We love how when it comes down to the little ones, everything is just cute, cute, CUTE! Our expert interviewer Nicola from Concrete and Honey has discovered the most adorable Adelaide based retailer, Squeak and Squirrel and brings to you an interview with the designer behind these gorgeous handmade creations.
by Nicola Greenaway, Concrete and Honey
How would you describe your style?
I live and work in an endless summer! I love cool whites, soft colours and anything in between. I’m drawn to pretty florals and beautifully-crafted things, whether they be for my wardrobe or my home. The pieces I make reflect this. They’re feminine and delicate with little pops of pretty. I rarely wear dark colours and don’t sew with them either. I love the sentiment of the old, too – vintage finds and little bits and pieces passed down over time.
How did you learn to sew?
I taught myself through trial and error, and by acting on instinct. I think that’s helped my style evolve as I’ve never been bound by specific rules or techniques. I picture pieces in my mind and then bring them to life in my own way, tweaking elements as I go until they look how I imagined.
I embrace flaws too! Sometimes I’ll make a mistake and it will lead to something new – a crushed bloom or a different sort of petal. If I knew what I was doing the whole time, I wouldn’t get that sense of accidental creativity which, once refined, can often lead to something really beautiful.
How did you get started with Squeak & Squirrel?
Before I had Alice, I’d never sewn anything in my life, but I started to make her bits and pieces I couldn’t find in the stores; just simple pretties – singlets with ruffles and clusters of hand-stitched blooms, and appliques of my little dog, Hugo.
I fell in love with the softness and quality of Marquise products which became my blank canvas for all sorts of cuteness. Then came the dresses and blouses – all in pretty cotton prints, gingham and stripes. I sold my pieces to friends first and then started doing a few markets.
Where do you find inspiration for your beautiful designs?
I’m inspired by colour, floral prints and interiors. I love the delicacy of sequins and lace and the contrast of pretty pastels on white. I spend a lot of time poring over fabrics that fit this colour palette. I draw a lot of ideas from my own childhood, life with Alice and memories of my much-loved nan. She was the epitome of style and grace with her floral blouses, pink lips and pencil skirts.
I think little things in life are also some of the most beautiful and inspiring. They don’t have to cost a lot to be pretty, but you have to look harder to find them.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just done a collection of neckpieces in cotton prints, linen, sequins and tulle and I’m working on some new pretties for summer and spring. I love dream catchers too and have started making a few with vintage doilies, lace and Liberty prints to sell in my little shop. I create as time affords and am forever dreaming of new things to make. I’m not dictated to by trends; I just follow my imagination.
Where can we find your beautiful products?
I’ve recently opened a little store on Bigcartel with a collection of my neckpieces and dream catchers. You can find it at www.squeakandsquirrel.bigcartel.com
What’s next for Squeak & Squirrel?
I want to expand my range of neckpieces. What’s not to love about a garden party around your neck?! That’s the direction I’m taking the label in. If I had the backing, I’d love to expand my childrenswear too. I just want to make beautiful things, right down to their wrapping!
Nicola Greenaway writes for Concrete and Honey, spending her days taking photos of everyday beauty and craft items for her esty shop. Come 4pm everyday she will eat an apple and cannot survive without her daily cup of coffee! If she could live anywhere in the world it would be in the romantic Paris. With 24hours to herself, Nicola would get her nails done, head to a cafe she has had on her radar for awhile with a new magazine, bake a beautiful cake, take a long bath and have an afternoon sleep.