For the next few weeks, every Sunday we will be handing this blog over to the CAMhub traders for them to introduce themselves and their work. Each week you’ll find out a bit more about how the individual businesses started, what inspires the makers or collectors and (most importantly), what things they sell.
For this first edition, we’d like to hand you over to one of our handmade baby and kids clothing traders, the wonderful Belle Amelie:
Hi, I’m Caroline, I am the owner/designer/maker/general dogsbody behind Belle Amélie.
I started off just making clothes and hats etc for my own kids – I then started selling at farmers markets in my spare time and it’s gone from there, the range growing organically as I add new stuff – I design and make all the clothes myself so I have to do it around my ‘other’ job as a mum to three children. I am very inspired by retro style clothes and Scandi prints as it’s what I dress my own kids in.
I try to keep my clothes as gender neutral as possible, so I don’t have it split into ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ clothes- they are just kids clothes at the end of the day- who decided boys can’t wear pink or purple? And who decided rabbits and kittens are girls animals and foxes and bears are for boys?
I used to get so frustrated buying stuff for my two girls and having to buy stuff from the boys section just because I wanted something like a plain yellow pair of wellies or a fox hat.
Lots of the clothes are named with a nod to who they were originally made for- for example, my ‘Luke And Laura’ dungarees are based on a pair of dungas I hastily knocked up the night before my brother in law (Luke)’s wedding to a lovely lady called Laura, as I decided my youngest son Teddy needed a new outfit.
I used to work on the dining room table but now I work outside in a little shed at the bottom of the garden (I grandly call it ‘the Studio’ which my family have banished me and my hoard of fabric to – it’s actually the best move I’ve made as it allows me the space to be creative and I can leave piles of half made garments out without them getting in the way of family life. I’ve got a purpose built cutting table and work surfaces in there, as well as proper electric sockets and a heater – it’s all nicely insulated so I feel very cosy in there even when it’s sub zero outside!