Pretty Little Knots
BOHO – if I had said this word to you a few years ago it probably wouldn’t have had much effect. Derived from the word Bohemian and hugely fashionable back in the 70’s, Boho has made a massive comeback. Big in both the interior and wedding world for those who adore a chilled out, unconventional and relaxed vibe. This style can range from bamboo furniture, Persian rugs, ethnic textiles, macramé hangings and much more within that eclectic feel.
With a huge influx of Boho styled products on the market from high street stores and independent sellers it can be difficult to know what is what. I love it when I find an original Bohemian piece in a vintage store or fair but these are becoming few and far between. Luckily for all of us there are some amazingly talented people out there that feed our frenzy for beautiful handmade products and ‘Pretty Little Knots’ is one of them.
I discovered Sam via Instagram (surprise, surprise!) Sam has built a fabulous business whilst working from home to suit her family life. Specialising in wall hangings and plant hangers Sam’s work is incredibly detailed. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a couple of pieces, which I used within my display at The Most Curious Wedding Fair last March. They work perfectly at Boho styled weddings, I used a wall hanging as a chair decoration but they can be used anywhere, plant hangers are also brilliant at weddings especially if you have loads of them hanging in a marquee or teepee. I have also seen huge hangings used as ceremony backdrops, which look stunning. Sam’s work got lots of attention at the fair and I was sorry to give it back!
Sam started PLK after the birth of her second child and after she made the decision to become a stay at home mum to Indie 2, and Maisie 5. Sam learnt how to knot whilst volunteering for a year in Ecuador, she was taught by ladies to make jewellery from plant fibres in a remote village - how cool is that?!! After seeing Macramé popping up on Instagram Sam realised that she knew how to do it and got started. Trust me, I have tried and I am rubbish, this lady has a real talent. Pretty Little Knots has gone from strength to strength over the last few months and the Etsy shop has seen lots of orders to keep Sam busy. Working around the family’s needs Sam is able to create her pieces in her bedroom studio during the evenings and weekends.
In our modern world where things move at the speed of light and big companies are churning out new products by the millions I am interested how small business’s keep their momentum and motivation to keep going so I asked Sam a few questions.
Is it hard to keep going when you see the likes of Matalan selling similar items at a fraction of the price?
A lot of big brands have started selling cheap, basic macrame pieces, which I knew would happen as it does with anything that becomes popular. That doesn’t bother me too much as I figure those customers aren’t necessarily the people that would buy unique handmade pieces from me anyway.
Etsy, where I sell, has changed a lot the year and a half I’ve been selling on there. There were only about 3 of us in the UK back then but now there are loads but it just makes it more interesting and a reason to keep upping my game.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I’ve always been creative, I went to art school, worked in creative jobs and in my spare time I’ve dabbled in all sorts; fine art, knitting, mixed media, dressmaking, but Macrame seems to be the only one that’s stuck. It’s the one that creeps into my brain when I should be concentrating on other things. When I'm drifting off to sleep I’ll start thinking of a wall hanging design and will get out of bed to sketch it out. It just makes me happy to be knotting.
You have recently done a workshop, are there plans for more?
I did my first workshop in August 2017, I was invited to run one at a creativity festival via Instagram. My first instinct was to say no because the thought terrified me, but, I plucked up my courage and agreed.
It was actually a brilliant experience; everyone was so lovely and eager to learn. I was kept so busy helping and teaching people that I didn’t have time to be nervous and afterwards I felt really, really proud and happy seeing what people had made and knowing I had taught them to do that!
Now I run a workshop every month in the store of Beaumont Organic in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and have plans to do one offs in other locations over the summer.
(Manchester workshops can be booked at beaumontorganic.com )
I love Sam’s work and I don’t see the trend going anywhere soon, not when people clearly still love it as much as me. I am very much looking forward to incorporating more macramé within my wedding schemes this year and thinking of lots of unique ways to showcase it. Watch this space!
Discover Sam's beautiful macrame items: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PrettyLittleKnotsCo
Written by Katie Sutton from The Vintage House That Could