In these uncertain times, we feel it is important to stay connected and united with our clients at the heart of it all. We would like to introduce our new, regular, post 'Creative Hour'. Here we will feature our creative clients allowing you to connect, grow and network with like minded people at the comfort of your own home. Our first edit is written by the wonderful maker, Merpinz.
I'm Sarah Lou, Mam to two little humans who rule my world. I recently turned thirty and feel so full of life, which is funny because I'm basically sleepy 24/7. I work part time for a local charity in Newcastle upon Tyne, which is where I live. I work with young people, it's such an interesting and rewarding job, I've done it for over ten years now!
The other work side of me is MerPinz, which is why I am here. I've always been creative; when I was younger my creative side came out by cutting up clothes and stitching things on or drawing on my walls. I actually drew all of The Nightmare Before Christmas characters on my wall as a teen, I absolutely loved it. As I got older I felt creative with things like my hair and fashion, then when I became a Mam I kind of lost that part of me. After having my first daughter Loralai, I knew I needed a creative outlet. This is where I discovered Instagram (I was so late to the game) but it honestly opened up this new world for me and if I hadn't of taken that step, MerPinz wouldn't exist! I began to blog and shop small, then I fell pregnant with my second daughter, Marceline. During my pregnancy and journey through motherhood I kept getting these ideas for pins. I've always loved enamel pins, I have a huge collection and I display them all in my office. Kinda copied Made by Cooper's pin wall, just on a smaller scale! I started to either sketch or write down my ideas, all of them where based around my experience's of being a Mam. I sat on my ideas for around a year and then I just decided to take the plunge. I'd just returned to work and my birthday was coming up so with new income, birthday spends and later a credit card use (I couldn't wait to order the third design) MerPinz was born!
My inspiration has always come from my girls, the things they do or stuff I do because of them. As my shop began to grow I really wanted to make sure that I was being inclusive. Designs like 'All Births Are Valid', 'Born In Our Hearts' and 'Grow Together' where some of the steps I took towards that. Offering some of my designs with different skin tones too and thinking of other ways people can become parents. A friend of mine went through the adoption process and I learned so much from her, I later created a pin to celebrate adoption. This was my first design that wasn't about me or my experiences. That pin along with some others often get interpreted in different ways by people, and that's exactly what I wanted to happen. I love that one pin can mean so many different things to other people, it's lush isn't it? I'm really into tattoo's so I try to make sure there's a bit of a tattoo vibe with my pins, my friend Natalie has always helped me with this. And more recently I've worked with Alex, who is my tattoo artist. I've been lucky enough to do collaboration work, for a few of my pin designs I've teamed up with some other creatives and it's honestly one of my favourite things to do.
I would say my style is very much 'Mama Merch', although I have a few pins that are for anyone. I want to create more like that this year! I already have a few idea's but my next few releases will be all about that Mama life. My tips would be to never pressure yourself, take your time - go at your own pace, do what works best for you, be open to learning and work with others it is SO MUCH FUN. I always get ideas when I'm not thinking, so when I'm about to go to sleep is the usual time for me! I will grab a pen and draw something super basic, write some words down or email myself. So that I can work on it when I have proper time. I love to work on the floor too, even though I have a desk and my goal this year is to try and draw digitally. Something I'll have to add time and money too but in the long run it will be worth it.
My favourite project to date is such a hard thing to answer! I love them all for completely different reasons but if I had to pick one it would be 'What Is Sleep?' because I have a thing for skeletons, I rarely get sleep and need tea to survive! It's probably the most relatable pin for parents in my shop, and it's the most popular because I've had to restock it two times!
I want to add that I absolutely love the team at Made by Cooper, I've always had lovely experiences, support and I've never been left in the dark with any queries. I seriously wouldn't go anywhere else for my pins so long may the MerPinz + Made by Cooper relationship grow.
Thank you for reading and we hope you feel inspired! If you would like to feature on our next Creative Hour, please get in touch via email.