Meet the Maker: Custom Made
I've been stocking Custom Made jewellery at HBK for years. An Oxford-based accessory brand that produces the coolest pieces that my customers have always loved. I spoke to the lady behind this much-loved brand, Anna Butler, to dig a little deeper into what inspires her and what lead her to launch Custom Made.
Can you summarise your journey to becoming a designer in five steps?
When I was little my Mum taught me to sew. I spent a lot of time making outfits for my Barbies. Instead of A levels, which I started and found very boring (on top of hating being at school), I did a BTEC in fashion. It was such a good course. Design, pattern cutting, costing, etc. etc. Then, I decided I wanted to further my fashion education, so I did a degree in fashion at Manchester University.
My degree was 4 years long with the third year in industry. I spent my industry placement as a design assistant for a high street chain. I wanted to do this degree so when I finished I already had a years work experience.
When I finished University, I worked as a menswear designer for the high street. I really wanted to start my own business, so on a whim, I left my job and started Custom Made 6 months later. I didn’t have a CLUE what I was doing, but learnt on the job and am now so pleased I made the leap!
What's your top thing that you can't live without? Book/music/podcast/animal/anything...
Reading really helps me switch off from work for sure. I have always been a book worm and still love being transported into the world that good books provide. I love listening to podcasts too. I like ones about UFOs and conspiracy theories. I listen to music a lot too. As my cat is usually my ‘work companion’ I should probably include her in this section, but she is a nightmare. I liken our relationship to Inspector Clouseau and Kato. She is always bursting out of nowhere and attacking me. It’s terrible. I long for the cats I see sleeping and being cute in designers studios on Instagram.
Tell me your favourite business, cafe, bar or shop + why you like them?
I love the Modern Baker in Oxford. Great food and coffee and we get bread from there each week. All their food is made with nutrition as a priority. Their bread is organic and the best I’ve ever tasted. My favourite is their sourdough cinnamon buns. SO good.
Can you pick 3 products you love from HBK website?
Big thanks to Anna for taking the time to speak with me, love to hear all about life at the Custom Made studio - especially a cheeky work cat!
You can check out all of our Custom Made stock over on the website now.