Meet the Maker: Nelly's Treasures

Made by Helen

I recently caught up with my good friend Helen - the illustrator, designer and maker of Nelly's Treasures. Nelly's Treasures is a Cardiff-based design studio specialising in playful and colourful interiors, gifts and homeware. I've been proudly stocking Helen's designed for years and her cheeky characters never fail to put a smile on my face. Read on to learn more about Helen and her life with Nelly's Treasures...


Can you summarise your journey to becoming a designer in five steps?

For me, I think it was quite organic rather than being summarised in tangible steps as such. I always wanted to go to Art school after I finished my A-levels, so I studied an art foundation in Cardiff for a year and then a degree in Textile design at Falmouth College of Art. Since graduating, I've bounced around a few creative jobs but quickly realised I enjoyed working for myself and making products to sell. I think I've become far more comfortable in my style the past few years, I've just spent lots and lots of time drawing and printing.


What is a typical workday for you?

Since having my son, Felix, I don't ever seem to have a 'typical workday' any more, I very much have to fit my workday around his needs. I have a studio which I'm able to get to a few days a week and I guess I do have a bit more of a routine there. It usually consists of putting the heater on to warm the place up whilst I go and make a cuppa and then cracking on with my to-do list. Being a one-woman show, I have quite a big variety in my work, from packing orders and answering emails to printing and sewing cushions.

Hello Felix!

Hello Felix!


What's your top thing that you can't live without Book/ music/ podcast/ animal/ anything?

My pencil case and sketchbook come everywhere with me, it's full of notes/drawings/design idea and to-dos. I also could not live without a good cup of tea!

Tell me your favourite business, cafe, bar or shop + why you like them?

I'm a sucker for a subscription box at the moment. I love a good surprise and supporting indie businesses too. My favourites at the moment are Lucky Dip Club and Birchbox. I get a fresh pair of colourful socks every month designed by awesome illustrators, such as Jacqueline Colley, through LDC and the make-up box form Birchbox is great as it's getting me to try more products I normally wouldn't shop for!

Lucky Dip Club's IG

Lucky Dip Club's IG


Can you pick 3 products you love from HBK website?


1. Marianne Necklace


by One We Made Earlier. I adore and am totally coveting all of the 'one we made earlier' necklaces. I love a good chunky necklace and their pieces are so beautiful!


2. Large Clip Board

by Ding Ding.  Also the Ding Ding Stationery products are fab, I love screen printed wood and stationery so its a winner for me. I had the pleasure of meeting Jenna last year and she was lush!

3. TeePee 

by Little Me TeePee. Little Me tee-pees, Janine and I have recently been working on a few collaborations together and her craftsmanship is superb. They are definitely pieces to treasure for a lifetime.


Big thanks to Helen for taking the time to speak with me and answer my questions. We always love to hear from her. Go check out all of the Nelly's Treasures range over on the website now.