My name is Emma Atkins, and I’m a digital designer and leatherworker. I live in Tonbridge, England, with my lovely partner, Joe, and our handsome hound, Oscar. When I’m not working at my computer, I’m in my garden workshop making items for my shop, Hide & Home.
My passion for leatherworking began via Instagram. I follow some pretty talented makers, and seeing them share behind-the scenes photos of working with leather – a purse here, a bag there – really interested me. I liked how versatile leather seemed as a material, and I wanted to try working with it myself. So, in 2012, I bought a big box of supplies and immersed myself in tutorials in an attempt to learn various techniques of the craft.
In the beginning, working with leather was just a hobby that I really enjoyed, but it started to grow into something more. With encouragement from friends, I started my shop; I can honestly say that opening my shop was the best thing I’ve ever done. Getting dirty, making a mess, and creating things that are worth making a mess for is what truly makes me happy.
I find inspiration in people, photos, and nature – especially walking to work, or seeing herons and kingfisher while I’m out with Oscar. I’m always thinking about the next new item I’m going to make; being in nature helps me put things into perspective and focus my ideas. Once I get around to sketching out an idea, I determine measurements and start prototyping, tweaking things here and there to get it just right. My friends and family love the next part, which involves me asking them to test my products and make sure they’re fit for listing in my shop.
Starting Hide & Home has enabled me to redefine my work/life balance and do what I love every day. I’ve met some truly lovely people along the way and gained some valuable tips and advice. My future goals are to keep working on improving my shop and the items that I offer. I’d like to make more and more customers happy, grow Hide & Home, and hopefully gain some new strengths.