‘Meet the Makers’ Beach Art, blankets & biltong

‘Meet the Maker’ with Eclectic Creations by Jo, Baby Bea’s & The Weston Biltong Company

…since then it has gone from strength to strength!

This week in our meet the maker we are talking to Jo from Eclectic Creations by Jo, Liam at Baby Bea’s and Sheryl at The Weston Biltong Company.

Some fab stories about how they got into this line of work and their desire to make a success of what they enjoy doing.

Where did the idea come from? How did you get into this creative line of work? Any inspirations?

Jo: The idea came from wondering what to do with all the lovely driftwood, sea glass and pebbles I collected when beach combing, mainly in Anglesey as we have lots of holidays there in our caravan. I found an artist called Sharon Nolan of Novia Scotia on Pinterest and loved her work and she inspired me. I just love being by the sea and this was a great excuse to have to go more often! ! So I started collecting tiny pebbles, pieces of tumbled sea glass, vintage beach pottery and small pieces of shell and driftwood. This is like treasure to me. I often combine all my treasures in a picture such as washing lines or just use simple pebbles alone. The inspiration for my original designs is from what I see around me, groups of people, the beach, nature, nostalgia, weddings…..

Liam: We were inspired following a disastrous but failed attempt at making marshmallows! Alongside David’s desire for the perfect vegetarian soft snack I was making a blanket for a friend. She loved it and we got an order for three more off her friends. The rest is history! 

I have sewn for about 5 years. I have loved patchwork and upholstered three wingback chairs in patchwork material. David has always wanted his own business and loves his family. The two passions were a natural combination!

Sheryl: After my parents bought Ryan a hobby drier for his birthday about 9 years ago we started making Biltong for ourselves, we were then asked to make some for a friend who worked with Ryan and since then it has gone from strength to strength.  We started attending artisan markets just over 12 months ago and now attend a minimum of two per weekend.

How long have you been attending markets?

Jo:Since April 2016.

Liam:We have been trading on markets for about 7 months and are fairly new to the circuit. We are still trialling a few to find the right combination of areas.

Sheryl: Just over 12 months.

Do you have a favourite market?

Jo: I like being at my local markets Eccles and the Lowry. I have regular local visitors who always stop to chat and have made many new friends.

Liam: All our markets are individual and have their unique flavour but we definitely love Chorlton and didsbury. The amostopshere on busy days is electric and really inspiring.

Sheryl: Ryan really enjoys Cheadle Makers Market & I enjoy Northwich but all are great fun.

What is your best seller?

Jo: I think my washing lines and wedding pictures are my best sellers.

Liam: Our best seller has been the Peter Rabbit prints. The classic colours and iconic images have really captured people’s hearts. We are super excited for the new range coming in April.

Sheryl: Good old ‘Original’ flavour is probably our best seller but ‘Peri Peri’ and ‘Kentucky Bourbon’ are a very close second

What are you plans for your business in 2017?

Jo: I plan to have some bespoke framing for a range of my pictures from a local framer. I also want my Etsy shop to take off! (you can find this as a link on her page)

Liam: We are seeking to increase our presence around Manchester by expanding into shops and have slots in some independent stores. We are always looking to increase our range and are launching a new style dribble scarf as well as increasing our changing mat prints this week at Chorlton.

As well as that we have just launched a new fabric business selling fabrics online and via our stall. This is to compliment our range and allow people to experiment with their own Baby Bea’s creation! We really have a passion for fabric and sharing that in whatever form with people really makes our job worthwhile!

Sheryl: This year we are attending a lot more markets and food festivals so hopefully this will increase our customer base, we are also looking at supplying a lot more outlets on a wholesale basis this next year.

Why not take a look at their pages and head over to meet them at a market. Both Jo & Liam have Etsy shops which can be easily linked to off their pages on this website. Click the links below to visit their pages and read more about each business.

Baby Bea’s currently has a promotion running too. 10% off any order or purchase online or at a market if you quote ‘MyArtisanMarkets’ so get down and before it expires!

Eclectic Creations by Jo

Baby Bea’s

The Weston Biltong Company


Want to read some recent blogs:

‘Meet the Maker’ interview with JewelArt & Devil Design

Artisan Markets Near Me?

‘Meet the Maker’ Woodcraft by Owen and Barbara Lea Pottery

Markets on in March