The West

A soft touch for bright ideas
A soft touch for bright ideas

An art teacher and mum-of-two, Amy Eaton officially started Happy as Larry Designs in January when she wanted to turn her creative passions into a business that could fit around her kids.

"Happy as Larry has quickly become full time, although I do still do a little bit of relief teaching every now and then," she said.

Mostly specialising in decor for a baby's or child's room, the Happy as Larry Designs range includes homewares, felt ball rugs, soft storage, mobiles and nursery decor - all made from 100 per cent wool felt.

"When I was teaching I would often teach felting and fell in love with how felt feels," Ms Eaton said.

"It is so tactile, organic and very easy to use.

"All of my products are made from felt, which is a process of using water and soap, together with a lot of friction for the wool fibres to matte together.

"It is a very labour intensive process so I now outsource my felt making to a community of ladies in Nepal.

"The Nepalese are masters at felt making, much better than me. From their beautifully thick felt and balls I start experimenting and come up with designs."

Ms Eaton said she created things she would like her own children to have.

"Inspiration comes from a variety of places but often I see a practical need and then see how I can make it aesthetically pleasing to a room," she said.

"Once I have perfected one or two pieces I then make a run of them to save me time.

"My felt pods with a felted bird or ladybugs are my newest design and have become a hit for a new baby's nursery or as a Christmas decoration.

"Each piece is handmade so you know you are getting something unique."

The name Happy as Larry was chosen because it was one of Ms Eaton's favourite sayings.

"My work is full of colour and lots of fun and felt that this was well reflected in the happy name," she said.

Ms Eaton said her typical buyers were mothers, and the products had received a great response.

"They often remark at the amount of work involved in each piece and just love the colours, which is so often missing in our bland houses today," she said.

For the future of Happy as Larry Designs, Ms Eaton hoped to continue expanding her range of products.

"I want to expand my homewares range and work more closely with my Nepalese ladies," she said.

A trip to Nepal will hopefully be on the cards next year as Ms Eaton seeks to consolidate what appears to be a rosy future.

"As the business grows I still want to be very hands-on in the creation and keep it fresh for me and my customers," she said.

The Happy as Larry Designs range is available online, and, in the lead-up to Christmas, will also be available from various Perth markets, including Perth Upmarket on November 28 and at the new Joondalup Upmarket on Friday nights of November 26, December 10 and December 17.

The West Australian

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