INTERVIEW WITH A WOMAN HOLDING A CUSHION
“The inspiration for a collection can come from anywhere - a person, place, piece of art or a passion. I then source fabulous fabrics for cushions and throw pillows which are handmade by me at my home in Norfolk, England. Small collections which are not mass produced.”
SO, WHO ARE YOU?
My name is Melinda Fargo and I live in Norfolk, England. I am a projects co-ordinator by profession, and a cushion maker
, writer, blogger
and perfumista otherwise. I was born, was raised and worked in London as a project manger before moving to the Norfolk countryside for the best part of 25 years. My late husband and I renovated a dilapidated 17th century farmhouse and is where I became an avid gardener in our then equally dilapidated country garden. That dilapidation turned into an exquisite home where we raised four young adults to their best lives. To save money, I handmade the soft furnishings in our home, falling deeply in love with fabrics. Now a city dweller again in the "Fine City" of Norwich, I have returned to my love of fabric and sewing, using the sewing machine my late husband gave me as an anniversary gift.
AND WHY ARE YOU HERE?
I’m here for people with a taste for beautiful cushions and cushion collections made in small batches or one-off pieces. This was the struggle I often faced when shopping around the better stores. Beautiful handmade cushions were usually way too expensive and inaccessible. On the flip side, the next best thing was often mass produced and seen everywhere.
WHAT’S THE PRICE POINT?
££ - £££
WHY THE CUSHION MAVEN?
"Maven" means a connoisseur and expert. I am a connoisseur of beautiful fabrics and cushions, and someone who works continuously on the expertise of her craft.
WHAT’S THE SUPERPOWER, THEN?
My superpower is taking inspirations from life and turning them into beautiful cushions and cushion collections. I source fabrics from near and far so I can offer, in the main, one-off collections and pieces not seen everywhere. In fact, some pieces once sold cannot be replicated. It is very important to me The Cushion Maven not be in the business of mass production.
DO YOU DO BESPOKE?
Yes - and there are various flavours. You may have fabric(s) already you'd like made up. Maybe you have an idea for a cushion or collection, and would like me to source samples and then make up for you. Some people enjoy coming with me looking at possible fabric choices. Others send me tear sheets / mood board ideas or photographs from which to draw out their inspiration. Whatever flavour of bespoke, we will always conjure up something beautiful together.
WITH WHAT DO YOU CREATE THIS BEAUTY?
With my trusty Quilt Expression Pfaff sewing machine, Janome overlocker, jugs of water and Gregory Porter on loud.
WHAT’S THE VISION?
To one day give up the 9-5 to concentrate on being a full-time Cushion Maven. (Yep, that is so going to be my job title.)
AND THE MISSION?
The Cushion Maven offers high-end products at mid-aspirational prices, staying true to the ethos of only sewing in small batches.
AND DO YOU HAVE ANY VALUES?
WHAT’S THE CULTURE AROUND THIS PLACE?
Fun with elegance.
WHAT'S THE THE BRAND COLOURS?
Black - black is beautiful... and elegant
Orange - combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. To me it means joy, creativity, encouragement
Grey - always a favourite of mine, well before it became fashionable
NEARLY THERE DEAR... WHERE ARE YOU AND THE CUSHION MAVEN HEADED?
To continue to sew beautiful cushions and cushion collections in small quantities; and being open to quality collaborations with other creatives and artisans to add mutual beauty and value to each other and The Cushion Maven.
DRUM ROLL… AND THE CUSHION MAVEN TAGLINE?
“Beautiful handmade cushions”