Oh boy! Remember last April, when I was super excited about my travel plans + all the amazing people I was going to meet + all the fantastic projects I would work on + tell you all about it? I guess that was almost 10 month ago. Some of my plans worked out just fine, others not so much and some just had to be put on the backburner like writing blog posts.
But it’s a New Year + a New Me or maybe not so much but, hey, I’m still full of this New Year’s motivation and would like to introduce you to 8 brilliantky creative ladies that I met on my travels! They’re all creative female entrepreneurs and every meet-up had its own special story which I’m going to share with you.
- Let’s start chronologically with Sue Reed, also known as the Woolly Pedlar. She lives and works in Northumberland in England. We met online on Facebook before Instagram was this big thing and bonded over our love of up-cycling textiles. She takes old woollies and turns them into gorgeous clothing and accessories! When I first contacted Sue + asked if we could meet up when I was in Northern England, she got back to me and said that, unfortunately, it wasn’t going to work out as she’d be in Iceland at that time. What she didn’t know – I was going to be in Iceland before going to England! In the end it worked out perfectly, my last day in Iceland was her first day there + we decided to meet up at the iconic Blue Lagoon. One thing we didn’t factor in was the weather! It was a gale! The lagoon was in waves, it was raining + a freezing 5 degrees. While we didn’t get those turquoise blue pictures you all know from Instagram, we had a good laugh together + enjoyed some bubbly in the water.
- When I started planning these meet-ups, I thought I’d have all these interview questions prepared + it would be super professional + kinda neutral. Well, that’s definitely not what happened, not once. My next stop was Edinburgh + Emily Millichip. She’s a bad-ass indie designer with a love for fabrics that are always just so special. A couple of years ago, we met on Insta + I just loved her bags made with Hawaiian floral fabric and her edgy attitude. Currently I’m eyeing up her disco biscuit clutches! What was supposed to be a cocktail and a chat ended up being a super fun night out, with a studio party + pickled eggs at a pub haunted by a pirate’s ghost. Do I even need to mention that we’ll definitely be back in Edinburgh?
- Next stop: Belfast – where I met Amy of Amy Scott Design. And colour, colour, colour! She has a background in interior design and is now sewing the most colourful cushions and accessories. I think you know already why I fell in love with her Instagram? We met up in a super cute cafe in downtown Belfast and her little puppy was with her. It was such a beautiful day + while we could have kept on chatting + taking selfies, our respective accompaniments got restless and we’ve been admiring each other’s creations online ever since!
- Most of you probably know my sister-in-law Anne-Louise + her fantastic recyled vinyl record jewellery by now but I still have to include her in this list of amazing women that I encountered on my trip. We stayed with her and her partner Ronan in tiny + touristy Sneem in the South West of Ireland for 10 days and it was just so much fun. She even let me sell a bunch of headbands in her little market stall. Those days always ended with a pint (or a couple) in one of the local pubs – you just gotta love Irish traditions!
- At first I didn’t think I would meet anyone in Portugal, mostly because I don’t speak Portuguese. But then I bought a key-chain made from traditional Portuguese scarves at a market, unfortunately it wasn’t the maker herself who was selling them that day but a friend. So, as you do, I posted a little IG story about the key-chain + tagged Mercadoria Da Alma in it. Natacha and I started writing back and forth for a bit, chatting about our love for up-cycling, textiles and the handmade world + then she gave me tickets for a handmade convention that was happening in Lisbon while I was there. Of course I had to go + meet her in person. Such a lovely lady + such a lovely product!
- The first time I was in Luxembourg, was by accident – I missed the Autobahn exit on my way to a festival in Germany and all of a sudden I was in this tiny European country. Now this time around it was 100% on purpose, to visit and spend some time with the only other lady I know, who goes hiking in a cute dress: Anne of Anne’s Kitchen. She is a bit of a celebrity TV chef and if you try one of the recipes from her cookbooks or watch her eat her way around the globe while chatting about it in Lëtzebuergesch, you’ll know why. We spend a wonderful day eating, shopping and sight-seeing our way around her home country. Oh, I just love meeting Insta-friends in real life!
- Honestly, I don’t remember anymore how Wingi + I met. But I do remember that she I ordered not only the most delicious but also the prettiest cake from her for my mom’s birthday. So when I heard that she had opened a bistro in Eutin in Northern Germany, I convinced my parents to come with me to check it out. Oh, was it ever yummy + sooooo cute!
- Towards the end of my three months of travelling, me + my university buddy Eli has a girl’s trip to Toulouse in France planned. Why Toulouse? Because another one of our uni friends had moved there. Pauline Zenk a super talented painter and we hadn’t seen each other in years. What impressed me most about her paintings wasn’t her style, even though it really speaks to me but the intensive research that she puts into her painting series. Often based in history or social critique, her art is definitely more than just home decor!
Hopefully these wonderful women will inspire you just as much as they inspire me + you’ll hop on over to their social medias and give them some love!
With love from the Maple And Oak Diaries,