Genevieve Brading is the super talented designer behind the popular British needlework business, Floss & Mischief, a company which started because of an argument about taxidermy! Creating contemporary needlework and cross stitch patterns, Floss & Mischief continue to design embroidery to inspire the masses. We couldn’t resist finding out more…
Genevieve, thanks a lot for chatting to us. Could you tell us a bit about the story behind your business and what you were doing before Floss and Mischief began?
Floss & Mischief started because of an argument about taxidermy! My boyfriend wanted to fill the house with very on-trend stuffed and mounted insects
but I put my foot down as it’s just too creepy. As a peace offering I wanted to cross-stitch some beetles for him, but I couldn’t find any suitable cross-stitch patterns. So I designed my own.
At the time I worked in a marketing desk job in London, but we were house-hunting in the countryside. I knew I would have to quit my London job when we relocated, so I took the opportunity to start my own business. Today, Floss & Mischief still rocks the taxidermy trend and we keep putting a modern twist on needlework.
Has cross stitch always been part of your life?
No, not always! I remember trying needlepoint as a kid – it was a kit with a ladybird design printed on canvas and stitched in wool. By my early twenties I was really into dressmaking, which I thoroughly enjoyed but was rubbish at! It wasn’t until I rediscovered cross-stitch and surface embroidery years later, that I absolutely fell in love with them and wanted to make needlework my job.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anything and everything can inspire – from what’s trending on social media, to an amazing colour combo on a plant or terrific typography in a magazine. The tricky bit is deciding how to apply that inspiration in your own work. I get through a lot of inspired but unworkable ideas, before finding ones that fit.
Do you like to keep up to date with current design trends and are there any particular designers or design blogs that you follow?
I love trends! They keep things interesting. I’m not keen on following them slavishly or trying to reflect every single trend going. But a trend might spark my imagination more than others, and I’ll have fun with it,
figuring out how to adapt, develop and translate it into cross-stitch and my own style. I especially like to follow what’s going on outside of the craft industry, but never follow one designer or blog too closely for fear of being too heavily influenced.
What advice would you give to aspiring designers?
Bring something new to the party. There are tons of great needlework designers out there and they all have something in common – they’re original. It may take time, trial and error to find your own style, but it’ll set you apart once you do.
What exciting projects do you have on the horizon?
New cross-stitch kits! They’ve been in development for over a year now and I can’t wait to launch them, so keep your eyes peeled.
I’m also working on a personal side-project. It’s still in the planning stages so I can’t reveal much, but I can tell you that it’s needlework related (of course) and something I’ve wanted to do for ages.