More about me (and how I got here!)

I have two really clear memories from school which, looking back, I should have paid more attention to.

a black and white photo of Rachel, a white woman, as a teenager.

My [pixelated] teenage self - the things I could tell her now! ©MaddyBower (I think!)

The first is a story my teenage art teacher told of going to a dinner party at a friends house and, upon walking into their dining room, instantly recognising the Sanderson wallpaper and then telling her friend that she had been the designer. I remember thinking how wonderful that would be, and how fantastic to see unexpectedly something you had worked on. It never crossed my young teenage mind to actually ask her about what her job had been or what you needed to get one.

The second is of doodling on my GCSE English binder with a tip-ex pen, and my friend asking me if there was anything I hadn’t doodled on as she picked up my set texts and opened the cover to find yet more of the same motif scrawled across the end-papers in metallic gel pen (naturally!).

Of course my teenage self didn’t have my now 30s self to get guidance from, not that I’d necessarily change anything anyway. But a glimmer of that [not quite] 20 years of distance and perspective, and the confidence to ask those questions, might have meant I took more from those teenage reflections than I did at the time.

Despite my obvious love of colour, pattern and interiors instead it was art history and galleries, specifically exhibition coordination, that grabbed my imagination and became my goal, but one that timing and fate kept just that little too far out of reach.

Fast forward two years and I found myself sat at a desk in a permanent HR role where my love of organisation, detail, people and colour coded spreadsheets (especially colour coded spreadsheets) were in their element. I learnt so much about working in teams with lots of different personalities and expertise, about how crucial a good cuppa was for office morale and about how I could deliver in a pressured situation. As I wrote in my ‘about’ blurb it wasn’t until I took a step back, welcomely enforced by maternity leave, that I realised key things that made me glow from my core were, however, missing. And that I realised just how important it is to feel like you’re glowing.

Does that mean I’m 100% glowing all the time now? Ha, course not! Handmade by Holchester helped get me sparkling a bit, as I got to combine colour, fabric, design, and talk and share all about it. And of course my two girls ceaselessly brighten my days (most of the time), but finding Surface Pattern Design was like finding and flicking the golden switch. Sounds cheesy, I know, but in it I have found something I can challenge myself with and utterly lose myself in, when my girls give me the chance.

The Holchester Designs Support Team (aka Hubby and my daughters)


In truth I’m neither a jack of all trades or a master of anything, but its only now I’m realising that that’s ok! Some of my skills are more honed than others and some are being better cultivated while others are being left to one side for a bit (buh-bye ironing ;) ). But with the new focus to Holchester Designs I’m getting my glow back, and so I’m sticking with it. And since I’ve always loved a natter, alongside all of the above, it made sense that my new-focused website should get its own blog.

So in a wordy roundabout way that’s how I got here! And I’m really looking forward to sharing this adventure with you all.


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