I’m kicking off a new blog series today where I get to meet some amazingly creative people from here in Northern Ireland, each playing a vital role in shaping and influencing our homes and interiors.
This week I’m chatting to local designer Amy Scott, aka ‘The Cushion Queen’ – a title she richly deserves as you’ll find out! From her studio at home in the seaside town of Bangor, County Down, Amy runs a bespoke cushion design business, the idea for which was borne from a raw passion for vibrant fabrics, colourful pattern and rich textures. I recently spent a morning with Amy in her beautiful home near the sea, finding out a little bit more about what ignites her creative fire and what we can expect to see from Amy Scott Designs in the future…
// Amy with her adorable pooch, Ivy! //
Amy’s home is set in the picturesque seaside town of Bangor, however she hasn’t relied on the usual coastal blues and whites to set the tone for her home’s interior. Instead, she has used her natural flair for interior styling to create a cool and quirky family home with unique artwork adorning the walls, vintage pieces of furniture accessorised with vibrantly coloured cushions and throws and of course, my favourite, the retro bar cart!
Describing her signature style as ‘eclectic and rich with a bit of boho thrown in’, Amy tends to avoid mainstream interior trends, preferring her own style to shine through. Although she tries not to be heavily influenced by others, it seems that her love of velvet and colour seems to have coincided with this year’s hot interior trends! (I think she’s just been ahead of the game there…)
It was Amy’s love for bright coloured fabrics and interesting pattern that gave her the idea to start the cushion design business. Having worked in the interior design industry for a number of years, Amy took time out to raise her four children before starting a furniture painting business from her home. Her work quickly progressed to sourcing preloved pieces of vintage and retro furniture and having them reupholstered in off-cuts of designer fabrics, all carefully sourced by herself, along with a sideline business selling imported cushions from India. It was upon waiting for a delayed shipment of cushions that Amy realised there was a new avenue accessible to her. She started experimenting with remnants of fabric and exquisite Indian trims to create her own cushion designs and due to popular demand, she hasn’t looked back since.
// A small selection of Amy’s designs //
Over time, her designs have become richer and more embellished, involving lots of plush, vibrantly coloured velvets and decadent trims. Having always loved colour, Amy is constantly being inspired by colour and texture combinations she sees everyday. Here you can see just how well her creative combinations work… these cushions are designed to take pride of place in your home, to bring a plain sofa to another level and to inject a little fun and magic into your home interior!
A typical day in Amy Scott’s studio involves laying out lots of fabric and trim combinations in several different combinations until she finds one that genuinely makes her heart race! It is this raw passion and enthusiasm for her work that shines through in each of Amy’s exquisite designs and why her cushions are to be found in some of the most stylish homes in Northern Ireland and beyond. Amy then sends her final designs off to her talented seamstress, who sews them up, ready to be sold on to her clients.
// Each bespoke cushion is labelled with the Amy Scott brand //
In order to grow her business further, Amy likes to keep on top of social media, particularly Instagram and Facebook, as that’s where most of her business comes from, so a good part of her day is dedicated to updating these accounts and of course her online store Amy Scott Designs.
She also spends a good deal of her working day sourcing and ordering up new fabrics and trims, as well as keeping on top of the paperwork that running a small business invariably involves. After a productive morning in the studio working on one of her many projects, Amy spends the rest of her day fitting in the usual chores and errands that befall a busy parent, and as a single mum to four children, life is pretty hectic, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. In her own words, “you’ve got to embrace the madness!”
Perhaps that’s where her sheer ambition and drive to succeed comes from? Always looking ahead, Amy sees the next step in her business designing her own range of fabrics, her ultimate goal being to have a range that is instantly recognisable as ‘Amy Scott’ in fabric stores across the country.
I have no doubt this will happen – her drive and passion for what she does is infectious and she is an inspiration to anyone out there who wants to pursue their dream. Thanks for showing me around, Amy!