Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's no secret that we love all things handmade and produced with love. It's that tender touch that makes your holiday decor, dining table centerpiece, knitted scarf, or refurbished ceramics more personal and unique to you. Many ask us where we find our DIY inspiration... well here's a little secret, Mollie Makes! Editor, Lara Watson, gives us the inside scoop for what goes on behind the scenes.

First and foremost, we have to tell you how much we ADORE Mollie Makes. If it’s possible to narrow it down, what do you love most about being the magazine’s editor? 
It really is a wonderful way to spend my days! Working within the craft community is a joy – it's a very supportive group of incredibly inspiring people. Going to press events, seeing the latest books before they go to print and planning issue content are the fun parts, dealing with paperwork and tight budgets not so much! But it's all part of it. My favourite though is working with an insanely talented editorial team. We have a giggle even when deadlines are looming. In fact, deadline is when we go a bit doo-lally and start making up new versions of chart songs replacing certain words with 'yarn' or 'knit' (ask Digi Prod Ed Nina about 'My Crochet Brings all the Boys to the Yard').

From Left-right: Production Ed Jessica Bateman, Deputy Ed Charlie Moorby, Art Ed Helena Tracey, Ed Lara Watson, Designer Lucille Randall and Digital Prod Ed Nina Camacho

You have what many would call a dream job! What’s a typical day like as an editor?
Depending on whether it's a day in the office in beautiful Georgian city Bath, out at meetings in London or working from home planning with Dep Ed Charlie, it's always different. I normally need to be ready to drop anything I'm working on in an instant to prioritise something else. My job is largely enabling others to do their jobs. That's the aim anyway; always striving towards it!

The magazine’s motto is “living and loving handmade”. Is crafting a hobby of your own as well? If so, what’s your current project?
It is! In fact the team are all big makers and that's what makes us so passionate about working on Mollie Makes and Gathered by Mollie Makes, our digital weekly magazine. I'm finishing some popcorn stitch crochet snoods as Christmas presents at the moment and have a colossal granny square blanket as a WIP. It'll be years before I finish that! I also make greetings cards and scrapbooks. Our designer, Lucille, is a multi-crafter who always has many, many projects and commissions on the go.

Speaking of crafting, every issue of Mollie Makes Magazine overflows with amazing DIY ideas. Where do you find the inspiration to make every issue as beautiful and irresistible as the last?
Aw thanks. We keep in touch with the publishing world, our favourite companies, blogs and social media. Trade shows help us spot upcoming trends and we have an amazing pool of designer-makers pitching wonderful ideas to us all the time. The team are also mostly designers of some sort themselves. Charlie and Lucille regularly contribute to our sister magazines and craft books; our art ed Helena is a very talented stylist and vintage prop sourcer, prod ed Jess and Nina are fashion-forward and share the 'Mollie' aesthetic. We all love the same stuff.

Top Left: Lara and textile artist, Gilda Baron. Bottom Right:  Lara and Holly Becker, of decor8.com.

In the life of an editor, how does fashion play a role? Would you say it has an influence in your life?
Yes absolutely. Representing a brand as crafty and quirky as Mollie Makes means that I obsess over what to wear to events. I'm often asked: “Are you Mollie?” so I'd better look like I could be! (…She's fictional by the way). I'm sure I don't always get it right, but messing around with my wardrobe, browsing eBay for bargains and the odd splurge in Bath's great boutiques is always a thrill. We love to feature upcycling and embellishing fashion projects in the magazine and I love supporting our designer-makers too so I always end up with bags full of great accessories after working at a craft show.

Are there any items you fancy on Ruche right now?
Ooh, let's see. There are always things I want on Ruche! I have a red dress obsession so the Timeless Romance Jaquard Dress is on my list. I love the way you guys mix pretty metallic dresses with big chunky knits – such a good look! The In Confidence, In Full Swing, and Creativity Strikes dresses are lovely. Oh and it's all about mustard yellow on Mollie Makes so the Care For You Cardigan has my name all over it.

To get to know you a little bit better, here’s a round of quick-fire questions! Ready? Go! Do you prefer…
-- Coffee or tea? Even Stevens! Can't decide.
-- Pastels or earth tones? Earth tones
-- Red lipstick or red nail polish? Nail polish
-- Glue or paint? Glue
-- Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla

A BIG thanks to Lara for taking the time to chat with us! We love her just as much as Mollie Makes. If you're looking for a place to fulfill your DIY and craft desires, check out their website for more inspiration! You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. Or even better, follow Lara on Twitter!