Profile: Abby Swanwick

Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to have a look around.

I'm Abby Swanwick, a textile artist/designer from Staffordshire, England. Kefluti is my online venture, selling handbags, coin purses, make-up bags, mobile phone covers, snoods, jewellery rolls and cushions; amongst other things... all designed and handcrafted by me. I'm a trained graphic designer, but gave this up to become a secondary school supply teacher-which I love. What’s more, working for an agency allows me to choose the hours I work, giving me the time to make for and run Kefluti. As you may have surmised, my passion actually lies in textiles rather than graphics. I studied a City and Guilds qualification in machine embroidery and later a foundation diploma in textiles at Stafford College, but the rest I’ve learnt from either my Mum, from workshops or from books/play.

I began designing my own handbags a few years ago, when I couldn't find the type of bag I was after on the high street. I received compliments from my friends, quickly followed by orders... and the rest, as they say, is history!

I tend to design based on my and my friend's needs, e.g. jewellery rolls and iPhone covers. I take my inspiration from art, design, crafts, architecture, travel, nature and pattern.

For me, crafts are my hobby. Besides those items I make for Kefluti, I knit, sew-both by hand and machine, embroider, print, felt, make paper and journal - combining photography, design and craft in a mixed media fashion. I visit as many exhibitions both locally and nationally, as I can manage, finding them a great source of not only inspiration, but also motivation.

Whilst I'm crafting, I listen to the radio, to music (more often than not singing along!), or the television. Alternatively, I’m taking days out with my boyfriend, to the seaside, to various parks, gardens and castles or to galleries (since he too is a graphic designer and a budding photographer). Besides all of that, if I find myself with any free time, I can be found gardening, decorating, or taking city breaks abroad.