Tim: [00:00:00] Hi,
I'm Tim Panton and this is the distributed future podcast. In this podcast, we interview people who are doing niche things in the hope that we might learn something about what the future looks like based on their current practice. Under normal circumstances. We, um, have a little chat beforehand with, um, my cohost Vimla Appadoo, and we discuss what we're going to hear and what lessons we might learn from it.
Unfortunately, Vim's not available this time, so, um, you just get me, the interview is with Georgia Marshall Brown, who. Introduces us to some of the ideas about how crafting is intersecting with modern technology. So. Um, you wouldn't necessarily think of sewing as a very high tech business. And in a lot of ways it isn't, but, and particularly not maybe sewing patterns, but it's very interesting for me to see how she has intersected those things with modern technology.
And how. She's also, um, crossing over into the kind of repair and mend, um, well, that we were talking about with Brian corporate show while back and, and a number of other people. So it's very, um, exciting for me to see the sorts of things we've been looking at in terms of community and in terms of reuse and crossing over from online to offline and back again, um, reiterated in another domain.
So that was kind of, um. Nice to hear that we might even be on the right track to something. So, um, with that, I will leave you to, uh, listen to Georgia. I would encourage you to, um, subscribe to this podcast, but also to encourage your friends to listen to it too, if you found it interesting. And, um, there are a number of back issues that cover related or actually unrelated topics.
Um, so. Right. Enjoy.

Georgia: [00:01:56] , I'm Georgia Marshall Brown. Um, about a year ago, I started my own crafting business. So I'm inspired mainly by my . A passion for sewing, but also for, uh, inspired by my son. Um, he likes to have clothes for himself that match with his Teddy.
And we're also quite passionate about upcycling and recycling existing fabrics and garments. Uh, to give them a longer use in life. Uh, for me, the whole project has been a bit of an antidote from a career in digital marketing and project management. Um, so the sort of two things I guess come together when you start your own business.
Tim: [00:02:39] So yeah, you're not, well, you should give it the name. You haven't said what it's called yet.
Georgia: [00:02:44] Aaah, ,
Tim: [00:02:49] so the, the thesis is, is to kind of make things out of existing. Materials that you got kind of maybe in the back of the wardrobe that make two garments, one for offspring and one for the offspring's Teddy.
Georgia: [00:03:06] That's right. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, it really started because I, when when my son's Xavi was born, um, I wanted to make him things.
I found that a lot of the clothes on the high street were very gender orientated, so blue for boys and pink for girls. And um, actually not every boy is into. Tractors and not every girl is into princesses. So making your own stuff means that you can make exactly what you want and what your child wants. So it's kind of where it started.
And at the same time, I made my son a Teddy. Um, which, you know, as a craft crafter was kind of a, a kind of GoTo project. But I know, right. But often with children, Teddy's become quite important. And those. Those teddies or dolls or whatever, become almost part of the family. So every trip you travel on, every visit to grandma's house, whatever, you know, Teddy is always there.
And I have to say, as a mother, you're constantly thinking. Please don't lose Teddy, you know, cause we have a meltdown on our hands. So that was kind of like where we were at the beginning. And then as he got older and we were making clothes for him and he was having more input into what those clothes would be, um, we were.
Packing his clothes to go on holiday. And he suddenly said, Oh, you know, where's Teddy's clothes? And I was like, you know, this naked Teddy? Um, I was like, ah, I haven't got any clothes for Teddy. So of course that night before we went on holiday, I saw it through a bit of an all nighter and using the scraps leftover from those handmade projects that I've made for Xavi.
I rustled up some clothes for Teddy, and that's sort of where it came from. But I think, you know, as a, as a kind of, you know, uh. A desire to kind of not waste so much stuff. We started to look for fabrics that we already had to see what we could use that we already had within the house. And often they would be t-shirts that Chris and I weren't wearing anymore, or things that Xavi had grown out of but wanted to continue to wear.
And so by using those fabrics and incorporating them with other fabrics, you can obviously extend their life or make them a larger size or, or that kind of thing.
Tim: [00:05:20] What strikes me about that from a design perspective about what you're doing, is that like using those fabrics. From multiple sources, kind of forces you to be quite bold in the way that they look, which is great.
I mean, they're quite sort of, quite often your designs are quite sort of contrasty and asymmetric, and you know, there's quite a lot going on in them, which I think is, is, is wonderful, but it sort of. Slightly unexpected from a craft perspective.
Georgia: [00:05:48] Yeah. I think some of it's, eh. Yeah. Well, so as you say, some of it is kind of forced by the nature of having to bring different fabrics together.
All of our sewing patterns have. Um, smaller pattern pieces than typical commercial patterns. Because obviously when you're harvesting fabrics from other garments, they don't have so much freedom that there's not such large amounts of fabric to choose from. So as you say, some of it is kind of born out of.
That. Um, but I think, you know, the fabrics and the garments themselves can, the beauty of crafting is that you can make them as wild as you like or, or they can be quite conservative. So, you know, one of the patterns that we have is for a pair of trousers. You know, we give ideas to make them from three upcycle from three men's shirts.
Now if you choose shits that are all of a similar color gray or black or whatever, then your trousers come out quite subdued. Um, but the same trousers could be absolutely and insane and wacky if you chose, you know, uh, uh, a plaid shirt, uh, an orange shirt and a Hawaiian shirt, all of those together. Um, and you'd still end up with something that was unique and bold, but I think some of these.
These things. It's also a bit sort of keep sake-y as well. You know, some of these fabrics that you're giving a new life to might have a sentimental attachment. Um, a lot of the things that we have in the house we've kept, because we did, so for one reason or another, we didn't want to throw them away. Either we like them or remember wearing them at a time that was nice or you know, whatever.
So even though it may be there's a, a hole in it or a stain on it, or we've outgrown it or. It's not the right fashion anymore. We've kept it for one of those reasons. So sometimes bringing those things into a new garment, and particularly for me, one that your child wears almost kind of transfers that. Good.
Will, uh. With it into that new garment that your child then wears with, you know, pride and joy. And also when your child gets to a certain age, you know, whether they actually help you make them, or whether they just input into which things go into them. It's really, I feel like it, it certainly gives Xavi sense of ownership.
A lot of the things that we create are the fabrics, at least are chosen by him, even if he doesn't necessarily at age eight, sew them himself.
Tim: [00:08:12] So that's not. So the upcycling is almost more about the emotional attachment and the history than it is about. The ecology, let's say.
Georgia: [00:08:25] Yeah, I mean, I, I th I guess it just depends on your viewpoint, doesn't it?
I mean, for me, um, it's started because it just didn't want to throw as much stuff out. And also I'm a terrible hoarder. So, um, we have, uh, you know, just moved, you know, basically as we moved, uh, moved houses over our marriage, um, as my husband says, we just keep getting a bigger house so that I don't have to throw anything away.
So I'll laugh, continues to fail with things that I won't part with. Um, on the other hand, I'm very organized person. So generally speaking, I'll say, tomorrow I'm going to make this jacket and I need that coat that's in bag. 10 on the right hand side, can you bring it down from the loft please? And lo and behold, it comes down.
So for me, it's, it's great. I've got my own kind of, I guess, library of, of things that, um, I just need to get on and use in some ways.
Tim: [00:09:15] And it's all good insulation. So it's not like you're not doing, doing the eco thing as well.
Georgia: [00:09:21] Yes. That's another ecological kind of bonus there.
Yeah. So I think, you know, there are, there are, there's a dual aspect to it, isn't there?
So, you know, one is. The kind of very pure ecologically sound, let's not put things in landfill or create new things when we don't need them. Um, but I think there's also a kind of, you know, as you hinted at, that kind of a keepsake memory kind of. Aspect of it. I mean, one of the sewing patterns that we have is for to make, make the Teddy himself.
Um, and, um, quite a lot of our customers who don't have children have bought the pattern to make keepsake bears or memory bears. So, um. It departed loved one. Um, you know, there's some clothes, some garments. You want to remember that person by as then the Teddy, because it has very small pattern pieces, means that you're able to make the bath from.
Those garments equally. Um, if you, lots of people have bought them to make bears out of uniforms. So Brown uniforms, a guy was making one out of uniform, which I thought was brilliant. And, um, you know, because again, we keep, we all have a tendency to keep these things, put them in a box and the loft and never look at them.
But we didn't throw them because we wanted to keep them. So if there's a way of bringing these things. You know, into sort of more circulation, which you said the box and the loft, and it means you can enjoy them on a more regular basis.
Tim: [00:10:54] Yeah. So these, these, these patterns, um, they ended up getting sold in by mail order or in shops.
How do they get out into the world?
Georgia: [00:11:04] So. Don? Well, as I say quite, we're quite new, but, um, we were trying a number of different channels, so we have, so some are, uh, virtual channels and some all, um, bricks and mortar. So we have done a number of the big crafting trade shows. So these are where you take a stand effectively, like an a in an ex exhibition center, and you're there for four days and.
The customers, I guess come to you? Those customers typically are, um, 55 plus. Um, and, uh, I think it probably wouldn't, wouldn't be mean to say, but are pretty much hardcore crafters. So they really, you know, they're there to buy and they're there to find something that appeals to that crafting nature. Some of those shows are.
Craft specific. So we did the Harrogate knit and stitch show. So by the, by the name you can imagine very, very specific audience of either knitters or Sewers. And then we have done other trade shows where, um. I think trade shows are not really trade shows. Cause therefore the consumers or consumer shows, um, offer a more broader base crafting.
So then they would include like, things, you know, everything from card making to sewing, to sculpture, whatever it painting, et cetera, et cetera.
Tim: [00:12:24] So in, in those, in those are, you do have like a corner that's for needle work and another corner that's for painting or are you like. Or interspersed in your stance?
Georgia: [00:12:37] Yeah, typically, typically they jumble them up. I think the idea is that, you know, that try, they try to get people to experience new things. Um, you know, and kind of, I guess it's the thrill of the search to some extent.
Tim: [00:12:48] Oh, okay. Interesting. Cause like a real trade show, they'll, they'll try and like often try and create the classic trade search show or try and compartmentalize you into the lefthand hall.
We'll have this in and whatever. That's fascinating.
Georgia: [00:13:03] Yeah. I actually sometimes look for some of my competitors because with being relatively new, for me, it makes more sense to be near people that I know are sort of in the same field as you say, but generally speaking, I mean, you get to pick where your standards to some extent, but they are, they're not zoned.
So that's, so that's one channel that we've explored for off the back of that, we've met quite a few retailers, and so we have a couple of resellers. So these are traditional bricks and mortar, kind of haberdashery kind of shops. Um, it's one in Leeds, one in Dundee. Um, so it's just, we am really being out and pushed that.
But as we've met people at the shows, we've, um. You know, we've worked with them to, for them to resell some of our patterns. That's another channel. Um, I was recently on hochanda, which is a kind of a, um, like a QVC, uh, like a shopping channel. But specifically for crafts. So that, uh, is really interesting.
So basically you're on air where the presenter and, uh, selling, um, your, your wares, I guess. Uh, on the television, it's a live show. So that was really eyeopening. Nerve wracking. Um, but, but good fun and that is absolutely a fascinating set up because basically they do the shows live so that they can, they watch the reaction of the audience and how many things are being purchased and which things you did on screen that, um, spiked interest.
On, you know, on the purchases. And then, uh, the presenter is obviously rigged up to the, to the guys producing it all, and they'll say, and theire ear, Oh, ask Georgia to show that again, because everyone reacted to it. So a thing.
Tim: [00:15:02] It's presented as a TV show, but he said that actually like over digital channel or digital air, or is it coming over sky or is it like, do you stream it? How do, how do people consume
Georgia: [00:15:15] it? Sky free view. You can't get it on virgin and I don't think, um, but obviously, yes, you can stream it on the internet as well.
Um, so, so yeah, but it's television basically. So, yeah, it has this sky channel and
Tim: [00:15:30] this fast feedback of people actually buying.
Georgia: [00:15:34] Yeah.
Tim: [00:15:35] That's kind of like, it's almost like the web only more so. Fascinating.
Georgia: [00:15:39] So that was really, that's really good. I hope to hope to be back on there. Um, later in the year. Um, obviously they're struggling a little bit with a lockdown and having to do all sorts of strange things and get.
People hooked in from home and things like that, because obviously they can't have people in their studio and stuff, you know, so yeah, that's
Tim: [00:15:58] it. Um, am I allowed to ask about the economics of that? Like, you know, do you make any money out of it? Do they charge you to be on when you may not want to choose to say
Georgia: [00:16:08] no, I won't give specifics, but I'll give you the principles.
So, um, so if you, so the trade show we talked about before, fair, I, buy my stand. And I take home my profits with , you pay nothing. Uh, but they take a cut of your, what you sell.
Tim: [00:16:26] They are sharing the risk with you in a way, which is just sharing the rest.
Georgia: [00:16:29] Yeah. So, um, so that, so that's, it's, it's good. It's a different model completely.
And from my perspective as a new business, that's, you know, it's nice to try different. You know, different models as well. Um, what else have we done? We have, uh, I recently . Did a Facebook live takeover for one of the crafting channels. Um, so that's something that they've started doing specifically, uh, during lockdown, which, you know, you can understand.
So basically they're trying to develop content as much as anything else. Um, so there was no cost to that because basically they're just looking for content, uh, to keep their audiences engaged. Uh, whilst they were aren't any physical shows to attend, um,
Tim: [00:17:13] how did that differ from live TV?
Georgia: [00:17:16] While there was, there wasn't the live feedback in the same way and it, I was on my own rather than having a seasoned professional kind of helping me do the sales pitch.
Um, but. Similar in the respect that my part as much was doing the demonstration, um, showing how things can be done. And I guess having done her Hochada before with the help of those professionals, I had learned some of what I should do and not do. Um, eh, it not, so it was okay. Uh, it's tricky to manage your own camera and flip it round and hold it steady and you know, all of that kind of stuff.
Tim: [00:17:58] Mm, mm. Mm. Yeah. I'm, um, I'm in awe of the fact that you can do that. And when I occasionally have to make videos of. Of demonstrating something, particularly with this IOT hardware, like actually have to like do that and it will take me whole morning to get a five minute shot.
Georgia: [00:18:18] Yeah, it's tricky. It really is.
Um, I think those are kind of the main. Uh, things that we've tried so far. I mean, um, you know, there are plans in the future to do some more physical stuff, um, including potentially running workshops. Um, and you know, or lessons if, if you, if you like, um, I think w crafting in general, um. So it's, it's a very, so crafting in general and not talking specifically about sewing, but, um, it's quite a mindful activity.
I mean, part of the reason that even before doing this as a, as a business, uh, exercise, you know, it's something that really occupies all of the senses, and that really helps me personally to relax. And. Switch off from perhaps other pressures that might be in my mind. And I think, um. You know, that's true.
Quite a lot of people. Um, I think the other thing is that there, the other aspect of crafting is the kind of community or so to find the like-minded hobbyist kind of thing. Where do you find those people? And you know, I've met friends through, through going to and attending workshops, made real friends, because obviously those people are there with very similar interests to you.
So there is still something in that physical element of meeting and doing together. Now, obviously in the, in the current situation, there just isn't that opportunity, but it's, and it's, I think, you know, like this Facebook takeover that I did, you know, that's, that's an attempt at trying to do that in a virtual sense.
But sometimes there's nothing better than. Go in with your best mate to like sit and chat all day whilst making something can, you know, spending that quality time together. Um, so I think, you know, some of those things that I'm planning for the future will, we'll still go back to that more, uh, offline, um, you know, interaction of a more traditional kind of nature.
Tim: [00:20:20] Have you looked at? Um, uh, what's it? Twitch. I mean, I know people who are in, in the, in the more kind of geeky end of making, um, who do Twitch shows, um, of, you know, how do I, how did I build that robot? That kind of stuff.
Georgia: [00:20:35] No, I haven't done that. But, um, the crafting community. Um, there's a lot of, it's still on YouTube or Pinterest.
I think, you know, the internet is still, uh, a jumping off point for creativity in terms of the craft industry. But, um.
Um, quite often the audience's oldest still, I mean, the saying that millennials are crafting more, but a lot of the people that I see are still in the more, uh, time rich and probably money rich, um, older generation still. And so actually the. The online environments, all the more of the more, uh, or the older online environments.
I'm not making Facebook and YouTube. I kind of like known entities
Tim: [00:21:26] and significantly older demographic than some of the others. Yeah.
Georgia: [00:21:31] Typically those kinds of those how tos and things. Yes, absolutely. They, they absolutely exist. The crafting blogging community is, is out there. Um, Facebook groups are, are, uh, you know.
Really, I think at particularly this time, very valuable to those communities. People, you know, desperate to, um, show in town. You know, I made this, um, do you like it? A lot of people looking for some, um, reassurance that they, you know, on the right track. Other people would be asking for advice. I'm new to this, I haven't done it, or I haven't done it for 10 years.
But since we, we're locked down, you know, can somebody tell me how to turn my sewing machine on? Or whatever it is, you know? Um, they're, they're really, they're really valuable spaces, but I think, like most. Online, um, forums that there are risks and if those groups are not, um, led or, um, monitored, they can very quickly, um.
Fall apart, you know, with people with a, I don't know, you know, obnoxious posters and trolls spoil the party. I guess that's what I'm trying to say without being too mean to anybody. But differences of opinion, even in crafting can quickly escalate in these kinds of groups and people get very hurt and, um, you know, they, they regularly kickoff.
It's the same. I mean, you just, sometimes I'm amazed because I just think of, you know, really these are, these are often older people, like have they no filter? Why would they say that? You know, but, um, uh, and people get hurt. And that I find really sad. And I just think, you know, if you were at a crafting workshop, you wouldn't behave like that.
They wouldn't, none of them would behave like that. Why would they behave like that in a virtual. Crafting room or workshop. But unfortunately it happens. So I think, you know, whilst these community, these online communities are very valuable, particularly now when actually there is no alternative, those, those communities.
Have to be firmly led and firmly monitored and an say meditated. That's not the word I'm looking for, is it? Um, you know what I mean?
Tim: [00:23:45] Yeah. Mediation
Georgia: [00:23:46] mediated,
Tim: [00:23:48] although medicated might also be necessary.
Georgia: [00:23:52] Medicated. Yeah, whatever.
Tim: [00:23:55] We had a really interesting, person on, where are we about a month ago?
Bit longer, maybe, who is talking about. It needs actually started the practice of, of how to kind of diffuse, um, uh, groups like that. Like when they're starting to go off. How do you, how do you rescue them? Um, it's fascinating cause he's from, uh, like actual real peace negotiation background. So, like, you know, in supposed to kind of solving the Korean war or whatever, he's now looking at how do you do this in, in, in a much smaller scale in, in online groups.
And, um, and it was fascinating you, his thing was that, that basically, um, you, the problem is that you get a reward for, for. Being unreasonable effectively, which you don't in real life. And so, but the, the thing that he noticed and that that sort of take you can take advantage of to unwind that is that actually nobody really enjoys it.
Georgia: [00:24:56] Yeah, I'd be an asset. I think it turns a lot of people off those groups. And actually what, what you tend to see in these crafting groups is that they, that the group does. Generally, quite quickly start to self moderate because even if one or two people are being unreasonable, as you say, nobody enjoys it.
So actually often people will step in to kind of try and sort it out themselves. Um. So, but yeah, it's, it's a difficult space and I think it makes, you know, well, it certainly makes me feel uncomfortable and I quite often tune out of those kind of spaces for a while if there's been a particularly nasty uprising.
I think, um, some of you know that it's the site when you go to a dinner party and you know, with your in laws the first time and they say, Oh, you know, you know, you, you, you make a promise, no religion, no politics sort of thing. You know, before you start. And I think, you know, there are. A lot of these groups do understand that there are subjects that, um, you know, are going to be like touch points if you like.
And often the group has rules where those are, are, are just taboo subjects. And actually, interestingly recently I've seen that. So a lot of the sewing community is making PPI for key workers, um, which is obviously very admirable and valuable. Um, so making scrub, scrub bags, hats, face masks, all of those kinds of things, which is, you know, fantastic.
And, um, it, however it comes with a lot of, a few like political debate as to whether those are the right, whether that's the right thing to be doing, whether people should be. Wearing those homemade face masks, et cetera, et cetera. A lot of the, the sewing communities where these conversations first started up, you know, can anybody help with this?
Can anybody help with that? Those community groups are now actually shifting those conversations into separate threads. Um, because it just. They can quickly dissolve into a row, I guess, um, if, if the wrong person, you know, takes, takes offense, I guess.
Tim: [00:27:00] So you mentioned Instagram as well as Facebook and YouTube.
What's, what's. Did you say Pinterest or did I just imagine that?
Georgia: [00:27:10] No, no, I did say Pinterest. I mean, to be honest, I haven't done a huge amount in Pinterest myself, but, um, as, as I guess as a consumer, I think Pinterest is, is still a place to go for inspiration. Um, I think, I think the internet in general, even, I mean, we're talking about channels, but in Instagram and Pinterest, um.
Specifically, uh, are about inspiring. So that tends to typically be less of the kind of how tos, which like we said, would play on somewhere like YouTube or on a blog, but it's more about like beautiful pictures or things to inspire makes. Um, and I think, again, you know, that they're real jumping off points for creativity.
Tim: [00:27:54] Well geographically, I mean, you do. Are you part of a United Kingdom sewing group when you're on Facebook, or is it the Northwest or is it, you know. Chorley or something like how granular are these groups?
Georgia: [00:28:08] I think it depends. Depends what you're looking for. So, um, I think my favorite group at the minute is something like upcycle clothing on Facebook.
And that's a, it's a global group, so there's no geographical barriers, but you know, barriers to that. But then those people, I don't think have any, um. Intention of meeting up really about that. It's, um, I think a lot of it is about reassurance that they're doing the right thing and you know, an inspiration, I guess.
Um, and sharing your successes. Um, I am part of some more local sewing groups. Um. But I don't actually think that the geographical kind of content really matters unless you intend to physically meet up and actually generally, probably wouldn't. Um, so, so I'm not sure. I'm not sure that the geography really matters in that typically the groups tend to be more around the specifics of the craft that you're doing.
Um. Rather than the geography of it. I think the thing is with the technology that's out there today, now I'm not talking about internet technology here, but tech tools, if you like. So there's, there's all sorts of things that you can have in your home now from three D printers to laser cutters to screen printing kits to, you know, so much of it that you can have at home that, that you can kind of still share your.
Your, uh, regardless of your geography and your location, you can still share your experience with online.
Tim: [00:29:40] Right. Right. So, so it's not, um, it's really, it's, it's interesting that it's really not kind of geographically centered much. That's fascinating. And, and do, are there, um, associations and, and, um, kind of, um, I don't know, craft councils or like is there, are there quangos around kind of govern.
Practice or anything like that?
Georgia: [00:30:07] Not really. I know a lot. It's not, as far as I'm aware, um, I think there are awards, which I guess gives you that kind of stamp of approval. Um, so there are the sewing awards and I think they all UK based. Um, as far as I'm aware, and I think the generally run by . The magazines still.
So printed magazines still exist very much in the sector. Um, you know, people still sit and have a coffee with a magazine, and often those. Patterns in those magazines, or there's like yarn thrown in. If it's a crocheting magazine or, um, I don't know. I'm not, I'm not a card maker, but card making materials within the card making magazine.
So that, and those guys typically run award, so, you know, best independent. Uh, design, uh, um, best, uh, retail shop, best TV show, you know, those kinds of things. Um, so, so the, the, those awards kind of exist, and I think people do look at those as a kind of, um, a seal of approval or a stamp of authority.
Tim: [00:31:13] Right.
Right. Interesting. And, and, and so they, cause we, I mean, when I'm, I asked that because we, we, every now and then we stumble across this kind of, these really interesting quasi. Governmental organizations or, no, not nongovernmental organizations. I guess. Like, my favorite so far is the, um, British amateur rocketry society.
Georgia: [00:31:36] Rocket tree.
Tim: [00:31:37] Yes. If you, if you want to launch a rocket in the UK and you want to be insured and basically you have to follow their code of conduct, and if you do that, the police won't NAB you for having access explosives and the insurance company will cover you.
Georgia: [00:31:52] Nice.
Tim: [00:31:53] Like so little, these little organizations that exist outside government and, but that facilitate things happening as I, um, I'm constantly on the lookout for new ones cause they're just like, they suddenly, you suddenly come across when you think, I never knew that existed.
And, and, and it sort of has to, because otherwise that particular practice can't really happen. So, no, but, but, but anyway, so you, we're not in the, in, not in that, for
Georgia: [00:32:22] no extreme sewing maybe hasn't quite hit the headlines yet, but, uh, I can't, I know I can't think about anything to be honest. But, um. Yeah. But I think, I think people do look for, they still look for that reason, to believe.
So, you know, that's that, you know, the, those kinds of awards still do hold. Um. A level of prestige because the why consumers would, it's what consumers trust in, I guess. I guess it goes back to build which consumer magazine type thing. You know? If, if something has a seal of approval from other consumers, then.
You know, like reviews or testimonials, awards also kind of bring that level of reassurance, um, before you enter into a relationship by buying or using, uh, products from, uh, from, from a craft supply or whether they be sewing patterns or materials or world or
Tim: [00:33:18] the sewing patterns, these physical sewing patterns, or are they virtual as well?
Georgia: [00:33:23] Um, both. So I actually started with physical sewing patterns, um, because personally I prefer them. Um, but my research has shown me that it's a real, sort of 50, 50 split as to whether people prefer virtual or, or, uh, physical. So, um, sewing patterns are quite, uh, big pieces of paper. Um, and I personally prefer to take my big sheet of paper with all the pattern drafted on it that I bought, and then I trace off the pieces that I need, and then I transfer those onto my fabric.
If you buy a PDF, um, which some of my nos are, I've now, uh, both you can choose to have one shipped to you or you can download your PDF version. If you choose a PDF, you print it out at home on your, A4 paper. Paper, you then mosaic together was sellotape or print stick or whatever, and then you can cut it out and apply it to your fabric.
Now, I personally hate sticking all those tiles together. Um, but others prefer. That to tracing because if, if they know, they can print it out over and over again, then they will just effectively cut up their pattern sheet, use it once, and then print it again. Should they want to make it
Tim: [00:34:42] cuts out the tracing step, but adds a sticky step.
Georgia: [00:34:45] Yeah. So for me, it's 50 50 and . Well, not just for me, the peep, this, the research I have done shows that basically there's a real split there. And some people prefer a PDF and some people prefer to trace. Um, the PDs does have some advantages because whether sewing pattern, uh, they look a bit. Complicated when you get them because effectively, so my patterns are age three to 12 so all of those sizes are effectively printed on top of each other.
And the and the lines kind of shift out a little bit for each size that the garment grows. And when you trace or cut it out, it's like those insoles that you get in your trainers, you know when you buy a pair of insoles for your trainers and you cut out the line for your shoe size. So they like that, but on a really large scale.
And so when you get a PDF pattern. You. Um, I construct my PDF as layered PDFs as do most independent patent companies. So the idea is that you can then turn off the layers, except for the age of the, you know, the one that you're going to make. So if I'm gonna make an age eight for Xavi, that I can turn off all the other layers and it will just, um, it will hide all of the confusing lines that I'm not using.
So there are, you know, the advantages, um. Some people like to work to them, the instructions on a screen, they don't really print them out any way. I personally like a book, so I can make notes in it so that when, if I, um, adjust it or found something tricky, then I can write a little note in it. So if I come back to make it for Xavi a year later when he's grown into the next size, I've got that kind of stuff.
Jotted down in my paper pattern equally, some people only make the garment once and so they're not really that interested. So I think it's good to have both physical and PDF because as I say, I think the community just depends on their preferences as to what they prefer. Doesn't appear to be an age thing.
It doesn't, you know, some does not that the older generation of the sewing community prefer a physical pattern. That's just not the case. It seems to just be just a preference thing.
Tim: [00:36:54] So is there a price difference in the sense that like the PDFs presumably could be used more than once and in theory could be forwarded to other people?
Or do you DRM them or, or, or
Georgia: [00:37:06] no? Yeah, in theory they could be forwarded, but equally a paper pattern could also be passed to a friend. So, um, the, you know, our copyright specifies that you shouldn't do that, that you're buying the copy for yourself and for personal use. Ultimately sewing. Uh, patents are quite difficult because.
Uh, a T-shirt is a T-shirt is a T-shirt. So if you, if you alter your pattern and you make the hand lens two centimeters longer or change the shape of the net Klein effectively, that's a different garment. And obviously as a craft, uh. Typically, many people will adjust what they're making to suit their own needs.
That's the joy . Yeah, exactly. So what, we have our copyrights in place and um, and yes, there's a risk with both PDF and with printed that people will break those rules, share their patterns. Um, but it's difficult to enforce in terms of cost. Yes. The PDF is cheaper. Um, but obviously the consumer has the cost of printing out at home.
Um, so ultimately. You know, may not be as cheap. Um, by the time they've had it printed or printed it themselves cause they've got their printing to think about and their paper and the time, et cetera. Um, but from my perspective, we can afford to make the PDF cheaper because obviously I don't have the printing costs, that contract that transfers to the consumers.
Or the postage. So, so those costs are effectively transferred to the consumer and they absorb them by printing it off themselves and sticking it together themselves. But it does mean that we can make them. You know, cheaper. So, um, so again, it, it may be more appealing, but ultimately they have to have a printer and they have to have the ink cartridges.
And so it just, it just, I, yeah, I've, I struggled to tell you which is the best because as I say, the feedback I started with physical because that's what I prefer. And then rapidly having spoken to many people at the show was it was very evident that, um, at least half the market wanted the PDF, whereas.
We were still selling to at least half the market with, with the, with the printed. So it just makes sense to.
Tim: [00:39:19] They're looking kind of a little bit forward. Are there other things that you might sort of start to look at? I mean, you're talking about printers there, but like, you know, you mentioned three D printers and laser cutters. Might you be kind of doing, I don't know, designs for buttons for three D print on three D printers or, or laser cut the particularly difficult shapes or something like that?
Georgia: [00:39:46] I don't know. No, no. Is the short answer. I guess I'm not there yet. Um, but I think, um, customization is really, I think, key. Um, in my mind anyway, you know, the whole reason that you, a craft is to make something that's creative and unique to yourself and the kind of, you know, part of it represents your own self expression.
So. Any of those tools that can help you do that. So there's this tool called the, I think it's called the cricket. Um, and so basically you can print, print, or cut vinyl at home that you can apply to t-shirts, to mugs to, I don't know, glass, whatever it is. And, um, it's a tiny little machine and was quite expensive.
I don't have one, but, um. I think those things are really giving people the sort of the, the ability to create really professional looking product. At home, customize things that they already have, make something new and different from what they have. So really liked that ethos. It's not something that, you know, in terms of will I be doing, will I be selling those types of machines in the future?
I think probably not. But, um, I do think that in terms of what I'll be doing is I will be. I guess providing maybe, um, patterns, instructions, probably on how to guide people to make the most of those technologies. Because I think, um, one of my, I guess, abilities is, um, that, that, you know, I am able to. I guess see creatively.
Um, whereas I think some people really, um, want to do it, but they don't necessarily have that inspiration themselves. So lots of people really want that guided tuition, which is what our sewing partners do, is they really are step-by-step, and they take you through every step of the way. To help you to make something that's unique to you whilst having effectively followed instructions.
So whilst when you go to Ikea and you buy your bookshelf, you follow the instructions step by step, everyone gets the same bookshelf. My concept is really that you follow the step by step, but ultimately because of the fabrics you choose and the placements and the customization that you make. Even though you followed it step by step your, your garment and or your Teddy will be different from the next person's.
Tim: [00:42:13] That's kind of like the way that cars are sold in the, although they're all. Supposedly the same car. You find that by the time that all the different models and colors and additions and things with wing mirrors and whatever and everything, they're all actually very slightly different and, and you get to impose your individuality by like adding the extras.
And that's where they make a lot of money apparently.
Georgia: [00:42:39] Yeah. I think, you know, there's a lot of, so, um. Visible mending is something that's really interesting and that's along this sort of customization route as well, but also brings back in that kind of, uh, eco ethos. Um, but essentially, you know, you can teach someone how to Darn sock or patch a hole, but, but depending on how they apply, that learned knowledge will result in something that looks different.
And. Fix this. Something slightly different.
Tim: [00:43:11] Hmm. Hmm. Interesting. So you're kind of really is renewing the garment. It's not just necessarily fixing it. It might be improving it in some way.
Georgia: [00:43:27] A lot of people are starting to use now is kind of. So pre loved and remade as kind of quite often. What?
Tim: [00:43:38] Oh, new buzzwords.
Excellent. Cool. Um, so, so listen, um, like I said, we're, we're do a transcript of this. Um, it'll be out in a, in a few days if you want to send me any links over. Um, so that if people can follow up, but want to follow up on, like, on what you're doing or maybe, you know, some of the. The, um, kind of work that you think is interesting that other people are doing, do, do that.
And I'll drop it into the, what we call show notes, um, and, uh, and, and then people can kind of follow up on that if, if, if they want to.
Georgia: [00:44:08] Brilliant.
Tim: [00:44:09] Brilliant. Listen, thanks so much. It's been fun actually. It's been good.
Georgia: [00:44:13] Good. Glad you enjoyed that. I've enjoyed talk to you. Speak to you soon.
Tim: [00:44:17] Yeah. Good. Thanks a lot.
All right. Take care. And I, like I say, I'll let you know when it comes out
Georgia: [00:44:21] super.