Bloom and Whimsy – flora, fauna and funga in print
Bloom and Whimsy is at 67, The Old High Street and celebrates the natural world in print, lino, tapestry and fabric. Fabia Goff and Georgia McGain-Harding have teamed up to bring beautiful things to anyone and everyone. Their love of the natural world, and their huge talents in creating on different mediums mean that you are guaranteed to find something you love in their new shop. Folkelife wanted to know how their collaboration came about.
Fabia: “We met at the Working From Home group that gets together each week in town. I saw Georgia and thought ‘she looks cool, she wears lots of colour’ and Amy, who runs the group, introduced us. Georgia wanted some advice on pattern-writing which I’ve done a bit of. I have written patterns for John Lewis and such. Yet, Georgia doesn’t need any advice! She’s great at what she does and her patterns sell out, so she doesn’t need advice from me.”
folkestone is the best thing
Georgia: “I felt like I was winging it really, and thought she was going to tell me I was doing everything wrong. But she didn’t. And we got talking about other things from there. I’ve lived in Folkestone for 5 years and I can honestly say that it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. The creativity that’s here, and the community, it’s really been the making of me. I’ve been lucky enough to build an international following with The MushroomBabes, and so now we’re opening up our shop on The Old High Street I have promises from people around the world that they’re going to visit! I can’t wait!”
Georgia: “I thought Fabia knew she was ADHD when we first met. It turned out that I was the one to tell her! She was just being her and I happened to say ‘that’s typical of us ADHDers’ and Fabia hadn’t realised.”
Fabia: “Yet there were so many things that she said about having ADHD that I could relate to. I can be so immensely focused on a task that I can’t hear anyone talking to me. And yet, the next minute, if there’s too much noise in the room it’s incredibly hard to focus on a phone call or conversation. There are many other things too but it’s made me understand how my brain works, and why I don’t want to be working in a business for someone else.”
Georgia: “Being neurodivergent is hard if others don’t understand where you’re coming from. Time keeping is sometimes an issue – I’m either incredibly early, or late, but no in between! Paperwork is something I struggle with, yet foraging for wild flowers and mushrooms is something that has kept my interest all my life.”
Fabia: “What we want to celebrate in our shop is the natural world with a little humour, whimsy, off-the-wall response to what we find. I make tapestries, wall hangings and huge prints which are great as statement pieces in lovely houses. To make sure though that everyone can appreciate my work, there are tea towels, pins and badges, cards and smaller items that have similar themes.”
Georgia: “My focus is on cards, stickers, t-shirts, totes, smaller items that I’ve designed and made. We’re illustrators and love that part of our work. We’re going to have life-drawing workshops as a lot of our work features naked ladies.”
artist of the month
Fabia: “There will be other artist friends of ours included in the shop. Everything will have a natural, floral theme to it. There’s space in the shop for us to work too, so it can be a studio workspace for visitors to see how we create what we do. And we’re going to have a featured artist of the month. This was Georgia’s idea. It’s great and we’ve created a little spot-light area in the shop for this very purpose.”
artist from around the uk
Georgia: “There are so many boutiques in Kent that feature Kentish artists, and that’s great. You do see a lot of the same people around though, and I wondered whether there were artists from outside of Kent that would like to have their work featured here. So, on my network of friends I’ve met through all the shows I’ve done I asked, and the answer was ‘YES’, a resounding yes! We’ll be bringing people into Kent, and their followers will come too to discover what we have here.
“I have followers from Germany who have been saying they’ll visit because of the photos I post of Folkestone. Now they’ll have our shop to visit too, as well as everything else!”