Exclusive Interview - Riley Blake's Cindy Cloward

Since we first introduced Riley Blake to the UK market in 2011 it has quickly become a firm favourite with many British sewers. We caught up with co-founder Cindy Cloward to find out more about the challenges of being a successful brand and the Riley Blake approach.

Riley Blake is known for its innovative and varied designs – where do the ideas come from?
Cindy: “The artistry and imagination required to create with fabric is simply amazing. We work with over 40 different artists and bring their art to fabric on a monthly basis.  Everyone works in a different way and it is always fascinating to see how a collection comes together.  After the staff previews a collection, myself and Jina Barney, our Design Director work to build a collection that includes all of the design elements necessary in a fabric line. We work very closely with the artists to get everything to make sure all the elements combine to form a collection that we love.”
What are your main goals as a company?
“It’s very important to remain relevant to the people who work and create with our fabrics. With that goal in mind, we continue to hone what we are sending out into the market by concentrating on collections that are always unique and have fashion-forward designs.”
“Another major goal of our company is to encourage more sewing. A new generation of entry-level sewists is emerging. And, with the direction of online tutorial, we have found an exciting influx of beginning crafters who want something original. To address and encourage this wonderful new group, we will be creating many more tutorials in the coming year.”
Riley Blake is associated with some fantastic contemporary designs – but what about more traditional quilters?
Over a year ago, we launched a sister company, Penny Rose Fabrics. Penny Rose is the focus of an exciting design niche that includes our take on traditional, historic, vintage inspired prints. It is thrilling to connect with the traditional quilter in a new way, as well as others who love beautiful fabrics rich in history or that are historically inspired. When we launched Riley Blake we wanted to connect with and inspire other creative minds and the creation of Penny Rose fabrics helps us reach out to a whole new group of people.

Like Riley Blake? View their latest collections