So, it turns out I’m not the only one feeling the freeze from curation team as they attempt to purge the site of anything they deem to be un “trendy”! A short time spent on the forums shows that there are throngs of great makers spitting with fury as their cleverly executed and designed products are dismissed with an airy insult while mass-produced claptrap cram the product pages.

Their justification for rejecting my Critter Range went like this:

“Unfortunately the team felt that these designs were quite traditional and, whilst we absolutely don’t doubt the quality of your lamps, we would be looking for designs that were more contemporary and trend led.

Our curation tool not only helps us to ensure that products coming on are really innovative and are something that customers haven’t seen before but means that we can make sure that the products we bring on for partners are those that will help them grow with us and stand out against the current site offering.”


and I took some small pleasure in responding to that with this:

Dear Lauren
Thank you for getting back in touch. I tried to call a couple of times yesterday and was told a member of the curation team would call back. I would ideally like to speak to someone rather than type, so as to be able to discuss this more fully.
It is interesting that you should consider my latest designs traditional. Yes, they are on a form, the drum shade, which could now be considered traditional – but it could equally be considered timeless and practical. However, I am somewhat confused as to how your team can interpret a stag with barber shop antlers, a 24 carat gilt crow on a black sheep’s back, a hare with tweed inserts in its ears, blue cows and sheep in Shetland jumpers “traditional”. If you look closely you will see that my design motive was to take the traditional and turn it on its head! I chose to focus on these rural symbols (the stag, the hare, the highland cow), and parody them, warp them and conceptualise them (the black sheep and the bullies), have a laugh with them. I was looking to twist the cultural stereotypes that we apply to these animals of Scotland so as to, in a way, ridicule and undermine the aristocratic, hunting sect that creates them.
This may not be one of your seasonal “trends” but it is what innovative designers attempt to do in order to set new trends, shock and inspire.
It is unfortunate that your team were not able to see or appreciate this but perhaps now, having some insight into my design process you may respond to my latest range of designs differently.
I yesterday wrote a blog post about this event which has been shared far and wide. The post has been seen by over 3000 and I have read over 100 comments from viewers who clearly see my designs in a very different light to your team.
I am the sole breadwinner of a family of four and NOTHS is my primary selling portal. Your swift dismissal of my complete 2017 range of designs could have a profound impact on our income. I do completely understand that your company must make difficult decisions in order to maintain its design integrity and profit. However, I believe that dismissing well executed, innovative and potentially trend setting designs could do your company more harm than good.
I will resubmit the designs with revised titles, text and images that more clearly illustrate the humour and parody that I am attempting to convey and we’ll see how it goes.

With best wishes


I also took great pleasure in making a calming commission of a pair of Mussel cushions. The perfect antidote to all this NOTHS silliness!




Posted by:mogwaii

Born: 13th March 1969 in Edinburgh Star sign: Pisces Where do I live? An beautiful island called Lismore Who with? I live with my gorgeous man - Yorick, and my beautiful boys Ruben (currently 14) and Tom (10) and we also have cat poppy, cat Bashy and cat Spyro. What do I do there? Water veggies in the polytunnel, loads of mopping up, picking up clothes, cooking and washing dishes. The rest of the time I'm in a blissfull state in my studio making things out of wool and designing the next must have (in my head!) and a lot of cycling to and fro My favourite Books: Right now...empowerment books like "The power of now" and "The Secret", but also John Fowles "The Magus" and "The kite runner" and I love the "Tao of Poo" My Favourite films: Babettes feast, Wings of desire and The colour of Pomegranites. My favourite music: Bach cello suites for designing, Dolly parton for making (especially her album Little Sparrow), Teddy Thompson and loads of other stuff! What did I do before moving to Lismore? * Went to school in Edinburgh (South Morningside primary then St. Mary's music school and then George Watson's) * Went to Brazil for a year, fell in love, learnt Portuguese and spun a lot of wool * Studied foundation in visual arts in Manchester poly and then went on to study BA Hons in textiles at Goldsmith's college * Made felt hats, sold them at Camden market and then eventualy Liberties and had Ruben in the midst of it all - moved to Pathhead * Tom came along and I stopped making hats. sung lots of Jazz, taught Brazilian and samba singing, recorded an album and started singing with La Boum * Tom went to school and I set up Mogwaii * Moved here in 2006 There you go!! xx Sarah (from left) Ruben, me and Tom (from left) Ruben, me and Tom

2 replies on “Applying some Mussel

  1. Perfectly calm, reasoned and reasonable response Sarah. I do hope they revise their opinion although I bet also that you feel like saying ‘well stuff ’em’. They are fantastic. xx

    1. Thank you Kate. You’re right. The more I see the aesthetic that excites them the more I realise I have no real interest in it and don’t feel inclined to chase trends so, well, I’ll be exploring other avenues for sure. xx

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