Today on MrsPandP UK Wedding Blog I am thrilled to share the work of Winnibriggs House, a magical place filled with love and lots of fabric and where beautiful childrens shoes and accessories are crafted for your little peoples important events.
These beautiful creations are made by the very lovely Jenny Bowman who shares the story of her gorgeous products with us today.
Who are you and What do you do ?
“Hi I’m Jenny, retired civil servant, obsessive sewer and proprietor of Winnibriggs House.”
“I am currently making fleece slippers and pretty soft shoes for weddings, christenings, parties etc for children from birth to about 4 years, but I also make needle cases, cushions, bunting and even patchwork quilts.”
Why, and when did you start your Business ?
“I have sewn as long as I can remember having been taught by my mum who hand sewed many of my clothes in an era when make do and mend was a necessity not a trend! By hand made I do mean that she had no sewing machine.”
“I experienced my first lessons on a machine as a teenager in the sixties making clothes on a hand cranked machine borrowed from my best friends mother.”
“I don’t think we understood the word ‘finishing’ then and I would probably cringe now if I saw what we turned out! However it was to sow the seed of a wonderful hobby which I am now lucky to have turned into a business.”
“I made my first pair of slippers after the birth of my grandson 5 years ago because his mum could not find a pair in a style she liked that would actually stay on his feet.”
“Having invested in an embroidery machine a few years previously I had taught myself some very basic digitizing and was able to create all manner of motifs and to personalise them. My daughter who runs her own business offered to put them for sale on her website and the response was very positive.”
“My original slippers though intended for both boys and girls, were very cute but not very girly and so I made a Mary Jane style version first in fleece intended as a slipper.”
“I soon noticed however that although pretty soft shoes for toddlers were a big thing in the United States, there did not seem to be many people making them in the UK.
My imagination took over and I made up a few in pretty cottons, silks and brocades embellished with organza flowers and was very pleased with comments I received and so decided to sell them alongside my slippers.”
What inspires you, and do trends influence your work ?
“I am always looking for inspiration and although I am not over influenced by current fashion, I do like to keep up to date by checking out what is trending on social media sites and things like Pinterest.”
“I am very much into the vintage style and I hope my original slippers have a slightly old world feel to them, and in the same way I want my soft shoes to reflect an era when little girls were dressed as such.”
What prompted you to venture into the wedding and baby shower outfit market ?
“Once I had started making the soft shoes, my thoughts turned to the types of dresses I imagined they would be worn with, and I just couldn’t find anything that seemed to match the picture I had in my mind and so I have just designed my first two ranges with matching soft shoes and headbands.”
“Initially intended as pretty day dresses, I realised that they would also be perfect for weddings, parties and christenings.”
“All my dresses are machine washable, as are my shoes, which will mean that once worn for that special occasion they can still give months of wear. And what little girl wouldn’t like to dress as a princess every day!”
What do you see as the future of your company?
“Each new product I make seems to inspire ideas for others and having thought about baby’s christening gowns I then had ideas for gift sets for new babies and baby showers. My first sets of tiny shoes and hanging teddy to decorate a nursery or pram are about to go on sale and I have one or two more ideas currently being tested.”
“I like to think that I offer something a little different.”
“Dresses, shoes, slippers all lovingly hand made. Not mass produced, I buy all my fabrics in small quantities, and so although I would like my company to grow, ( I have now expanded from the dining room table to my own sewing studio ) I still want to retain my individuality and the feeling that I am offering a personal service to every one of my customers.”
“I sew mainly because I love it and I hope that shows in my products.”