Tuesday, 7 January 2014



Peggy Wolf is the lovely owner of Blackbird and the Owl, a fashion accessories brand from Germany. Today, she offers a little insight into her successful business.

Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

I am Peggy Wolf born and raised in Germany. I am currently living in Germany again after 6 great years in London. At the moment, I am a full-time illustrator and Owner/Designer of the brand 'Blackbird and the Owl'.

How long have you been running Blackbird and the Owl and what led you to start selling your amazing pouches on Etsy?

I started Blackbird and the Owl in the beginning of 2012 as I had the urge to work with textiles again and make more use of my sewing machine. I studied fashion design years ago and I loved the process of producing something with my hands. It is a great challenge to create something useful and to get the material/colour combination right. Initially, I started working with leather and selling the bags as a hobby, but as the orders started coming in, the response to what I was making took me by surprise.

How did you come up with the name?

The first part comes from my love for the lyrics in The Beatles' song 'Blackbird'. The 'Owl' comes from a very special person in my life who reminds me a lot of them. Both parts combine to mean a lot to me!

Without giving away any trade secrets, could you tell us about your process? What are your favourite materials, what tools do you use etc.?

Each item in my shop has a pattern, which I always use to get the sizes right throughout. Once the bags have been cut I start screen-printing them and sewing them together. The process is very similar to making a garment, a skill I learned during my studies.

I work with my good old Pfaff sewing machine, sharp cutters, metal rulers and yarn. My favourite materials are leather and suede, ribbons, feathers, ink for printing and all the amazing textiles out there.

Where do you think you draw your inspiration from?

Most of my inspiration I get from interior design blogs such as Freunde von Freunden, The Design Files and Dear September (Sienna and Lauren also sell my prints online, and I really relate to their fabulous “bohemian taste”).

I recently discovered your other, eponymous store. Such talent! How do you go juggling two stores?

Thank you!  I wouldn't call it juggling; for me, both worlds work perfectly together. My illustrations inspire my accessories and vice-versa. I would also say that they both keep me in a good balance, as sometimes the focus is more on my illustrations and sometimes more on the bags. They also help to have a break from the other, which to me is very important.

What has your experience on Etsy been like overall?

I’ve had a very good experience selling and showcasing my work on Etsy. Back in 2009 when I first opened my illustration shop, people discovered my work and blogged about it. This was of great help and is how I got to where I am now, living off my own creations. It is an amazing feeling and very rewarding to work intensively and knowing the world is a big part of it.

Any plans for Blackbird and the Owl in the future?

I am hoping that the company will grow and expand with many more collections to come. I would love to explore more in terms of textures, colours and I will try to add in different accessories. There is so much to explore in terms of textures, patterns, styles, sizes and material! At the moment I have my studio at home, but in a year or two I'd like to have my workspace in the city with some helpers to support me with the production side of things.

Can you tell us a bit about the city where you currently live, Bielefeld?

Back in 1999, I moved to Bielefeld in order to study Fashion Design from which I graduated in 2004. After uni, I worked as a freelancer for a couple of year before moving to London in 2006 where I stayed until August 2012.

What do you love most about it?

I love mostly that all of my friends still live here and it was so easy to adjust when I came back. Most of my friends are designers and freelancers themselves which can come in very handy. I am actually looking forward to working with them on some projects in the future.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to answer these questions Peggy, and huge congratulations on welcoming your first baby into this world late last year! xx

Check out Blackbird and the Owl on Etsy

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