I am a designer-maker, based in Glasgow currently specialising in knitted accessories for fashion and interiors. Everything is hand made personally in my home studio - from creating own label limited edition collections to commissions for corporate and private clients. A lover of colour, geometry and small scale repeat patterns, I am fulfilling a lifelong ambition to design and make my own products.
Olive Pearson Designs launched in A/W 2013 with my first small collection of three designs - Honeycomb, Pinstripe and Newbery. My distinctive designs are simple, colourful and elegant repeat geometric patterns that play with perceptions. The contemporary colours and small scale patterns appeal to both men and women. Designs are inspired by repetition in both the urban and natural environment - from manhole covers to architectural details and wave patterns. Each design is named after the building, street, or area that provided the initial inspiration with new designs and colour combinations launched every autumn.
Instead of having my designs manufactured in large quantities, I have chosen to hand craft everything in smaller quantities - maintaining quality and offering customers a 'slow fashion' product. This approach also enables me to provide customers with a bespoke service, making accessories in sizes, colours and yarns to suit their individual requirements. Scarves, cowls and cushion covers are all knitted to size on a manually operated knitting machine before hand stitching seams, washing and pressing.
I returned to study and gained a degree in textile design from the prestigious Glasgow School of Art in 2012. Although I had been hand knitting from a very early age it was while at GSA that I was introduced to the advantages (and speed!) of knitting machines. My degree show was inspired by manhole cover patterns and they continue to be a valuable source for new designs. I sold designs from my degree show and new hand knit designs to international fashion houses before realising that I derived the greatest satisfaction from designing and making my own products.
Originally from Renfrewshire in Scotland, I gained qualifications in geography and cartography from Glasgow University before working as a cartographic editor-designer in Glasgow and Oxfordshire. Designing award-winning, one-off maps for the publishing industry, I loved the process of balancing colour, line, symbol and text detail to create both aesthetically pleasing and accurate maps. Redundancy motivated me to take the plunge into freelancing as a consultant and editor-designer - an experience that has proved invaluable in setting up my new design business. I've come a long way since my childhood introduction to repeat patterns with endless hours drawing with spirograph.
I try, where possible, to source raw materials as responsibly as possible from ethical suppliers. Using natural yarns, wool, silk and cotton, avoiding man-made, processed fibres. Left over yarns are used to attach my labels, showing the weight, colour and quality of yarns used to make the fabric. Recycling is important and I buy small quantities of different yarns from graduating students and use remnants of materials to create recycled jewellery pieces.