Stockist Spotlight: Alfie Winn



Please introduce yourself to my readers – who are you and what do you do? 
Hello, my name is Maria, I'm an illustrator and the person behind Alfie Winn Designs.

What were the ideas behind Alfie Winn?
Alfie Winn Designs was born out of my love for drawing. I started off drawing things for my kids, and then it extended out to other people's kids and kind of went from there. The name 'Alfie Winn' is inspired by my great grandparents Alfred and Winifred, they were a huge influence on all of our lives and even though we lost them many years ago, I still think about them both every day.

Why did you decide to enter the wedding industry?
I got married back in 2007 and I handmade everything I could for my own wedding. I started with the invitations and went from there... I love the creativity that you're afforded when it comes to designing for weddings, people choose things that they wouldn't necessarily pick for their homes or fashion for example, because they want their wedding to be something special or make a statement. It's a real privilege to be a part of a couple's wedding day. 

Can you tell us what inspires you as a designer?
I'm very inspired by what's going on around me, particularly nature and the changing seasons. My desk sits overlooking my garden and I often find myself just gazing into it, watching the bees and butterflies flitting about the flowers. I hand draw everything I do, and much of my work is floral; I love the freshness and delicate touch it forces me to bring to my designs.

Could you share with us some of your favourite pieces of your work? What makes them your top picks?
I'm really proud of my latest designs, I think that they're some of the best work I've done and I've received a fantastic response to them so far.  The new designs include some new 'off the shelf' stationery ranges, guest books and a 'cards' banner. My style suits the more 'vintage' bride and it's very soft and delicate. 

Do you have any advice for our brides to be when choosing their wedding stationery?
I always tell my brides to stay true to themselves and not to be too influenced by fashion or what the latest celebrity wedding had for their table plans etc. The day is about you and your partner and should reflect you as much as possible. I'm a great believer in being authentic.

If I was thinking of having bespoke stationery for my wedding are there any important questions I should ask my stationery provider?
If you're thinking about having bespoke stationery then it's essential to understand what lead times the designer requires for both design and then print. Invitations need to be sent out 6-8 weeks before the big day, so you need to make sure you've factored in enough time to get it designed and printed without having to pay rush fees. 'Off the shelf' designs usually have shorter lead times, so don't despair if you think you're running out of time, there's usually a solution out there for you!

Your illustrations are fantastic! Did you receive any specialist training? 
Thank you! Apart from my art A-level and GCSEs many moons ago, I haven't ever had any specialist training. All of my work comes straight from the heart. It may not be as technically accomplished as some, but I feel it has a certain level of charm :0)

Do you have any projects in the pipeline that you would like to share with us? 
I'm currently working like crazy getting ready for an upcoming wedding fayre, it's the first one I've done and it's a real toe in the water for me, as most of my work so far has been recommendations and word of mouth. I'm launching my first ever 'wedding collection' and I'm positive that the year ahead will be a good one!

What are you hoping to achieve in 2015? 
I'm excited about my new wedding collection and my focus for the coming year is to continue to refine and develop my etsy shop

Do you have any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of setting up their own business in the wedding industry?
Go for it, but try not to rush into anything. Take the time to work out 'who' you are and what you can bring to the business that is special and unique, then focus on that. Oh and network like crazy :o)


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