't....". You can - you just have to find a way. "

5) What do you do when you aren't selling supplies?

"My partner is also self employed, so with 2 businesses, a small child and a half-acre holding on which we grow much of our food plus medicinal herbs and dyeplants, we don't have an awful lot of time for much else. If there is any spare time I can usually be found with my nose in a book or up to my elbows in clay!"
You can follow Overspill all over the web at the following links:

On Her Blog:

What a Busy Busy Gal!


  1. brilliant article - really interesting. Am off to investigate the Boutonnerie site. and bookmark it cos my spelling's not great

  2. Thanks so much! This was a lot of fun to do and has made me reconsider a few things, as well as sparking off a whole load of new ideas!

  3. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. What a nice read. I love the old sewing machine you use. You are one busy gal. Keep believing!