About These Two Hands

me at arnos vale stall

This collection is all of my favourite handcrafted and unique designs made mostly in Bristol and the South West by a handful of talented, independent makers. What links them all is the fact that they take their inspiration from nature and the outdoors in some way, whether it is the materials, the inks, the designs or all of those things combined.

Each design has a story, each is made with care and love and using traditional techniques. They are not things to gather dust, they are made to enjoy and use in your home, to make you smile when you wear them or share them with people. We don't need more stuff, but I believe in having a connection with what we surround ourselves with and I am passionate about supporting handmade and independent shops by buying less and buying better. There are now over 20 makers in my collection, many of whom have become good friends in real life and all of whom I feel a strong connection to. For me, buying something is about the person who made it as much as the thing itself.

About Me

Being lost in making something you love, in creating a design, is what true happiness is for me. I think we are all meant to use our hands to make, grow or create in some way and that side of me was buried for a long time, squashed by practicality, fear and the pressure to make money. But recently I decided to take the risk and start using my own two hands to create. Hands are incredible, hands do so much and communicate so much. As a musician, my hands have always played a huge role in my life and enabled me to write and perform for years. I broke both hands in nasty accident which was an acute reminder of how important my hands are to me.

I think the idea behind These Two Hands has always been there, in my dreams, in those moments where if you had no responsibilities and didn't have to worry about money you would do what you really want. I have always been drawn to makers, artisans and craftspeople, I want to find out more about what inspires them and learn their stories. I left a corporate marketing job behind to set up my own consultancy and I have spent the last few years helping makers and craftspeople tell their stories which I have loved. Many of those people have invited me into their workshops and showed me their crafts. I spread the word to friends and family about them but I wanted to do more than that.

Behind a very dark cloud came a rainbow - when I gave birth to my baby girl last year, a very rare complication nearly left me paralysed and I had a very tough time adjusting to motherhood so I was referred for a course of art therapy and the maker inside me was properly awoken! I started making tote bags and ribbon teethers for friends and decided to set up These Two Hands as a place to share my own making stories as well as those of all the designers and makers I have been lucky enough to meet over the years. Making and nature are the two best forms of therapy, so I wanted to combine those two things in a collection of designs that help bring the outdoors in or make you want to get outside.

These Two Hands is more than just me. My husband Charlie is a musician but also my photographer, website designer, tech support and all round partner in everything, and our little girl Lucy is an inspiration and a ray of sunshine every day... if she sees something I'm thinking of stocking and it gets a big smile and an "OOOH", it tends to become part of the collection.

I hope you love the designs in my collection as much as I do! Many of them can be made bespoke to order so if you want something in a slightly different pattern, size, material or colour, just send me an email and I will see what I can do! Thank you for reading my story and for supporting handmade! Naomi x