It’s Ness here. Welcome to our first proper blog post – I for one am so happy to have you here. Writing is not my forte so rest assured this has been checked and amended by my darling daughter! I hope to use this blog as a platform for many things, including to talk about some of the independent creators I’ve been loving. If you have a hectic lifestyle yourself, you’ll know how it feels to never have enough hands, or enough minutes in the day. For that reason, I’m so in awe of those who manage to juggle all the madness of day to day life with making gorgeous products.
Today I’ll talk about Anna, the talented mama behind Bow & Boo. I almost leaped with excitement when we received her gorgeous parcel the other day; everything down to the paper it was wrapped in was gorgeous. Anna is based in Devon, England and she makes reversible baby bonnets using a mixture of vintage, organic and hand-printed cottons. You’re essentially getting two bonnets in one, with the additional advantage of them being thick and wonderful quality. Ours feature a couple of my favourite liberty prints, and each is trimmed with care. Sizes are available from newborn all the way to toddler.
Anna kindly agreed to tell us a little bit about herself and her creative process:
My name’s Anna and I have always had a passion for making things. From an early age I was creating clothes out of scraps of fabrics for my dolls. Both my grandmothers were amazing knitters and seamstresses and i remember being in awe as their knitting needles clicked away or how a beautiful dress magically appeared from the sewing machine.
I studied Fashion Textiles at Brighton university and spent some time in India working for a block printing company and then went on to work in woollen mill in south devon where I grew up.
After having a few years out of the textile industry to have my two daughters Florence and Grace, I really began to miss being creative. I had made the odd item of clothing for my girls and enjoyed mixing vintage fabrics with fabrics that I had printed or dyed myself and adding contrasting trims. In November 2016 I decided to dust off my sewing machine and properly start making things again, so set to work creating timeless useful items of clothing for babies and toddlers that would all be reversible.
I made a few reversible baby jackets using a very old pattern of my grandmothers and some reversible baby bonnets in sizes newborn up to the age of 2 years. I then had a stall at a local Christmas craft market and the bonnets proved very popular so I have continued making them.
The bonnets are all reversible with contrasting fabrics and trims. I have built up a huge stash of beautiful fabrics over the years and love block printing as well as using natural dyes and organic fabrics. Liberty fabric is something I am always drawn to, it’s so classic and timeless and can always be matched to something.
Each bonnet I make is made with love and I like to think of who will be wearing it and where it will go and the adventures they will have in it. I hope the bonnets will be treasured and passed on as heirloom items through generations.
I love Instagram so have set up an account for the bonnets called Bow & Boo, the name comes from the nick names of my daughters Flo Bow and Gracie Boo. They are both very different girls so creating something reversible is not only practical it can have two different sides to it for each personality or perhaps outfit.
I work part time for a jewellery company as well as look after my daughters who are 5 and 2 so I tend to make the bonnets in the evenings. I have found it hard to factor in my time and fabric costs when pricing the bonnets. However at the moment I am getting so much satisfaction from making them, I am just enjoying the process and that other people actually like them and want to buy them too.
I will always need to be working with textiles or yarns in some capacity so if I can make a living from it that’s a bonus.
Hats off to you mama! Thanks so much for sharing.
Bonnets are a staple for my babies; they keep the warmth in during the chilly months, and the sun away over summer. Anna’s are generously sized, and I’m over the moon that Marigold will get lots of wear out of her’s. Hop over to her instagram to have a scroll through some of her other designs, and direct message her for any inquiries.
As you can see below, little Marigold rocks them (and she knows it!)