So, Lauren I know you as The Little Squid as one of my friends posted about their friend and their new wire lettering company on social media. I can remember looking at an example and being utterly hooked on it. I think I have ordered 4 times from you now and I already have about 4 more I need to put in with you! Surely, one can never have too many wire letter displays right?! For those of us reading this that aren’t aware of you or your company, can you give us an intro? How was The Little Squid born and what is it all about?
Hmmm, well I’d had a long stretch away from work to concentrate on raising my 3 little boys. I had 3 under 4! Crazy?
It was around the time of my youngests 1st birthday that I started getting itchy feet. I was initially looking for a hobby that I could do on an evening once they were all sleeping as a way to unwind. I remember I had seen the word ‘dream’ made from wire on a wall in the background on an American blog and instantly knew I wanted to give it a go.
I bought a pair of pliers and a reel of wire that same day and sat night after night for weeks practicing and experimenting.
Eventually I made something I was happy with and put it up on my living room wall. Every time we had visitors, they’d ask me to make something for them. Things sort of snowballed from there and I quickly became the local wire lady haha.
Why the name The Little Squid?
It’s actually what my husband has called me for the last 10 years or so! Neither of us can remember how it started. Most people get cute loving pet names... and I got Squid 🦑 !
This is a good question. One I’m not sure how to answer. It’s tricky because although I’d love to grow the business into something much bigger, the thought of letting other people make the orders gives me palpitations! I pride myself on the quality and skill involved in what I do and I know I’d be sat remaking anything which wasn’t absolutely perfect.
I would however, definitely like to create more of a ‘brand’.
I haven’t had a mentor, it’s just grown unaided and organically. I probably do many of the ‘business’ side of things totally wrong and I’m sure there would be a more efficient way but I’m blissfully unaware at the moment. Eek.
My advice to anyone looking to start a small creative business is to just be yourself. Let your style and personality come through in your work and it will grow. The most important thing is to enjoy it.
At Makers, we are all about making being great for the mind and the soul. This motto is backed up by research from charities such as Mind. We know so many of our Makers use being creative to unwind and de-stress. Is this something you can relate to?
Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more. It’s so therapeutic to sit down at the end of a long stressful day and let your creative juices flow. To switch off and focus on what you’re making is a magical thing. There’s also so much joy in making things for others. It’s really quite special.
Is it just wire making or are you a bit of a Maker in other areas too?
I’m definitely a naturally creative person and love making! I have a passion for upcycling and restoring furniture. Nothing beats wandering round a boot sale and transforming a bargain when you get home!
At school I think I was the only girl who chose woodwork. I then went onto art college and have a degree in Interior Design with Architecture. I always chose to draw by hand rather than using CAD.
Even down to sitting down with the children and making things with Lego... and then I get really protective over whatever I’ve made haha.
What is the highlight of The Little Squid so far?
Oh gosh there have been a few! I’d probably say being asked by The Style Sisters to do some work for Rochelle Humes baby brand launch ‘My Little Coco’. What an honour!
We always ask about Makers ‘Ooops’ moments, we are all about owning our mistakes and either hiding them with a bit of embellishment or being able to learn from it and start again. What has been your biggest ‘Ooops’ moment so far and how did you pull it back?
Haha! I have many oops moments. Although it’s more of a curse and a cry.
The frustrating thing about my work is that I use a single piece of wire for each word... so if I make a mistake right at the end I have to remake the whole thing.
Making something in the wrong colour or font and realising at the end is my most common ‘oops’.
I usually say a few swear words, roll about in dismay, have a cup of tea and start again.
I do really love the little UP House, but nothing beats the words. I get a real buzz from a perfect loop, hoop, bend and twist. I’m laughing at myself but it’s true