Textile designer Molly Mahon is a lover of pattern and colour and all things hand made. I’m a signed up super fan, so much so that I have just chosen one of Molly’s hand block printed style wallpapers for my guest bedroom. Mum has been her usual legendary self and is hanging it for me- all of which will be revealed soon here on the blog! I love her artistry, the way her patterns play together and signing up to one of her block printing workshops is on my bucket list of things to do!
So it’s time to dig a little deeper and find out about what makes Molly tick, and drool over her rather idyllic sounding working day, in this month’s Designer Spotlight…
Tell me a bit about your background,
I was brought up in a very creative home and was surrounded by ongoing creative projects, all over the kitchen table and in my mother’s studio. I don’t feel relaxed unless I am making something. I can’t watch TV without my sewing in my hands. It was when I stumbled on block printing that I had my Eureka moment and realised that this creativity could be more than a hobby and really a very rewarding means to decorate my home.
When and how did you start the brand?
It has been an organic growth, but I would say that it started the moment I was commissioned to do some hand printed wallpaper for a friends shepherds hut, we haven’t stopped taking orders since that day.
How would you describe your style?
Personal, interesting and colourful!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
So many places! Personal favourite is the local Charleston House here is East Sussex. And across the water I draw plenty of inspiration from all the Californian textile designers who so embrace colour, like Raoul Textiles, Kathryn Ireland, Roberta Roller Rabbit… to name a few! Then a walk in the forest or one of my many trips to India, it’s never ending – I see pattern in everything I do.
How do you sum up your work ethos?
I like to merge the lines between work and life, my life is my work and vice versa. We welcome our children into the workshop after school and I can still feel ‘at work’ when I am in my studio painting, or around the kitchen table. I want to feel proud of what I do and I want my children to see how hard I work. I want everything I do to bring me and my clients joy. Seeing a happy client’s reaction to a new fabric or wallpaper is still the most exhilarating feeling to me.
Talk me through a typical day.
Up early to walk the dog (or take the children to school -we are lucky we can walk there and as my husband works with me we can take turns). I take some deep breathes in the forest before I get home for breakfast. Then I pack up my bag and grab some lunch and head down the lane to our workshop. I make a coffee and sift through emails, which dig right into my day now. Then I sit and plan new ideas, the next Pop-Up, what’s coming up. We mull over on going issues with production and I try to look to the future as my little business grows around me. After lunch I am often out and about with a meeting in London or visiting clients, or our suppliers. We try to all be home for supper at 6.30pm and then it’s children’s time, long baths, story time etc this can take me through to 9.30pm now that my eldest is 11. Then it’s back to my computer, do an instagram or if I am lucky draw another sketch for the wooden blocks that I get carved in India.
What are your plans for the future?
We would really like to be able to have a space that works for our family and the business. I dream of some outbuildings where I could run my workshops from and where people could visit to see and buy our wares. I have always adored the idea of a little cafe (my husband Rollo is brilliant at making healthy nibbles) and then I could justify a coffee machine!! Long term I would like to go back to printing wallpaper and fabric by hand ourselves in Sussex. Continuing the actual craft and the joy of block printing is something that would be a highlight for me.
You can hop onto Molly’s website www.mollymahon.com or see her wares at the Myriad London showroom, 131 Portland Road, London, W11 4LW or at The Frost Fair, Saturday 24th Nov & Sunday 25th Nov, 11am – 5pm, Charleston Farmhouse, West Firle, Lewes, BN8 6LL