Jewellery maker Sinéad Koehler has a packed schedule – she tells us about her hand-crafted wedding and running the Crafty Fox pop-up market at the Dogstar in Brixton
1. You make jewellery from found objects, which fits in well with the current trend for upcycling/recycling. Where did you get the idea for that?
I was looking for a creative outlet, away from my day job. I used to make jewellery when I was a girl, and I’m always buying jewellery, so it seemed an obvious choice. It takes quite a bit of time to track down the different objects – some I buy online, others I get from charity shops or by using bits of old jewellery. I never really expected to sell anything – but I opened up a shop on Etsy and then got some press coverage, which really helped. I still only do it for a hobby, though, as I’m a bit scared about taking the leap into a full-time business!
2. And from that you started the Crafty Fox pop-up market at the Dogstar in Brixton?
Well, organising events is my day job, so setting up a market is actually closer to my core skills than making jewellery! In fact, the jewellery making has been a bit sidelined recently, what with getting married and promoting the Crafty Fox.
3. Where did the name of the Crafty Fox come from?
I love foxes, and there are lots of them around Brixton, so it seemed a good link to the area. I also planned to get my friend jimbobart involved, and he’s great at drawing animals, so I knew he would be able to produce some great fun characters.
4. You mention getting married recently. I gather it was quite a crafty wedding!
We wanted to put as much of our own personalities into it as possible – handmade stuff is what we’re all about. The dress was a big problem – I thought I’d enjoy shopping for one, but I hated it. Then I thought of my mum’s wedding dress, which had been handmade, and used local contacts to find a dressmaker to alter it. And a friend made us an amazing cake – I left it entirely up to her, as I had so many other things to think about! You can read more about the wedding on my blog.
5. Does your husband make things as well?
Stephan doesn’t make things, but he’s passionate about music and he knows about promotion. He acts as my sounding board and is the DJ at Crafty Fox markets.
6. You’re originally from Northern Ireland – how long have you lived in Brixton?
I’ve lived in Brixton for three years now, and was in Clapham before that. We were renting in Clapham and started looking for somewhere to buy. When agents wanted to show us places in Brixton we weren’t very keen at first, but I love it now!
7. So with all your involvement with Etsy and Crafty Fox, why did you sign up with Makerhood?
Makerhood is a really interesting concept and I want to support the idea. Etsy has set up local groups but hasn’t really nailed it. I think there’s room for both – and the idea of encouraging people to buy locally really suits Brixton. I can see it working outside London too – anywhere where there’s a hub or community of makers.
8. Finally, what’s your top tip for a bit of “unknown Brixton”?
Before I moved to Brixton I went on a photo treasure hunt organised by Shoot Experience. We had to solve clues and take photos of the answers, which were then put on display at Photofusion Gallery. It helped me discover things about Brixton I didn’t know about, like the murals and the history of Windrush Square.
The next Crafty Fox pop-up market is on 1 September at the Dogstar, Brixton, 6-10pm.
You can see Sinéad’s original jewellery at http://brixton.makerhood.com/galavant