Sophie Presscott-Crees is a familiar face and craft expert on ITV’s This Morning and joined us at the Country Living Fair 2019.
DiY Blonde® is a fresh and funky creative brand with a mission to inspire people of all ages to explore their creativity in all areas of their lives. It is DiY Blonde’s aim to help loose the ‘mumsy tag’ on crafting and inspire a younger generation to make before they buy. DiY Blonde® offers a range of upcycling, craft and interior design creative content, teamed with life and parent advice also.
How did it all start?
I have always been into making things from a young age and I have always enjoyed anything creative, so it has always interested me. Before my craft career truly began though, I worked as a professional performer and presenter, working for various companies such as Disney.
I decided after many years of performing that I wanted to change my direction, but to be still doing something creative.
I was then lucky enough to have the opportunity to work at the publication Your Home Magazine as a journalist and assistant on craft shoots. Being in this environment and working so closely with the talented craft editor really inspired me to start crafting again.
Then getting married in the July of 2014, I ended up hand making all of the decor for the day, feeling inspired by this, soon the DiY Blonde® blog was born.
DiY Blonde® is a fun creative blog, featuring a range of craft, upcycling and home decor projects, life advice and more. From just a handful of posts, it has grown over the past few years to something I am proud of.
After only a year of running DiY Blonde®, I had come runner up at the UK Blog Awards in the Vlogging category and I had become the craft expert on ITV’s This Morning – it was madness! The TV work was a perfect merge of all my skills and combining presenting with crafting has been a dream come true for me.
The story behind the name… When I first started my blog, I just couldn’t find a suitable name and to be honest I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take it. I included all different types of DIY content from crafting, make-up and hair. I put together a hair video about DIY bleaching and named it…..you guessed it DIY Blonde! It was like a light bulb moment and I just knew that was the name for my brand. Luckily my hair has stayed blonde and I haven’t looked back.
What inspires you?
I love love LOVE bold colours and anything quirky to be honest, so I am inspired to make projects that reflect that. I am really inspired by 80’s patterns, colourful faux fur fabrics and items that have something unusual about them. Social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram are a great way of finding inspiration, but if I re-create something it always has to be given the DiY Blonde® touch.
What is your creation process?
I usually see an item that I want to upcycle or have seen something that I want to re-create in my own style. Before I go ahead and get any materials however, I do a rough sketch of what it is I’m about to create. Once I am happy, I can then go ahead to get the materials and start making. Often however, my designs do change throughout the creating process, which I quite like, as you never know what you are truly going to end up with.
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
DiY Blonde® is not afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to design aspects such as colour and pattern. It is also a platform, which encourages positivity, fun and individuality. The crafty projects are there to inspire visitors to find their own creative spark, which will help encourage good mental health and a happier well-being overall.
What is your next project?
I have a very long over due project which has been waiting for me to start for a while now. I bought an old fair ground ride over a year ago, that I want to transform into a kid’s reading seat and lamp. I just need to get all the materials, and then I can finally get on with it!
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
I am currently in the process of giving my brand a fresh shake up and have loads of new craft, upcycling and interior design content that is in the works, so expect some cool things coming soon. I am due to do a few workshops around Christmas time and hope to appear on TV again soon. I am always developing new ideas for projects and am currently in the progress of pitching a few creative TV show ideas to production companies – so watch this space!
What is your biggest achievement?
I think my biggest achievement so far is being featured as ITV’s This Morning Craft Expert for three years. It has been amazing to share my creativity will all their viewers and I have had so much fun making all sorts of different things for the show. The highlight is always when viewers tweet in their own creations, for me, this makes it all worthwhile.
What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
It is so fantastic that there is an event that brings so many together to share their creativity and love for all things Country Living! I am so looking forward to taking part this year and getting to meet everyone who attends.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
*Studio DIY – An American crafter called Kelly Mindell. Her colourful DIYS and Interior Design projects are so inspiring.
*Aww Sam – Another American crafter who creates a wide range of amazing projects. Sam’s eye for design, creativity and kitsch style is so appealing to me.
*Rachel Mae Smith aka thecraftlife.com – What can say?? Her use of colour, her eye for design – Rachel has it all!!
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
To be honest I am still learning myself day by day, but I think the most important thing is to be yourself, have a clear goal and mission and to go for it and not over-think starting. Don’t worry about being perfect, you can perfect your business and tweak it along the way. Just start!