Dotted With Hearts interviewed Leah
of Funki Muki Badges
Q. Please tell us a little about your self and Funki Munki Badges
Hi, I'm Leah, I'm 36 and I created Funki Munki badges in 2008 along with my fella James. It came about because I needed a creative outlet after having to give up work in early 2008 due to an as-yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease.
Q. Where in the world are you based?
Hastings in East Sussex. I love living here. There's a vibrant alternative scene and I love living by the sea.
Q. What made you start making your own badges?
I've always loved dinky badges and I always had slogan or picture badges on various different bags, and being a typical woman, I have a lot of bags! After I became ill I had the idea of buying ready-made badges in bulk to sell on eBay, but I soon had customers asking me for custom badges. After a quick discussion between ourselves, we decided to start up making our own. It's been a real progression of trial and error, various different printers and a constantly evolving overall standard, so all in all we're very excited about the future.
Q. How do you come up with ideas for your slogans and images?
Everything in life inspires me. It might be a colour I see, a shape, or something a friend says that makes my mind ping off on a tangent. It's like word association, or a never-ending brain-storming session. I have little writing pads everywhere as I never know when an idea will strike. A lot of times I'm in bed and my brain will spew out a few ideas, so I jot them down in my phone so I don't wake James up with my restless tossing and turning. I've always been an 'ideas person' and I'm really glad I found an outlet or else I think I'd go barmy.
Q. What are your most popular designs?
Our Pac Man and Ghost badges sell like hotcakes, as do a lot of the ruder or cheekier slogan badges. My favourite time of the year by far is Halloween, and we sell a lot more badges in this quarter of the year because of Halloween and Christmas. I'm a big kid over Halloween and Christmas so I absolutely LOVE making these badges even more than usual. It's genuinely a labour of love for me, and I credit my sanity to it.
Q. Who or what is your inspiration?
In life I'm inspired by strong women. I come from a family of women who are as tough as old boots because they've had to be yet manage to still have a kind word for everyone and a twinkle in their eye. Maya Angelou and Tairrie B from My Ruin are a couple of my sheroes... and there we go, I think I've just unintentionally come up with another slogan! (You're my shero!) I have such a love for strong women that I have a couple of large tattoos of women - a half-sleeve, bio-mechanical Giger-esque woman on my left arm, and a manga style Lady Luck on my back.
Q. Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
I'd like to see us expand to making all sizes of badges, as well as mouse mats, mugs, key rings, magnets, bottle openers, you name it! I also want to get together with other local craftsters to perhaps share a small local space, and support the hand made industry as a whole, by buying handmade as much as possible myself, and publicising the crafts of others. On a personal level I hope to beat this illness, or at least manage it enough for me to become a mum.
website is www.funkimunkibadges.co.uk
Twitter is @funkimunkibadge
We are also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Funkimunki-Badges/140272786693?ref=ts