Interview: Ana Valls
Ana Valls runs her own shop, selling unique patterns and designs. I was lucky enough to interview Ana about her shop, blog and what she is currently up to.
Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I’m lovely thank you.
How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?
I started sewing around 6 years ago. I attended several workshops in London and then attended the London College of Fashion to learn professional sewing techniques and pattern making for women's wear.
Have you always been into sewing?
Actually not at all! When I was a kid I used glue to "make" clothes for my dolls so you can imagine my sock when after attending my first sewing class I felt it was love at first sight.
If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?
I would love to make one of those beautiful, amazing dresses that you only see on the red carpet made of tulle and embroidered.
What equipment do you use for your work?
My Janome and an overlocker. Then also all the usual pattern cutting and drafting tools.
What tools or materials could you not live without?
My sewing machine for sure!
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
Mainly because my whole business is based online so social media is a great way for people to get to know what you do. Also I have found an incredible community around sewing all around the world. I feel I have thousands of friends everywhere!
Who inspires your work?
Anything! From scrolling through Pinterest to just walking around in London. You see so many amazing clothes that people wear on the tube when commuting! I then draw everything I see that inspires me.
Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment?
I love my first pattern, the Marshmallow Dress and then Chestnut, one of the most popular ones.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and your work?
More patterns! And hopefully more challenging garments as I plan to tackle active-wear, swimwear, lingerie and the use of more technical fabrics.
What are you currently working on?
A new sewing pattern that will be hopefully released at the end of May.
What’s your typical working day?
I usually check emails first thing in the morning as we as social media. Then I start work on the studio depending on the stage of pattern development I am at that moment. Afternoons are devoted to computer work (writing instructions, making drawings, editing videos for YouTube, working on the site...) and for teaching.
What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?
It is still a struggle every day. You have to work flat out and give everything. Then if you are lucky people will love what you do and will help you make your dream come true.
Do you have any exciting plans for this year?
Yes! Next pattern launch will be a bit different and hope to release a more complicated pattern at the end of the year.
Do you have any advice for anyone doing craft fairs?
I have not really done many so bring a lot of water, snacks and prepare to stand up for hours! Also, always have enough business cards ready as maybe one person won't buy from that day but might go and visit your site after!
What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?
Just be true to yourself and seat down to analyse what really makes you special and different. Don't do what everybody else is doing!
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to do sewing?
Just go for it! Attend a beginners' workshop to see if it's something you like. If it is, there's no going back! You will love it.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
Believe in you.
You can follow of her wonderful work here ‘https://www.cocowawacrafts.com’. Her shop has wonderful patterns in stock. Ana also has some great tutorials on her blog.