Today’s interview is with Lucy from Moll and Mostin. For readers in Lucy’s area, she is offering a special 10% discount with any workshop booked with her. Quote “Sardine” and you’ll receive the 10% discount.
[Photo above: Vintage Paper Rose Bouquet ]
Tell us about your store. What kind of items do you offer?
I make a range of products from vintage paper. I make greetings cards, covered notebooks, bookmarks, paper roses for bouquets, corsages and buttonholes, and paper rose fascinators. I also design storybook invitations for people’s events, and do all sorts of wedding craft.
I use books, sheet music, maps and postcards, and magazines from 1920s to 1960s. Everything I sell is handmade and unique; I use only original paper, not reprints or copies, so when you buy something from ‘Moll and Mostin’, you’re buying a true original.
I’ve also just started running workshops, making paper roses, paper rose fascinators and Christmas decorations. If you’re based in England, and a bride and would like to spend your hen do crafting your beautiful bouquet, corsages, or button holes, if you’re a keen crafter who wants a paper rose fascinator, or you’re looking for a lovely crafty Christmas celebration, get in touch.
How long have you had an interest in paper crafting?
I did an Art Foundation year, and spent one of the projects making a series of tiny paper boxes. I also grew up making cards and things for friends and family, and if there’s a craft table somewhere I’m there – even if it involves sitting on chairs made for children.
[Photo above: Greeting cards]
How did you get started? Did you start by experimenting around, or did you take a class and go from there?
I had some magazines from 1950s I’d picked up in a jumble sale, and made a collection of cards. I rashly mentioned to my boyfriend that I was thinking of trying to sell them. He held me to it, and I went down Brick Lane with a collection of 20 cards, and the bookshop there has stocked them ever since.
I had been making cards for a few months, and then my sister, very conveniently, decided to get married. It was held at my parent’s house, and most things were done by friends and family – including food, decoration and the ceremony itself! As part of this, I got really involved in crafting things for the wedding, from menu boards to windmills and paper roses. I continued making paper roses from there, and I have now started workshops to encourage other people to get involved, allowing them to make their own wedding bouquets or similar.
Are there any particular mediums you like working with?
Paper! It’s really versatile and you can get so many different types of it. It feels lovely, and I love the smell of papers old and new. It holds and absorbs paints and inks of course, but is great by itself too.
[Photo on left: Gift boxes]
Is there anything you eventually want to get in to and master?
I am looking into learning all sorts of aspects of paper craft. So far I am self-taught, but I’d love to be taught proper paper cutting, booking binding and get more involved in print-making.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’ve just embarked on a new year-long project – I am learning a new skill every week for the next year – it’s called 52 Skills. At the moment, lots of spare time is spent thinking of ideas for that! Last week I learnt a tune on the accordion, which was really fun. This week I think I’m going to make a pinhole camera.
What’s a question you wish I would’ve asked? And please answer that question.
Ooh this is a difficult question. Maybe ‘What’s did you find most surprising about running a small business?’ To which the answer would be – Firstly how many decisions you need to make all the time about the type of business you want to be. They don’t grow as organically as you might expect!
Secondly, that exciting projects will appear from nowhere. I’ve made 50 bookmarks for a fantastic book launch, 4 ft high bunches of roses and peonies for a craft book, and recently went to The Guardian to make paper roses with them over a lunch hour, all arranged through an email or chatting to the right person.
Please include ten fun facts about yourself.
1. I have never seen Star Wars. Any of them.
2. I think bananas may be the most repulsive thing on this planet.
3. I am deaf in one ear.
4. I used to teach English as a Foreign Language.
5. I hate comic sans.
6. I studied English at University.
7. And wrote my dissertation on Paradise Lost
8. I sneeze loudly and often. It causes people to stare at me in the street.
9. Marmite is a glorious and life-affirming substance. And best on toast.
10. Ditto tea. Without the toast.
Please list the urls to your website, blog, and/or online shop, social media, etc.
[Photo above: Hair clips and headbands]