INTERVIEW: The story behind Made+Good

The site has been live for a couple of weeks now so I thought it was time to get this blog thing rolling. This is where you’ll be able to meet the Made+Good Makers with Q+A sessions, see photos from studio visits, read about product collections, get styling tips, gift guides and read about the charities Made+Good supports and where the donation money ends up. So, I thought it might be good to start with a little Q+A session… I’m going to give my interview questions a test run and give you a little insight into me and my world at the same time. Interviewing myself - is that weird? Oh well. Obviously some of these questions will be more relevant to the Makers but let’s roll with it…
Who are you?
I’m Alexandra. Mostly just Alex.
What do you make/do? 
I am the founder of Made+Good. I am also wife to an animator, Mother to our two girls (aged 4 and nearly 2) and carer/walker/earstroker to two lurchers and two pygmy goats.
Do you have a background in craft and design –  when did you first start making?
My background is in graphic design - after a short stint in London and then a longer one in Brighton I set up an agency with a friend, then after 10 years I gave it up to focus on working with charity and non-profit clients… I had always had the need to do something ‘worthwhile’ alongside my day job and spent time volunteering with several charities.
The Made+Good idea had been kicking around in my head for a while, but it was after we had our two girls and whilst I was up all hours feeding and rocking these two crazy little people that the seed of the Made+Good idea was really sown. I spent a lot of time ogling beautiful products on Instagram and Pinterest – in love with hand thrown ceramics, carved spoons and lino prints and in awe of the amazingly talented people who were forging livelihoods through hard work and a love for creating something from nothing. I thought how great it would be if there was something that could support these designers and makers like an online craft fair that shoppers could access anywhere, anytime (even whilst feeding a baby in the middle of the night) – somewhere that had a small, genuinely handpicked collection of high quality products, somewhere that you could discover, support and buy from talented Makers without having to trawl through endless listings on the huge marketplace sites.
Can you describe your typical making process?
I guess now my creative process is one of curation. Over the years I have been told that I have ‘a good eye’ and a bit of a knack for discovering new trends. So now my time will be spent sourcing products from talented Makers all over the UK. Visiting crafts fairs, trawling the internet, visiting studios, setting up photoshoots and generally promoting the Made+Good site, it’s Makers and their products.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
I have always enjoyed going to craft fairs and independent shops, seeking out work by new designers and collecting artworks and objects. I am now able to enjoy all of that but with a purpose (other than just filling up the shelves of our little cottage). I also love knowing that every time someone buys something from the site a charity will benefit. All the Made+Good charities are quite small so any donations really make a difference to the work they are able to do.
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
Most of the time I work from home - I have a little room with a very cluttered desk, and an armchair that usually has a curled up dog in it. I am lucky to have an amazing view of the South Downs with the goats and a flock of sheep pottering about in the field outside the window. Occasionally I hot desk in Brighton (mostly just for the great lunch options!)
What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy sidekick?
I do a fair bit of screen work in the evenings once my daughters are in bed - so it tends to be a cup of hot water and some chocolate that keep me going - and always a dog (or two) by my side.
How/where do you get your inspiration?
I go to craft fairs, shows and open studios and also spend too much a lot of time on Instagram and Pinterest!
What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
Made+Good is really just beginning and so many things are still to come: there are some really exciting Makers lined up to join in the New Year, there are a few product exclusives in the pipeline that will only be available through Made+Good and I’ll be launching a collection of Children’s products on the site too.
Three things you can’t live without:
My family, dogs, crisps.
Three favourite places:
Summertime in our garden with our girls and the dogs pottering about. 
In a field, by a campfire with a glass of something warming and a fire poking stick.
Japan. I’ve only been once but it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Three favourite foods:
The crispy cauliflower dish at Bincho Yakitori restaurant in Brighton.
Salt and vinegar crisps.
My husbands roast potatoes .
I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about me and how I work. Can’t wait to introduce you to all the real Makers here soon.