An interview with textiles designer Poppy Treffy

Poppy Treffy is one of those names that has suddenly started popping up everywhere. Fuelled by a recent trip to my home county, I wanted to find out more and about this Cornish based enterprise. Poppy Treffry founded her company in 2003 with just an old Singer sewing machine her grandfather found in a dump! She put together a small collection of bags, cushions and tea cosies which were quickly snapped up by galleries and boutiques locally and across the UK. She opened her St Ives shop in 2010 and is now stocked across the world from Japan to the States. Poppy Treffry 2012

What’s the most important thing to know about you?

I get very grumpy when I’m hungry! So keep the cakes coming!

Describe a really good day and a really bad day in the life of the Poppy Treffry.

A good day is when I get all the way to the end of my to do list and don’t even have to switch the laptop on after my daughter’s gone to bed.

A bad day… when computer misery (or any other non-creative misery!) takes up my whole day and the to do list sits there untouched and unticked.

Poppy Treffy seaside white cushion

What inspires your ideas?

My designs come from my drawings which I try to take from the world around me. I got a lovely pencil case and new pencils for my birthday last week so I feel a fresh batch of sketches coming on.

Poppy Treffy Workshop wall

Describe the process you go though to turn your ideas into products.

I make a sketch and then begin to isolate the elements of it that are working and then develop these into a motif. I work out the structure of the product I want to make (this usually involves quite a few false starts) then work out colours and placement and put the whole thing together.

What advice would you give to an aspiring designer?

Always strive to be original and let your ideas come from you and the things that inspire you (you could write these things down early on to remind yourself – there’s so much out there that finding something different can be difficult).

Poppy Treffy cards

Desert island design time: which three designed items could you not live without?

My Melissa Simson handbag.

My Ken Eardly bowls and plates.

My Midwinter teapot (soon to be featured on a little note pad design I’ve done!).

What are you most proud of?

My team of lovely ladies who run the business so well and make such beautiful things. (And my daughter Biba of course: she’s a gem!)

Poppy Treffy bike cushion

What’s next for you?

I plan to finally get really, really organized – then I’ll be dangerous!

And, finally, what’s your favourite colour?!

The water in the Venice canals (or if I’m allowed a combo then it has to be orange and purple!) Ooooh, but I also really love eau de nil and clotted cream white with pencil grey….it was just one you wanted wasn’t it?!

Poppy Treffy pheasant

Poppy Treffry will be showing at the Cornwall Design Fair August 17-19 2012.