A move to the New Forest inspired Carly Stalker’s beautiful new range of homewares, Roo-tid. Her aprons, tea towels and bags are bright, bold and whimsical. I’ve been wearing her beautiful Fox apron while baking in my own kitchen and it’s the perfect combination of cute practicality.
I caught up with Carly to find out more about life in the New Forest and to hear more about the inspiration behind her work…
Making new friends
“I live just minutes away from the New Forest in Dorset with my husband and our two naughty house rabbits,” says Carly. “We used to live in a town, but we don’t miss it at all. We’ve replaced the sounds of the bustling streets with chirping birds, buzzing bees and pecking woodpeckers”
The New Forest is a haven for wildlife and Carly soon made friends with her new neighbours. “We spent many months doing up our new home. Every day we saw blue tits, squirrels and even sometimes badgers. We were spending so much time at home that these visitors became like friends with little characters of their own. I looked forward to seeing them and started snapping away with my camera whenever I got the chance!”
A new direction
Carly has worked in the design world for many years. Since university she’s worked for a magazine publisher and, more recently, for one of UK’s biggest craft suppliers. In her spare time, she turned a room overlooking the woodland into a craft room. Sketching the animals that pottered into her garden was lovely way to relax.
“As I sketched our new furry friends they seemed to come alive on the page. I wanted to share these little creatures,” explains Carly. “I was ready for a new challenge and my designs gave me the confidence to launch my own homewares business, Roo-tid.”
Bright bold designs made in the UK
Carly launched Roo-tid at the end of the March 2018 and it’s been non-stop ever since. “I design everything myself and everything is printed and made in the UK.” So far, the collection includes foxes, mice, badgers, hedgehogs and birds – all combined with bold and distinctive patterns. There are bags, aprons, cushions and more to choose from. “We want to produce homewares which will brighten your home and be cherished for many years to come. I’m thinking of new designs all the time and can’t wait to expand our range!”
Dreams for the future
“We’ve got a busy summer ahead of shows and fairs. As well as building up the Roo-tid range to include ceramics and childrens’ wear, we’d love to see our products stocked in shops up and down the country,” explains Carly.
Starting out is always tough, but Carly has a few words of advice for other small start-ups:
“Be kind to yourself, save hard, be patient and plan. The first few months are really, really tough but remember to reward yourself for the little wins. High five yourself, eat chocolate or do a little dance! Don’t let the ‘knocks’ rob you of this, otherwise you’ll forget you’re living the dream!”
Wise words, Carly – we wish you all the best for Roo-tid!
I wear the Mr Fox apron in all photos, which is available online and costs £26. New customers can get 50% off their first order, find out more here!
This was a sponsored post