Women Who Create / Ana Valls

Women Who Create / Ana Valls. Today I am happy to introduce the lovely Ana aka Coco Wawa Crafts to the blog. One part sewing fanatic, one part small business owner this lady’s colourful and joyful projects are infectious AND her jersey yarn selection rivals anything i’ve seen online! I look forward to seeing lots of exciting original patterns and collaborations from Ana.

Tell us a little about your background…

Hi Amy! So I am actually (or was till just a month ago) a writer and journalist. I studied Journalism at uni in Spain, where I come from, and worked as such for more than 10 years… Then, 4 years ago I discovered sewing just by attending a workshop here in London at Sew Over It and it was love at first sight… I was looking for a new hobby and little I knew it was going to become a 24 hour business and that it was going to take over my life completely! So two years ago I created Coco Wawa Crafts, an online fabric and yarn shop, first selling only on Etsy, and then opening a proper website, www.cocowawacrafts.com, a year ago. I also blog in there about my makes, post sewing and crochet tutorials and the most exciting part, I am about to launch my first sewing pattern this month of November (yay!).

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

As I am a perfectionist and have suffered in the past from anxiety, I take my work very seriously, but even more my free time. I have learned the hard way that working non-stop doesn’t help me or those around me, so as soon as Miss Perfectionist (as I call my other self, hehe) wakes up or as soon as I feel that anxiety feeling creeping up inside me, I stop, go for a walk, for a swim, read a book, sit down to knit or to sew something for myself or just watch a movie or meditate. This way I can come back the next day with my strength restored and also accepting that you can do anything, but not everything.

What two things can’t you live without?

Apart from my partner, I can’t live without sewing and reading. (Or ice cream from Oddonos in London and peanut butter, heheheh).

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Instagram is just amazing and love scrolling down and discovering something new every single day. It is incredible the talent out there! Also love Pinterest and overall, I find inspiration from movies (50s, 60s and of course, French, Wes Anderson) and books (fantasy, Nordic crime…).

What is the meaning of ‘craft’ to you?

To me craft is that thing made with love, with your hands, either using them as tools or to use other tools. Something that is not perfect, but beautiful. Something you have put your heart on. And in my case, craft is that thing I dreaded when I was a kid and thought I was not good at. So guys, don’t listen to that negative voice that tells you you are not good enough, because you are  at whatever you put your mind into.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

Mmmmmm, that’s a good question. I would love working with a fabric manufacturer or fabric designer such as Cotton+Steel to create a capsule collection of sewing patterns + fabric kits. One can dream, right? 

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

It doesn’t inspire me by itself but my sewing machine is EVERYTHING.

What is the best thing about running your *business/blog/working for yourself?

Even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, I love my freedom. The fact that I can wake up very early, go to the gym, come back home and start working, stop in the middle to go for a quick walk, coming back and thinking I need some new fabric for a project so popping out again… Just that freedom of movement, that can also lead you to work too much, which it is usually the case, but won’t change it for anything.

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

My first sewing pattern realising in November. It’s been so so so much work but I am also so so happy to have done it. I have learned a lot from my mistakes and hopefully this will be the beginning of many more!

Thanks Ana! Find more on the Coco Wawa blog or via Ana’s IG here

interviewsAmy Phipps