Folksy Summer School


The Folksy Summer School was two days of learning for designers and makers. It was in the woods, in the height of summer, in a little corner of Sheffield where we could't be disturbed.

We brought together experts in branding, marketing, social media, photography, selling, making and creating, all with the aim of helping designers and makers get better at what they do.

As well as lessons from all the clever clogs attendees had the opportunity to see demonstrations from skilled makers in screen printing, lino cutting and sewing skills, they learned how to take killer product shots in our photography workshops and undulged in some one to one mentoring on the StartUp Britain Bus.

With a picnic lunch, a local tuck shop and fresh fruit during the breaks we had a blast.  

Watch the films, See the photographs, Read the gossip

Subscribe for upcoming Folksy event info

Woodland Centre Woodland Centre Woodland Centre
  • Woodland Discovery Centre
  • Ecclesall Woods
  • Abbey Lane
  • Sheffield
  • S7 2QZ

Note: this postcode takes you to the bottom of Abbey Lane. If using the postcode please keep going up Abbey Lane and the entrance to the centre is on your left.


    • SOLD OUT
Buy Tickets knitting sewing


    • Saturday
    • What is craft today?
    • Taking your first steps to selling
    • Growing your business
    • Branding - how to look great
    • Conversations in craft
    • Telling your story to the press
    • Makers' stories
    • Sunday
    • Marketing - how to tell a great story
    • Creating a must-read blog
    • Selling - online, to retailers and at events
    • Press - how to get noticed
    • Pricing and numbers
    • Outsourcing




John V. Willshire


Described as being "creatively fertile", John helps companies to make things people want rather than making people want things. He helps companies and agencies with strategy and structure, ideas and implementation, words and pictures, community, communications and the creation of groundbreaking ideas. So far Smithery has helped the likes of the Huffington Post, Royal Mail, Carlsberg, Samsung, Google, Channel 4 and Skype.  The first Smithery in-house product is Artefact Cards, which are blank playing cards for designing better ideas faster.


Patricia van den Akker

The Design Trust

Patricia van den Akker is an accredited creative business adviser, certified coach, trainer and mentor.  She has worked with 100s of small creative businesses in the last 15 years, and specialises in working with designers and makers around their business development.  She is the Director of The Design Trust, an online business school for designers and makers to help them start, run and grow their own design or craft business through free online information, newsletters, a Business Club membership with practical expert webinars.  She also writes for Crafts Magazine as The Design Doctor, and contributes regularly to online blogs.


Chloë Haywood


Chloë Haywood, founder of Hatastic! won Young Clothes Show Designer of the Year when she was only 16. Leságe himself offered her an opportunity to study at his school in Paris at the time.

Chloës’ desire to rejuvenate and transform the old, unused and unloved, into something strangely beautiful is essentially the ethic of Hatastic! and with collections shown at Milan and London Fashion Weeks, and designs seen in Vogue, Elle, The Times and The Wedding Magazine this ethical label has come a long way since it started as a hobby in 2009. Chloë solely designs and creates in her workshop at the end of her garden in Surrey and is proud to be a Member 500 of The Ethical Fashion Forum.

Emma Jones

Enterprise Nation

Emma Jones is a business expert and author, and founder of small business support company Enterprise Nation. Her books include 'Spare Room Start Up', 'Working 5 to 9 ', 'Go Global' and 'Turn Your Talent into a Business'.
Following a five year career at an international accounting firm, Emma started her first business at 27, from a spare room in her Manchester apartment. That business was sold 18 months later, and the experience led to Emma's next venture, Enterprise Nation. Its website ( was launched in 2006 and became the most popular for home business owners in the UK, attracting over 100,000 visitors each month.
In seven years, Enterprise Nation has grown into a community of over 75,000 homegrown businesses that find help and support on its website, in its books and at live events. In 2011, the company gave away over £10,000 in funding to UK start-ups, and has recently launched a premium membership scheme, which helps its members promote their businesses and take their venture to the next level.Emma is also a co-founder of StartUp Britain, a national campaign to encourage more people to start a business.In July 2012, Emma was awarded an MBE for services to enterprise.


Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire

Mini Moderns

Mini Moderns are an award winning design company, founded by Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire, who specialise in applied pattern, annually creating collections across a range of products including wallpapers, fabrics and home accessories. 
Keith had originally worked as a textile print and graphic designer for various fashion companies ranging from jeanswear to cult fashion brand Red or Dead. Mark had worked in television and had also created his own interior designer-maker business selling his collections through Heal’s.
They met at a branding agency in the mid nineties - Mark as a brand strategist and Keith as a creative director. They always felt that some of their skills were not fully utilised and so when they decided to leave their full time jobs they set up an independent branding agency specialising in retail and lifestyle brands, and were determined not to be pigeonholed by job titles or clients. 

Andy Poplar

Vinegar and Brown Paper

I genuinely don't know how this all happened, but by some quirk of fate Iʼve found myself
running a business in which every aspect of it fits me perfectly.
I love the time spent finding glass pieces in vintage fairs and auctions.
I love the joy of coming up with new ideas for new pieces.
I love the process of etching glass and seeing the finished piece.
I love photographing them & sending them out into the world.
I absolutely love seeing the smile on peopleʼs faces at shows when they see it.
And I love the fact from New York to New Zealand there are now little bits
of Vinegar & Brown Paper sitting on shelves all over the world. 
But most of all I love the feeling that all of this is something that came out of nothing and
how working for yourself can be one of the most creatively rewarding avenues to take.

Polly Dugdale

Handmade Horizons

Polly is an online marketing consultant with nine years’ experience, advising some of Britain's biggest brands on their strategies and online retail activities. Now out of the London rat-race, Polly works with entrepreneurs, creative sellers and small businesses across the UK to shape and execute their Digital Marketing strategies from a converted dovecote in Gloucestershire. Polly shares free marketing advice on her blog at, as well as being co-founder ofHandmade Horizons, a source of marketing advice for creative women who mean business! That’s when she’s not embarking on strange craft projects or dancing to cheesy music in her kitchen, while concocting weird and wonderful pie recipes...

Victoria Woodcock

State of Craft

Victoria Woodcock is the editor of three DIY craft books, Making Stuff, Making Stuff for Kids (both Black Dog Publishing/Guardian Books) and, most recently, State of Craft (Cicada Books), which features projects and interviews with leading names in the craft movement such as Tatty Devine, DIY Couture and Rachael Matthews.
Victoria has run BUST magazine's popular Craftacular fair since 2008 and and has taken DIY workshops to events as diverse of the Camden Crawl and Bestival. 

Tilly Walnes

tilly & the buttons

Tilly Walnes writes, teaches workshops, and has sewn on television in BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee. Tilly is on a mission to spread the sewing bug, encouraging more people to start creating their own handmade wardrobe. She writes the wonderful sewing blog Tilly and the Buttons, which is regularly featured in the press and gets more than half a million views from 75,000 people each month. Tilly likes to think of herself as the antidote to that scary textiles teacher you had at school and will be at The Folksy Summer School to take the ARGH! out of creating your own craft blog.

Claire Bates


Claire started her business Landbaby on the grand sum of £50, she had no money in the bank and took a complete risk opening a shop and taking on a lease hoping she would be able to make the first months rent! her shop fittings consisted of a dressing table from her bedroom and a few cheap shelves. she covered the walls in fabric and hunted high and low for other little bits of furniture she could use. Over the years claire has continued to maintain her style by collecting old trunks and vintage type writers, which add charm and a few tales to the shop, and have in turn influenced her work. See Claire as part of our selling masterclass on Sunday afternoon.

Angus Montgomery

Design Week

Angus Montgomery has been editor of Design Week since the end of 2011. Prior to that he was news editor at the title for two years. He was also the managing editor at the Architects' Journal, and a reporter for the Press Association. Angus is the man to help you get that press release right. If you want your work to get noticed by the press come and pick his brains at The Folksy Summer School on Sunday afternoon.

Cecily Vessey

Cecily Vessey

Cecily Vessey's signature work is her wonky skylines but anything architectural is on her interest list! Since graduating in 2009 she has worked to build a successful retail and wholesale business as well as working on a variety of freelance projects such as illustrations, wedding invitations and special editions of cards, mugs, tote bags and tea towels for galleries and tourist landmarks. Cecily's stockists include Design Museum, Houses of Parliament and Magma. Her drawings and prints have been sent all over the world to a far away as Australia, Singapore, and America. Hear Cecily's words of wisdom as part of the selling masterclass on Sunday after lunch.

Nick Hand

Department of Small Works

Nick Hand is a graphic designer, photographer and cyclist. He has spent much of the past four years making photofilms of craftsmen and women mostly in the UK, but also in America and Italy. His book Conversations on the Coast records his journey by bicycle around the coast of Britain and Ireland recording the lives of artisans who live on the coast. He is currently producing a similar book about a journey along the Hudson Valley in New York recording the artisans that he met along the way. Nick will be coming to tell his story on Saturday 10th August.

Emilie Taylor

Emilie Taylor

Emilie Taylor works as an artist from her studio at Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield. Her work forms part of both public and private collections and is regularly exhibited throughout the UK. She’ll be joining us on Saturday morning to share how her story of starting out.

James Green

James Green Printworks

James is an artist/printmaker, based in Sheffield, and has been making linocut prints for around ten years. Three years ago he decided to take the leap and go full-time as an artist. “However foolish that decision might have seemed at the time, it was one of the best I’ve ever made. I love being an artist, and have to pinch myself every day to believe I’m actually doing it for a job.”. Who better then to come along and demo his skills in linocut printing as well as joining in on the selling masterclass on Sunday afternoon?

Sinead Koehler

Crafty Fox Market

The Crafty Fox Market draws shoppers and traders from far and wide and has become a highlight of the handmade scene in London. At Crafty Fox Market you will find a hand-picked selection of the UK’s best designer makers, workshops, delicious tea & cakes, a full bar and DJs. Currently, it takes place seasonally in Brixton. It was started by husband and wife team, Sinead & Stephan Koehler. They also run Crafty Fox Talks – a series of inspirational speaker-led evening events for creatives. Sinead will be at the Folksy Summer School on Sunday afternoon telling us how to be awesome at markets and craft fairs.


Clare Yuille

Indie Retail Academy

Clare Yuille is the founder of Indie Retail Academy and the go-to retail coach for artists and designers who want to get wholesale right first time.Owner of an award-winning boutique specialising in handmade work, Clare writes about retail, creativity and entrepreneurship for blogs like Folksy, Handmade Success, Kind Over Matter and The Design Trust. She’s contributed to the Guardian Small Business Network and is a member of the School for Creative Start-ups’ mentorship programme. If you want to sell to independent retailers, Clare will be taking away the eeeek! and replacing it with aaaah on Sunday afternoon at the Folksy Summer School.


Sarah Thelwall

My Cake

Sarah Thelwall is a strategist and consultant in the Creative Industries and founder of, an online financial management and benchmarking business tool. Sarah has over a decade’s experience in the Creative Industries working both with small creative firms and political and sector development bodies such as NESTA, British Council, DCMS and NCGE. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, holds an MBA from Imperial College Business School and a BSc in Biology from Durham University. For relaxation she races yachts. Sarah will be at The Folksy Summer School on Sunday afternoon to give you all you need to know about pricing and numbers.


Doug Richard

School for StartUps

Doug Richard is a successful entrepreneur with 20 years’ experience in the development and leadership of technology and software ventures. He featured in the first two TV series of Dragon’s Den and is the Founder of School for Startups, Co-Founder of the Cambridge Angels and was Chairman of the Conservative Party Small Business Task Force. More recently, Doug’s School for Startups has been named as a leading delivery partner for the Government’s Start Up loan scheme and has committed to help reach lending targets of £110m by April 2015. Let Doug help you find funding for your small creative business on Sunday afternoon.


Marceline Smith

Asking For Trouble

Asking For Trouble is the creative pseudonym of Marceline Smith, an illustrator, blogger, designer and zinemaker working from home in Glasgow, Scotland. "Trained as a printmaker, I found a new outlet for my love of colour and pattern by designing a range of characters and patterns for stationery, fabric, gift wrap and many other products. I started Asking For Trouble in 2007 and was lucky enough to quit my job for the freelance life a year later." You can hear Marceline’s story in the selling masterclass on Sunday afternoon.


Lianne Mellor

Mellor Ware

Lianne Mellor is the designer and illustrator of a range of homeware called Mellor Ware. Mellor cites her childhood as an inspiration in her work. "Filled with making dens, drawing pictures and listening to wild and exciting stories. I guess this is what led to my overactive imagination, creating narratives and giving life to the things that surrounded me, from the birds in the garden, to the fish on the counter at the local market." Lianne will be at The Folksy Summer School on Saturday to share her story of growing her creative business.



Tracy Ramsden & Marie-Claire Dorking

Skribe London

Skribe London is a words and ideas lab, offering industry-led direction, opportunities and a big dollop of inspiration to startups, PR professionals and new journalists keen to build better press profiles and relationships. We create bespoke group seminars, pop-up workshops and one-on-one tutorials, in person or online, to suit your specific needs. Led by Marie-Claire Dorking and Tracy Ramsden, both freelance journalists for international newspapers and magazines, and former features editors of women’s glossies, Skribe London draws on over 25 years experience writing, editing, pitching and commissioning. Tracey and Marie-Claire will teach you all you need to know about getting noticed by the press on Sunday afternoon at The Folksy Summer School.


Lara Watson

Mollie Makes

We're pleased to welcome the Editor of craft mag Mollie Makes to the Folksy Summer School. Over the course of the weekend Lara will be around to offer one-to-one advice on getting noticed by the press. If you've always wanted your work to feature in one of the UK's best craft magazine's now is your chance to find out how!




There's something wonderfully satisfying about pulling a squeegee across a screen full of vibrant ink. Roll up your sleeves and have a go yourself at one of the many screen printing demos to be held over the weekend by Senior Lecturer from LCC Sue Westergaard.

Lino cutting

James Green Printworks Zebedee
Watch and learn how to cut, chisel and gouge at a piece of linoleum to make beautiful patterns and images that can then be printed on to a surface of your choice. Printers James Green and Zoe Badger from Zebedee will be there to show you how. Wonderful stuff.

Sewing Skills

The Button Tin
Ever wanted to know the top tips for threading a needle, master a new sewing stitch or chat with an expert about the best fabric scissors on the market? Grab a tub of ice cream and meander on over to the sewing demo run by the fabulous Gemma Nemer from The Button Tin.

Book binding/Letterpress

Heather Dewick 
See Folksy trader Heather Dewick do what she does best in bookbinding and letterpress printing and maybe have a little go yourself!

Toy Making

Northfield Primitives 
On Sunday Sarah from Folksy shop Northfield Primitives will be handmaking her stunning toys in the classroom area. Pop along and chat to her about all things sewing, toys and handmade.

Mollie Makes Crochet Corner 

Mollie Makes  Frank&Olive Crochet 
The team from Mollie Makes are coming to say hi and indulge in a little crochet with a little bit of help from designer Ruby McGrath from Frank&Olive Crochet - hooray! 

Yarn Bombing

Yarn Bombing Consortium
Join in a little yarn bombing around the venue with Kerry Howarth of the Yarnbombing Consortium. This isn't a tutorial, more a great opportunity for a knit and a natter. 

The Amazings

The Amazings 
Three of The Amazings will be coming along to share their skills in knitting, mosaic and feltmaking. Learn new skills from passionate elders with amazing experience and wisdom.


The Internet of Things
Adrian from MCQN Ltd will be showing off some of the ways that recent developments in physical computing can take digital beyond apps and screens, and add it to ordinary objects. Find out how a dash of computing could give your creations a new dimension in interactivity or connectivity.


Product Photography Lessons

Lyndsey James

When it comes to selling online your product photography is second in line to making something fabulous. Get your product images right and you're on to a winner. The Folksy Summer School has invited freelance photographer Lyndsey James to help take the "aarrgghh" out of lighting, composition and styling and leave you feeling utterly capable of showing your work off in all it's glory.

The StartUp Britain Bus

StartUp Britain StartUp Tour 

Jump aboard StartUp Britain's national StartUp Tour at the Folksy Summer School. If you're keen to start running your own business or growing one already come aboard to receive expert advice, talk with PayPal, BT Business and Intuit, discover what national initiatives are available to support your idea and make useful connections to help start or grow your business! 

(all Demonstration & Workshop Photography - "Revealing Craft by India Hobson")


Sponsor Us


Contact Us