Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives

JENNI POWELL – MISSY MOO DESIGNS

Posted October 12th by Design Splat in Artists, Crafter, Handmade Products, Online Retail

Today we have the amazingly talented Jenni Powell featured. She set up Missy Moo in August 2009 and has had an amazing response. I’m not at all surprised as her designs are amazing. If you are stuck on what to get someone for their birthday/christmas then Missy Moo has the answer! Read on for a great interview!

- Interview

Welcome to the Design Blog Jenni!

Hello Bubs!

Tell us a bit about what you do:

Missy Moo make cute little things out of felt and wool, and hand-made soaps in a range of yummy scents and designs.

How did you get into hand-making products?

I did textiles at A-Level, and wanted to go to on to do something with it at uni, but then I got an offer from Cambridge and couldn’t really turn it down! But I missed making things – I have a weird obsession with fabrics and ribbons – so just started playing again!

How did Missy Moo get started?

One day I was sitting in my bed and my mum came in with a cup of tea and I just said to her “Moo – I’m going to make toast and cupcakes out of felt and sell them.” She thought I was so crazy but I guess that was how Missy Moo was born!

What inspires you and influences your designs?

You know that saying “simple things please simple minds” – well that pretty much sums me up! The smallest things make me all happy so I try to just keep the designs cute and simple. If I look at the finished design and smile or laugh – then I’ve done my job!

Which product is your personal favourite?

OOOOOOOOOOH oh my gosh that is such a hard question! I get really attached to them haha – I even name them! I think my favourite plushy would have to be the lace knickers, and my favourite knitty would be Dylan the pink dinosaur. My favourite soap is the orange spice ginger bread men definitely! I kept having “accidents” with the batch so I could keep some!

How long does it take to make one product?

It completely varies if I’m honest – which is reflected in the pricing. The knitties take longer – maybe a few hours for some of the larger items like the starfish or the slices of cake. The felt plushies aren’t too bad. Once the idea is down on paper and a pattern has been made – it only takes about five minutes to whizz one up on the sewing machine.

Do you see the market expanding for handmade products?

I would definitely like to think so. I think that with a certain age group they always have been quite popular, because they’re quirky, cute and fun. But on a serious note, and on a wider scale, I think the financial downturn has shifted people’s tastes slightly away from super luxury and back to more rustic crafty kind of things. You can see it in all the big shops – there’s a huge retro and vintage revival, and hand-made products are a large part of that. I was pretty suprised as well about the number of guys who love the products! My first sale was to a 24 year old guy! So i guess the market is wider than I had expected!

What things do you do to market your business?

Well I started off by making a Facebook page – and within a week there were over 300 fans! I couldn’t believe it - there were over 100 in 24 hours! It’s such a great tool for small businesses. Word of mouth is also a major tool – I’m lucky that I have some amazing friends who added all their friends for me, and once word got out it just spread and spread! I’m having some posters printed up too for when I go back to university to put up in some colleges.

Where do you see yourself and Missy Moo in 5 years time?

Woah how old would I be then?! Ok…25…. (mental maths = not my strong point!!)…. hmm I have no idea! I wanted to be a pirate until I was 18! On a personal level I would love to be settled in my own house by that time with my boyfriend – the Mister Moo. In terms of Missy Moo – I just hope it keeps going from strength to strength, earning me a few pennies and keeping me occupied along the way!

Any new exciting products being added to the Missy Moo line?

There certainly are! I’m really excited about some of the new things! There’s more plushies and knitties coming along, and there will soon be a Christmas range as well – I love Christmas so I can’t wait to get cracking on those! I’ve just finished a new soap too – it’s a honey one which is so creamy and luxurious. But I think the most exciting is the two new lines being added – I’m in talks with printers to have some of the photos of designs made into greetings cards which will be so bright and gorgeous. The other new line is hand-painted champagne, wine and shot glasses. I was doing one for a friend’s birthday present earlier today and it looks really funky!

What drives you/gives you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

I’ve always been really ambitious, probably to a fault if I’m honest, and once I have an idea I’m so determined to see it through. But the main thing is that I have fun doing what I do - I wouldn’t do it otherwise. So it’s not hard to keep at it – it becomes a passion. I also love the feeling of completing something – it’s really satisfying.

Does fame attract you?

Not fame as in Jenni Powell – but I would love Missy Moo to become a well established brand one day. That would be fantastic!

How do you rate yourself as a crafter?

I’d like to think I’m pretty good! If the reactions from people who have bought the products are anything to go buy then I’m not terrible! That’s always nice to hear! But I certainly know that I have limitations. If a plushy doesn’t look right, or the stitching is off then I refuse to sell it.

What makes a good handmade product?

Well first and foremost if you’re talking about products for sale, the quality must be good. You can’t sell a handmade product that will fall apart as soon as it’s handled. After that it’s a matter of personal taste – for me, I like cute designs that make me smile. Handmade products evoke a loving touch for me – like when your Nan knits you things when you’re younger – hence the words on the labels of my products – “made with love”.

Do you cater for custom designs?

I certainly do. Missy Moo has actually had quite a few custom orders, ranging from changing the colour of an existing design, to entirely new designs. The hand painted glasses that are in the pipe-line can also be custom painted – again the customisation can range from adding a name or age to an existing design, or commissioning an entirely new one.

Where can we buy your products?

The best way to purchase products is directly through me by emailing contactmissymoo@yahoo.co.uk as that’s the only way to get access to the full range. At the moment a few designs can be bought in Attica in Swansea, and a shop in Canton, Cardiff has also expressed an interest in stocking some.

Three words to describe yourself?

Ooooh another tricky question sweetpea! Well my tutor at uni called me a rubix cube because I have so many different sides. I’m hoping they meant that as a compliment and not that I’m infuriating and make you want to throw me at the wall. So I guess I’ll have to go wiiiith – (1) random – seriously who would sit in their living room and think “I’m going to make some felt knickers”. (2) ambitious (3) loyal

Hobbies and other interests?

Travelling is definitely one of my favourite things to do. I went to Thailand earlier this summer and loved every single second. I really want to travel around Africa soon – it’s such a diverse continent and I want to see all the animals! I love spending time with my family and friends too.

Favourite handmade product company?

This is going to seem a strange answer – but I don’t have one. The beauty of handmade products to me is that they’re made with love. So my Nan, who used to make me toys and clothes when I was younger is my favourite crafter.

Any tips and tricks you want to share with aspiring crafters?

Put your heart into something and it doesn’t matter if your stitching isn’t straight or the shape isn’t 100% perfect – because it will be loved by the person who receives it. I love the idea of making presents or receiving handmade gifts. So much thought and effort goes into it. The shape and straight stitches come with practice!

Tools of the trade?

Felt, wool, a sewing machine, knitting needles and a random mind!

Best and worst product you have made?

I’m lucky that in keeping the designs simple they’ve all come out quite well. There have definitely been some learning curves along the way though – the chick had a huge beak at first that it swamped its poor little face! So the wool thickness was halved and thankfully it came out looking really cute!

The best, I couldn’t possibly choose! I have my favourites but they’re all so different that it’s impossible to choose a “best”!

Lots of love, Missy Moo xxxxx

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Contact Info

Email: contactmissymoo@yahoo.co.uk

Website: it’s in development at the moment - I really am useless with technology!

Facebook Profile Link: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=626415466&ref=ts

Facebook Group Link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Missy-Moo-3/125447878691?ref=ts

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Here are some of the fabulous Missy Moo Creations! I have bought a few things from Missy Moo and I absolutely LOVE them!

Cupcake

Cupcake

Chick

Chick

Dinosaur & Caveman

Dinosaur & Caveman

Lace Knickers

Lace Knickers

Apple

Apple

Rose Soaps

Rose Soaps

Ginger Bread Men Soap

Ginger Bread Men Soap

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