Hove business StephieAnn Designs’ creative director gives an insight into her work.
Poetry can be a very beautiful thing and it is something that Stephie Woolven hopes to capture the magic of in her pieces.
Through StephieAnn Designs she creates by hand a range of silk pieces featuring flowers.
In the past ranges have been influenced by Charlotte Bronte and Dylan Thomas. But it isn’t where her initial inspiration comes from.
“I have an idea and then look for inspiration in flowers and then find a poem which matches my ideas and it inspires me further,” she said.
“For the Lord Byron collection I knew I wanted to do something relating to light and dark, and I found the poem ‘She Walks in Beauty’ which was perfect.
“I put flowers in water and added black ink to dye them in places and took photos for the print.”
Stephie’s work is created digitally. She uses photos she has taken alongside her paintings and layers the images together in Photoshop to create the print, with the poem printed on the back or side of the scarves or t-shirts.
When Stephie graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2013 with a textile degree she didn’t know where to go next.
After a stint working as a freelance print designer she started making silk knickers. She joined the Prince’s Trust and with the help of her mentor started StephieAnn Designs in 2014.
“I would have initially said I was a lingerie designer but now I see it more as an accessories and gifting brand,” she explained.
Alongside the scarves and t-shirts, Stephie sells eye masks, nightwear sets and bed socks.
“I do seasonal gifts for Christmas, Valentine’s day or mother’s day,” she explained.
“I try and release at least one new print every year.”
For her current collection she is looking at the theme of hiding or concealing things using lightboxes for the pictures of the flowers and taking inspiration from Shakespeare’s sonnet 138.
All the pieces are made by hand by Stephie in Hove, something she says people like when they order from her.
“If I am at a craft fair I can do the t-shirts made to measure or people can buy them in the standard: small, medium or large sizes,” she said.
“I have started to look at getting the eye masks manufactured as they are so popular.
“I used to make them using scrap material but I don’t have enough to keep up with demand.”
Running a business has been a learning curve especially in the manufacturing side.
Stephie said: “When I started I was quite naive about manufacturing so I ordered with a company in Wales and I ordered far too much.
“I still have some camisoles and knickers from back then four years later.”
For her designs Stephie has created templates to ensure that the best part of the pattern is featured on smaller spaces such as the eye masks.
As for her love of florals and poetry it all stems from her final project at university where she combined frozen flowers, poetry and wedding dresses.
Everything is made in Britain, and Stephie has won numerous awards and StephieAnn unique silk designs are stocked in independent boutiques and spas.
To view Stephie’s designs and the full range of products, visit www.stephieanndesign.com