Handmade in Hampshire
Hampshire Fare is pleased to champion local craftsmen and women. This month we are launching the first of a new series of occasional features and profiles on our local crafts. This month meet Linzi Brown, director, designer and maker for Dangly Hearts Ltd: handmade textile gifts as well as pictures and stationery.
“I set up Dangly Hearts in 2009 while working full-time as a staff nurse in Jersey. The name was suggested by my husband, Jason, in recognition of my love of all things ‘hearty’ and my ability to dangle them anywhere and everywhere. It was to be a hobby allowing me to have a table at the local craft and farmers market on the weekends I had off. However after registering the name and joining Genuine Jersey ( a bit like Hampshire Fare), the customer base grew and business took off. By late 2011/early 2012 Jason and I made the decision to leave Jersey and move to the UK in order to maximise opportunities and expand the business to a full-time capacity for both of us. Now I design and manufacture our range and Jason manages the books, and cuts and trims during production.
“Jason had always wanted to live in the New Forest and despite our house hunting beginning around Bath we always found ourselves ending up in the Forest area so we decided to concentrate our search here. We stumbled on our home on the edge of Fordingbridge and fell in love with it! It offers us easy accessibility to the motorway network but is wonderfully close to the Forest, too.
“I can get inspiration from all manner of things, a view seen while walking or from the car, colours or patterns, or randomly while watching television! It means that I rarely go anywhere without a camera, notebook and sketchbook.
“I would describe my style as vintage mixed with shabby chic. I tend to create new designs directly with fabric using free machine embroidery. I sew with great attention to detail using good quality products, but I like to think that what I make is affordable. I also offer a personal service, plus Jason is on hand to help any men who need a bit of help deciding on the right present.
“The best thing about running my own business is flexibility. I work from a studio at home and can work early in the morning or late into the evening depending on the time of year and what I am working on. I love the challenge, too, being responsible for all aspects of the business has meant learning a lot of new skills.
“Our future plans include expanding the range with new products, including mugs which we’re hoping to have for the summer, and new designs. We’d like to increase our stockists and exhibit at some larger events. We’re looking forward to being back at the New Forest Show in July where I’ll be sewing each day - so you can see the technique I use to create my designs.
Dangly Hearts gifts are available from stockists nationwide, events and online at www.danglyhearts.co.uk