Gertrude Anna makes cool stuff for you and your home. The ethos behind each design is ‘waste not, want not’. Every scrap of fabric is kept and utilised through every ‘Gertrude Anna’ design.
With Gertrude Anna as his show piece, anything is a possibility.”
How would you describe the journey that has brought you to this place? And was this the destination you had in mind?
I have always wanted to have my own business. However it is a little bit different than I imagined. Originally I had thought that I would like to open a late night cafe. I have always wanted to create a business space of my own with all of my interior and creative knowhow . However costume jobs in film and Tv redirected my attentions into a totally different industry. I have been very lucky however over the years to be involved in other peoples businesses and design and hand make the interiors for a restaurant and makeup studio in Belfast. These experiences where probably the major influence in started GERTRUDE ANNA a product design service I began a year ago.
Do you have a process to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to create?
I don’t really have a process in order to create, I am certainly not that organised. However I do find it difficult to motivate myself, especially as my studio is based in my home. It can be a lonely existence , so little walks and breaks away from my work space is most definetly benifical.
How do you think your background and culture influences your creations?
I grew up in 1980’s Northern Ireland so of course that has its own stigmas attached to it. However ultimatly I had a positive early childhood that involved lots of creative activities with the make do and mend mentality. Any sense of escapism from the troubles brewing all around at the time helped me exercise a vivid imagination that has lasted to this day. I have a fondness of 1980’s cartoons and films so much of what I make has an aspect of nostalgia to it.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means different things to me. I don’t necessarily consider what I make is especially beautiful as I am an imperfect maker of things. I am quite untidy in my sewing style…quite purposly so though. I love textures and mistakes as all of these things inspire something unpredictable which benifits the service I provide…ensuring everything I make is a one off.
When it comes to a persons physical beauty I would often take the same stance. I like oversized features like big noses or unkept hair. When it comes to inner beauty I consider kindness and humour, energy and creativity to be aspects of beauty I look for.
Ultimatly I consider natural things such as tweedy fabrics and earthy colours things of beauty when it comes to objects of desire..after all the earth provides and often we are all too quick to forget its beauty in a world dominated by man made materials and technology ..not that I disregard those things as a certain kind of beauty.
If we had interviewed you when you were 11, what would you have told us you wanted to be when you grew up?
Straight away I can say I would have said that I would have wanted to be a Paleontologist (the study of dinosaur fossils). Jurassic park had just been released in cinemas and I was obsessed hehe. If I had an oportunity to have a career in this today I might be tempted..
What advice have you received that you want everyone to benefit from?
Well recently I hit a brick wall with how to progress with my business. I was begining to think I had made a mistake and that I was taking too much of a financial risk being self employed. However I made an effort to go to London (from Edinburgh) to talk to other crafty business people and came away with a much stronger mindset. Everyone I talked to directed me to online resources such as FOLKSY and NOT ON THE HIGHSTREET to branch out to a wider audience, as well as offering me reasurrance when it came to doing my tax return etc.. Basically I would advise talking to other people in your industry, listen to their stories and take note of any contacts you receive. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!!! I would also advise getting a studio which is shared with other creative people. Working from home alone is not good for the soul and you will find that you are not as productive. I am currently looking into shared studios myself.
thank you so much Timmy,
so happy you are part of the family
handsome and pretty