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Friday, 20 July 2018

An Interview with Claire from Miss Bella's Blooms!



If there is anything that can complete an outfit, it is a beautiful bright hair flower. In fact I would say I have gotten to the point, where I feel naked if I leave the house without a perfectly picked hair flower to balance my hairdoo and compliment my outfit. But there is so much to consider when picking that statement headpiece. Is the colour right? Does the arrangement suit me, is it unique enough and is the quality going to last through all the hairstyles and products I put it through?!


So when the beautiful Claire first sent me one of her gorgeous hair flowers I instantly fell in love. She has pieces in many different shapes to suit different hairstyles. The quality is magnificent, even down to the back detail with strong, long clips, that are well put together and disguised perfectly in greenery and felt. After receiving more from Miss Bella I also found some even came with pins so they can be used as brooches too.

Miss Bella's Blooms was created in 2016 in Leicester, (which is actually rather close to me) with a mission of dreaming up handmade floral delights that can brighten up any day. She specialises in hair flowers, hair clips, hair barrettes, head scarves, corsages and brooches. Sometimes she can also be found at special events, running work shops on how to craft your own. There is something very special about this company, from the way it is marketed to the fine details of every piece, so why not read our interview below to find out more about this rather special lady and her fabulous business.

1. Hello Claire, Tell me about yourself and the creation of Miss Bella's Blooms? 


Having children at home, it was important to me to be there for them as well as making a living. Self employment seemed like the perfect solution and I started off selling vintage reproduction clothing and accessories online. Recently, I decided to make a business change and with my children no longer at home at this point, I decided to take my business in another direction, focusing on accessories - more specifically hair flowers. It seemed like a natural progression and meant that I could have full control over my products, even trying my hand at creating accessories myself. I soon found that I enjoyed the process of making hair flowers and knew this was what I wanted to concentrate on.  I find making my creations very therapeutic.

2. What inspired you to start a Vintage Handmade Hair Accessory Business?


I am an avid lover of vintage and have always enjoyed the styles from the past - not just in clothing, but also homeware, accessories and jewellery. Everything was just so much more glamorous in those days and the overall aesthetic always appealed to me. Accessories have always been a weakness of mine and I noticed many others seemed to veer towards them on my stalls at trading events. After all, they complete any outfit and are more affordable. I knew that hair flowers were popular amongst vintage enthusiasts and I could see the potential in pursuing creating my own.

3. How would you describe your own style and how does it effect the products you make?


As I previously mentioned, I love vintage styles and so I would say my flowers are heavily influenced by that. I certainly try to emulate that definitive vintage look with my flowers, whether by using actual vintage or sourcing reproduction. I also try to keep to a traditional vintage colour palette with some of my flowers but at the same time I have developed all different bloom combinations and colours.

4. Without giving up any of Bella's secrets, where do you source your materials, is there one place you stick to or do you enjoy the search for unique finds?

I definitely use one particular supplier, but I’m not averse to trying others. It all depends where I can find the best stock for my products. Overall, I prefer using true vintage flowers and sprigs and so I can easily spend hours trawling the Internet and eBay for those. It’s part of the fun of making my flowers - finding the perfect stock. For custom orders, it’s more about meeting the clients specifications so I have to go to where I know I can find what they require, although I usually already have something that will work! I have a vast selection of flowers already.

5. Can you talk us briefly through your design and creation process?


Ideas come to me all the time, even in the middle of the night! I have a vast collection of flowers at hand, so firstly I pick out colour combinations and then arrange. I then set on fixing them firmly down with two processes, add my branded backs and then they are ready for off.

6. Is this your full time job and what do you enjoy the most about it?


This is my full time job and I feel so fortunate to be able to get up in the morning and head down to my workshop to execute all the fab ideas I had overnight. It really gets my creativity flowing and provides me with a sense of satisfaction when I see a flower realised from my imagination. It is also one of the most therapeutic processes and helps to cheer me up if I’m having a bad day!

7. What do you feel is your biggest achievement since starting your business?


Running my first hair accessory workshop at Bletchley Park was an absolute pleasure and I really enjoyed guiding ladies through the hair flower and felt brooch making process. Secondly being asked to stock my brand with Collectif; a well known vintage reproduction brand. I had to pinch myself! I was so nervous up until actually seeing my blooms on their website.  Also, hitting personal targets with Etsy sales, receiving custom orders and gaining repeat and new customers. I’m always blown away by the support and lovely compliments I receive on my flowers.

8. What is next for you and Miss Bella's Blooms?


Onwards and upwards. I will be at the Blitz n Pieces Fair, Twinwood Festival & Bletchley Park

9. What does Miss Bella's Blooms mean to you and what message do you want it to share?


Miss Bella’s Blooms means everything to me. It’s my joy, my livelihood. But it’s also a way to express yourself and enjoy discovering your own style.  You don’t have to like vintage to enjoy my hair flowers because they’re such a universal thing. It’s taken a while to get established, but thanks to the support of my wonderful friends and family and customers, and lots of hard work, I’ve done it and feel so proud! I want Miss Bella’s Blooms to be about expression and individuality, and to inspire confidence in finding your own style or just enjoying vintage style.

10. Finally, how can people get hold of their very own Miss Bella's Bloom, and is it possible to commission you for personal pieces?


Find me on Etsy to buy blooms or request a custom order.  

Also on Instagram & Facebook.

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