Joey Williams is a printed textile designer based in Falmouth, Cornwall, and a recent graduate of Falmouth University’s Textile Design degree course. She decided at age 29 to change her career and move to Cornwall to start her studies, and has since successfully started her textile homewares brand Joey Anna. We caught up with her to find out about how she started up her own textiles label, and where she finds her inspiration.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a 32 year old textile designer working in Falmouth, where I live with my boyfriend AJ who helps me run Joey Anna. His support and love for my work has given me the courage to set up my business, and I couldn’t do it without him. I have a wonderful loving family, made even more special by the fact that I am a triplet, something that I certainly treasure.
Your designs use a lot of natural imagery, where do you find your inspiration?
I look to nature and wildlife for inspiration for my motifs and concepts, which include rural countryside, coastal paths, overgrown woodland, striking landscapes and the wildlife that live within those habitats.
I love drawing birds and capturing their characters and expressions, and I enjoy drawing representative florals and plant life.
What inspired you to set up your homeware label?
I spent several years reading magazine publications such as Country Living, House Beautiful and Coast, and have always loved articles on independent homeware labels. I knew before doing my degree that I wanted to produce fabrics for the home and exciting and unique designs for interior collections.
Do you have any advice for recent graduates on setting up a label or working as a freelancer?
Yes, enjoy the process of setting up even though it feels scary and unknown. Learn from your mistakes and don’t get too disheartened if things don’t work out, you learn a lot through trial and error and I am learning every day! There is nothing more exciting than seeing your design on fabrics and products!
How did you learn about the business side of being a self-employed designer?
Mainly through networking and the wonderful designer/makers I have met in recent years! Sharing knowledge in the creative industry is so important to continuing the growth of small and medium sized businesses. I know that I will be happy to share the knowledge I have gained with others as I have found talking to other established designers and freelance workers invaluable.
Attending talks and conferences is also a great way to learn new things and to make sure you are on the right track with your business.
What are you favourite fabrics to work with?
Linen is my absolute favourite fabric! It’s beautiful for lampshades and cushions and has such a luxury to it, it is a dream for digital printing! I love to use natural fabrics where possible and try to consider the life cycle of fabrics when making my design choices.
(side note: all of Print & Press’s fabrics are 100% natural, and we have beautiful cottons and linens that you can digitally print on!)
Which artists or designers inspire you?
What are you most proud of achieving since leaving university?
I attended the New Designers trade show in Islington, London during July and sold a design to a large textile company. It was such an exciting experience, and validated for me that I want to run my own business selling fabric and products. It also reminded me that I want to be a freelance designer selling designs too.
Can you tell us about something exciting you are working on at the moment?
In the summer I launched a collection titled ‘Falmouth Bay‘, which was a combination of my favourite floral and plant-life motifs to date. It features a bright and fresh colour palette inspired by a photograph I took of Falmouth on a gorgeous sunny day! The collection shows my more representative design style, as opposed to the realism of my earlier bird collections. Coming up next is my new collection called ‘Scandinavian Autumn’ to bring a touch of brightness to any home this Autumn and Winter! I can’t wait to see my samples of this new collection from Print and Press!
If you’d like to see more of Joey’s work, you can visit her website, and you can follow her on social media: