02 September 2010

A Conversation with Aimee Brock from Lilly Pad Designs

Aimee from Lilly Pad designs has plenty to be happy about this month. Her designs are being showcased in the quintessential Fashion Quarterly (the little black book, of course!). Handmade in NZ, her creations are vibrant must haves. Lets meet Aimee.....
Who is {lily pad designs}?
lilly pad designs is me, Aimee Brock, and is the name of my wee kids and parents’ label – covering all my handmade crafts. It is named after my lily pad pram liner.

What’s your “handmade groove ?”
I’m really focused on the idea of sparking a love of creativity in kids at a young age. I come at it by ‘spoiling kids with colour’ – and parents too. Too many baby and children’s products today use ugly, boring synthetic materials and are mass produced so everyone blends in with each other. There are gorgeous multi-coloured hand- or screen printed 100% cotton and merino fabrics out there that kids are drawn to and also make parents feel special and stylish. My favourite past time is researching these patterns – and opening my packages in the post!

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)
Three books from my bookclub – The Help; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; and The Secret Life of Bees. Also pictures of my two girls, and Vicks vapour rub!

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?
I learnt a lot from the books Shantaram and A Thousand Splendid Suns last year, and since then my group of friends at book club and I have been going through a long phase of reading books focused on middle-eastern, far eastern and African stories, so I’m really inspired by the colours and patterns in these cultures. I am also a big follower of the modern quilting/textile designers in the US and Europe – Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry and Heather Bailey top my list right now. I am also inspired by the images and colours my children and their friends are drawn to.
 What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?
Books! And great new recipe finds or old family recipes, that are good for young families’ tight budgets and for nutrition.

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?
1)Running a business and balancing accounts
2) Screen printing your own fabric 
3) Sewing school for lessons in complicated patterns.

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?
At the moment I balance it ok because my eldest child goes to kindy five mornings a week, so morning are my creative work time. Once my baby stops doing a big morning sleep it might be different! I also have a hugely supportive husband who is totally involved and sits beside me at night times building my website or helping me with strategies, etc.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?
Sitting on the floor of my lounge at night, cutting out patterns and wadding – and then realizing I’d also cut through the quilt covering of my children’s play mat. Doh! ☹

Kitchen table or studio?
Lounge floor and I also share the computer room’s desk with my sewing machine!

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?
Custom made dolls from A Little Vintage for my girls.
An old fashioned rose tea cup-pin cushion from Cotton Kiwi.
An old fashioned rose tea cup t-shirt from Topography to match.
A grey link necklace scarf from Kute Kiwi.
And happiness for my family!

Around here at New Zealand Handmade, we get pretty excited when we hear from you asking to be our friend. A sort of wiggly email dance starts up, we all head off to your place and say hi, then we tell our friends and we shout out on Facebook. (WHY keep you a secret huh?) 
We also get a kick out of sharing our own passions, letting you see what we are up to and we especially love to share the spotlight with you all  ... Carol


  1. great interview Aimee! your fabrics are gorgeous. and your book club sounds like such fun :)

  2. Its amazing how textiles, speak to us, with thoughts of creating products, great interview, cheers Marie

  3. I really enjoyed reading this interview... and I love your fabrics.

  4. I love your wish list, and I think I need to swap book clubs...your books sound my kind of style! Great read, thanks for sharing!

  5. Lovely to learn more about you Aimee :)

  6. So cool Aimee and very inspiring:))

  7. Insightful interview, Aimee. I love your blog and it's great to see you recognised. x


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