In the first of our new Meet The Maker Series we meet Bethan Buss of Boodle, be sure to watch her stop motion video at the end of the article to see the screen printing process!
Hi Beth! You have some fantastic creations, what inspires you?
My main inspiration is animals and nature, growing up in Devon has given me a passion for the outdoors and British wildlife. I have always loved drawing and enjoy giving each animal a character that people can relate too.
What do you feel makes your work unique?
I think it is my illustration style that makes my designs unique, I hand draw all of my designs and use a combination of illustrations of animals along with a touch of pattern. I also make sure I use sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, recycled paper and eco-friendly inks to ensure a low impact on the environment and a high quality product.
Is being based in Bristol important to your work?
Being in Bristol is important for my business because there is such an amazing creative community, there are lots of events and pop up shops to get involved with to grow your business and build up a local customer base.
People in Bristol are really receptive to hand made products and want to support local makers which is great.
Bristol is also great because it is close to the countryside, which helps with inspiration for products.
If you were to give one of your products as a gift, what would it be and why?
It definitely depends on the person, but an easy gift would be a mug or a tea towel as they are always well received and I like the idea of somebody using my products on a daily basis, functionality plays an important role when designing my products.
What is the best thing about being a local business?
It is good to meet my local customer base and be able to provide them with a number of stockists to visit at their convenience if they ever need a Boodle product!
What products from other makers on The Bristol Shop do you like?
I love the work of Little Birdy crafts, The illustrations are so detailed and lovely depictions of animals, I also love the work of Jenny MacKendrick she has a wide range of Jewelry, Cards and Prints which are perfect for nursery art. I have also recently discovered Rosie Webb Illustrations that I really like. . . .I could go on!
What has been your greatest success as an independent business?
I have enjoyed working on commissions for bigger companies such as Howies and the Blue Cross, it is great to be asked to design something for a well established company as it reinforces what your doing. I enjoy doing the odd commission as it is always a new challenge and takes me out of my comfort zone. I have also recently got wholesale orders from shops in Italy and the US which is exciting.
What aspect of your work do you particularly love?
I love being my own boss and working in my lovely studio with fellow makers. I feel very lucky to be able to work on my business full time (after juggling work and my business for years). It is really satisfying following an idea through to a final product.
I pretty much love all of it, apart from packaging! Hopefully one day I can employ someone to help me with that!
3 Colour Screen Printing Process, Stop Motion Video by Boodle