DT caught up with Angela Constantinou about her bespoke soft furnishings company, Cocoon Home, back in 2016. Since then she has launched her bespoke interior textiles business, Cocoon Home Interiors.
Tell us about the new fabrics business!
I work with British artists to produce interior textiles (fabrics for curtains and upholstery). The artists get a royalty from every metre sold and they’ve had an advance on that royalty. We tell our customers who the designers are, and we don’t pass off the designs as our own. It’s all transparent and we really want to publicise the artists’ other work outside of the business. One of the artists is a local illustrator, Megan Hindley of Stedhead Art. She’s amazing!
Who have you worked with so far?
So far I’ve worked with all women, which was completely unintentional, and it’s been really nice. I’ve been working with illustrators and artists in other mediums such wood and linocut. The designers are not necessarily textile artists.
How many designs have you got in total?
16 different fabrics. Our best seller so far is our sloth print fabric, High Life, which was designed by Tottenham-based illustrator Megan.
How have you found the first year?
I never pretend that it’s all wonderful because that’s not the reality for me or others running a small business. The first anniversary of the fabric business was in September, and the first year of sales were negligible. Luckily I still have a small bespoke soft furnishings company. Over the last couple of months, things have been doing much better. I feel like I might make some money this year! The periods I’ve found hardest is when I’ve been at home working on my own for extended periods of time. This was incredibly isolating and utterly dull, but such long periods at the desk are unusual. My other business usually balances out this isolation through client visits and I try and do something inspiring – such a going to a gallery or walking in a park – once a week.
What have you most enjoyed?
Launching this year’s collection. I feel like I’m really finding my feet with it. I’ve made a lot of new connections and friends through the business. That’s been really lovely and everyone has been really supportive. I’ve enjoyed seeing the reaction to the new collection and a year in, I’m starting to think, ‘Oh my god, this is going to work.’
What motivates you?
I just want it to work. I also want it to work for the designers because I want them to get their royalties. I love it when I see a note saying I’ve made another sale.
I’ve got so many of the designs on furniture in my flat. Edge Upholstery (see page 10) covered some of my chairs. I just love looking at our fabrics – what inspires me is the fact that they’re part of my collection. I can’t wait to do the next lot. It’s this never ending supply of influence and design that you can draw on. I’ve always loved fabric and home decor.
When I walk into my flat and see the furniture that has been styled in our fabrics it feels amazing! Your interior style is a great way of expressing yourself. When I find time to finish decorating my flat, I want it to be over the top. I am not a shy person and neither are our textiles. I like fabric so much because it can create an impact. ‘Did you go to so and so’s house? Didn’t it look amazing?’
What else have you got in the pipeline?
Keep an eye on us for wallpapers.
Fabric is printed to order via cocoonhome.uk
This article first appeared in the Craft issue of Discovering Tottenham which was released in November 2018.