I ‘met’ Est through social media – her Instagram account Origami_est is stunning and has over 10k followers, we also connected through a wonderful support network for women in business that we both belong to. Est makes stunning things out of paper. I have admired her work for a long time, and now we get to shine the torch on her business and her for today’s Sunday’s Spotlight.
You’ve made a very successful business out of paper, what inspired you to start Origami – Est?
Do you know, it’s something that was totally organic. I didn’t wake up one morning and think HERE’s my business plan! I have always loved origami, there’s something about making a simple square of paper into a three dimensional treasure that is highly addictive. About 3 years ago I decided to start making my paper creations as gifts for friends, I guess we’d got to that age where we could afford the random paraphernalia we wanted so I was searching for more unique gifts. After a short while, people began asking for commissions of origami! I was so shocked, but also flattered and began to blog about it. It was when a complete stranger from New Zealand emailed for a commission that I realised, this paper folding thing might have mileage. I began with little village craft fairs (mostly people thought I was overpriced and too garish) and a little bigcartel store. Within a few months I had contact from potential stockists, lots of online sales and an increasing interest via social media. All totally organic.
I love your Instagram, account can you give us any pointers on how you’ve grown their following?
Seriously, I’m very honoured to be asked – I feel like a complete amateur! I did however, quickly learn it’s not simply about producing beautiful photos (though this is important) , it’s about being an active member of the Instagram community you belong to. Showing people a little of the personality of the brand, befriending likeminded creatives or businesses, commenting on other people’s photos & not remaining an isolated account. It requires a fair amount of hard-work, but it does pay off & begins to grow – yes this word again – ORGANICALLY. One of the biggest thing to know though, is that the Instagram world can be brilliantly fun but also brilliantly fickle. Don’t be offended when you loose followers, especially if it’s when you share something that is slightly more personal than you normally post. Those are the people are clearly the ones who don’t get YOU, don’t get your brand, and that’s ok.
Your latest collection features lots of copper, tell us about it?
Oh my life, I feel like this collection is my favourite yet. I had the idea for it months ago & had been itching to put it together and launch it asap! I LOVE copper – who doesn’t right now?! And I wanted to get as much of it in the collection as possible. I was also desperate to try a new technique. To add colour and shape to the paper AFTER it’s been folded. This collection combines some utterly stunning colours; charcoal black, smoke grey, sugar lilac, snow white with a brilliant accent of COPPER. I feel it brings a unique celebration of the folded paper’s shape and form.
I see you’ve recently ventured into the world of workshops, sounds exciting, tell us more?
Workshops are something I LOVE! I was running them a couple of years ago but when I became a mum it was initially less practical. I am so pleased to have started again. Who wouldn’t love seeing people discover a new skill for themselves while having a fabulous natter?! Most people comment on how therapeutic it is. I’ve met some amazing people. My workshops tend to be based in Kent but I have a few coming up in London, as well as a guest appearance in the Midlands at STUDIO NL.
Tell us a little bit more about the woman behind the brand?
I’m a pretty regular lady. I have a husband, who just so happens to be a vicar. I have a beautiful daughter who’s just turned two. I live with two gorgeous house rabbits, Hugo & Florence. I live a seven minute walk from the sea (yes we regularly time it!). I have a passion for seeing modern day slavery abolished. I am addicted to tattoos. I have been in my thirties for 4 months and I’m loving it so far.
I hope you found this Spotlight interesting?
If you are interested in being featured on Sunday’s Spotlight, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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