Women Who Create / Amy Phipps
This week we get to know founder of the WWC community and website a little better!
Tell us a little about your background...
I was lucky enough to go to Waldorf Steiner school for my early years education to which I attribute much of my creative way of being, authenticityand love of making things with my hands. Steiner education is all about learning through creativity, colour and exploration, It's very child-centered.
At uni I trained as a knitwear designer specialising in handcrafts and crochet. After graduating I went down the freelance textiles designer route for some years whilst trying to work out where my passion lay and awaiting my big break! I have always been a jack of all skills (not trades!) happy to pick something up and run with it. This lead to all sorts of wonderful opportunities! One of my favourite claims to fame was knitting bespoke fine silk stockings for Vanessa Redgrave for a historical feature film!
In 2012 I met Claire Culley and together we set up Super+Super HQ, a 3 story studio on the seafront in Brighton where we rented out spaces for creatives to run their businesses. Downstairs in our workshop space, we created, curated and hosted craft workshops and events of all kinds for 3 years! During that time we signed a craft book deal, worked with the likes of Tatty Divine and really learned the ups and downs of running a bricks and mortar business!
In 2015 I moved back to my hometown Nottingham after 10 years living by the sea in Brighton... and that is when Women Who Create was created like a shining light out of the gloom.
Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focussed and happy?
I am an early bird and cherish getting up whilst the house is calm and quiet to sip a nice lemon and ginger tea and read a book for half an hour snuggled on the sofa. This really sets me up for the day! I always have my phone on silent and my email inbox set to holiday mode with a friendly message to manage peoples expectations about when I will reply. I love walking and try and get out and moving every day when I am working from home!
What two things can't you live without?
My Kikki.K Planner and my many houseplants which have been gifted and propagated from some amazing friends and family over many years... they keep my air clean and me in tune with nature daily.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Other women in business. Peers, friends and the women in my family. Women who work hard to achieve their dreams of creating a meaningful, sustainable and authentic life.
What is the meaning of 'creativity' to you?
Creativity is about imagination, its a flow a way of doing things. A feeling of connectedness to the thing you are making, planning or sharing. From designing a pattern or a workshop to digging over the garden or cooking a meal. Creativity is something I nurture in even the smallest most mundane areas of my life. Bringing a little magic to every day no matter how small that may be.
If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone... who would it be & why?
I am hugely fortunate to be able to work with many different inspiring women on a regular basis. And have a strong belief that people come into your life at exactly the right time for the perfect opportunity. So with that in mind, I don't really have just one person I dream to work with because there are just too many things I want to do and inspiring amazing women in this world! I don't want to single one person out we all have amazing powers!
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?
I love my fine bic biro (the orange one) this helps me write my lists and plans in the neatest version of my handwriting. I love writing things down in a big old notebook before I retype! Also my WWC biz mood board. If I lose focus I come back to this big collage of colours, phrases, and inspiring women in business.
What is the best thing about running your business?
Freedom to work how I want and with who I want. Really cherishing the opportunity to share projects with my community and ask for feedback and guidance to help me grow my business and as an individual. I am learning all the time which feels amazing!
And what is or has been the most challenging?
Moving away from being known solely as a craft business owner after years of working in that field. I am so proud of all I achieved as S+S but struggled for a while to get out of that box and feel like me again.
What is your proudest creative moment in the journey so far?
Holding our first Women Who Create weekend event in Bristol was a life and business changing moment for me. It brought together everything I had been dreaming of and planning for a long time. Proving to myself that what we are creating with WWC is a special and magical thing. Sharing the amazing skills and ideas of a group of women. I was also invited on to BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour this year which was a huge bucket list moment.
What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey?
Be yourself and be proud of what makes you, You. Share your inspiration, problems, ideas, worries, and dreams. Put yourself out there and don't be afraid to fail. We don't learn unless we try, test, fail and grow. We are on a path of constant discovery and learning!