Isla & Hoo

Today I have an interview with Cara, founder and designer of Isla and Hoo, a Welsh fashion and accessories brand for little Hoos. Cara designs all her own patterns and they are AMAZING! You may have seen Boo sporting her matching tortoise outfit before.
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What inspires your brand?

Isla and Hoo is simply inspired by Isla my niece. Isla is now three and little did I know that an owl illustrated print designed for her as a present would accelerate into a little ones clothing and accessories line. Watching Isla grow my company has revolved with her, creating new ideas and goals. Her imagination is extraordinary and communicating this through my work is art I like to create. Not forgetting my other niece Eadie who is Isla’s sister, she is five months old. I feel so blessed to have them, they are the faces of Isla and Hoo and are my biggest inspiration.

How would you describe your style?

Well as I create textiles for little ones, I like to think my style is fresh, fun, interactive and aesthetically cool. I create prints for children and I believe to design for child you have to think like a child and see the world through their eyes. 

What’s your creative process?

My creative process begins with a moodboard where I gather imagery, colours and textiles that will help create ideas. Once I have a clear vision I start sketching using observation gradually adding features and humour using mythical imagination that suits each illustration. With digital software I add colour bringing each drawing to life, finally incorporating them into a fun loving pattern.

Which collection has been your favourite to work on?

African animals for sure. I experimented with colours and imagery more so than ever. Designing unisex clothes and accessories you have to get the right balance so the print is suitable for a boys and girls. For African Animals I used a mixture of colours and illustration combining animals, florals, hot air balloons and sunflowers. This print tested my capabilities. To me it’s a gender neutral design but customers may disagree as it doesn’t contain any traditional colours and 40% of the pattern are flowers. I am happy to say today African Animals is my top seller and I am thankful to all customers who have purchased and given me positive feedback. This collection has taught me to stay bold, be positive, listen to yourself and believe.

What does the future hold for Isla & Hoo?

Good things I hope. I am currently working on my website which will go live in April, I’m very excited about this. Past three years I have worked hard on my brand and it has become my life. Now almost completing the final chapter I am ready to push my brand and see where it will take Isla and Hoo.

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