Get to know Charlotte Martin of Fruitbat Textiles in Ilminster, Somerset...
Tell us about your company and what you offer wedding couples
I'm an award-winning hand-weaver, dyer and milliner specialising in unique, luxury accessories for both men and women, which are handcrafted using British-made yarn. Our products are different because they are handcrafted using traditional skills and techniques. They are made with quality materials, built to last a lifetime. Our products are timeless, one-of-a-kind, and made in Somerset!
What's your background and why did you launch your business?
I have always had a love of textiles and colour, which started from a young age when my mother taught me to cross stitch at about five or six years old. This love followed me throughout my school and college education, loving the subject more as I learnt more about it. This eventually lead to me completing a degree in Textiles for Fashion and Interiors (specialised in woven textiles) at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. While I was studying at university I managed to get myself a part time job as a milliners assistant. My time working with the amazing Beverley Edmondson combined with my degree helped me find my niche in designing and making textile accessories.
I'd had it in my head from the age of about 14 that I wanted my own business, it was just a case of finding my specialism within the broad subject of textiles and building on my knowledge that stopped me starting earlier. When I graduated I set about starting my business. My aim being to create beautiful, unique textiles pieces using my eye for colour, passion for traditional crafts and obsession with accessories!
Each piece is one off making it all the more special. Buying an item from Fruitbat Textiles is an investment. It will last you a lifetime, and can then be passed on to the next generation!
What's your favourite wedding theme and why?
My favourite wedding theme is probably Autumnal themed weddings. It's my favourite season anyway and I love when couples embrace the naturally rich tones and textures of the season.
What's your top tip for couples planning a wedding?
My top tip for couples planning a wedding would have to be to just do what makes you both happy. Yes, of course you want your family and friends to enjoy your day and feel comfortable, but it's your day, and if compromising on anything to please someone else makes you unhappy then don't do it! You'll just be causing yourself unnecessary extra stress. Just do you!
What's your favourite product that you offer for weddings?
I love our wraps! They are so versatile! Use them as a prop for your photos, use it to keep warm instead of your standard pashminas, use them as blankets on the back of seats. They are a great way to add a flash of colour and a cosy feel, and you can keep them forever afterwards! We can make it bespoke so it fits your colour theme perfectly.
Another favourite has to be our newest addition - padded headbands! They are so unique as I hand stitch and stuff them myself using offcuts of local sheep fleeces, because of that you can have yours as chunky or slim as you like! But they are a lovely way to add a bit of height and again, a flash of colour and completely different to your standard tiaras and headpieces if you aren't one for sparkle!
Charlotte Martin | Fruitbat Textiles | www.fruitbattextiles.co.uk | www.instagram.com/fruitbattextiles
Images courtesy of Emily Black Photography