Chicken Tales: A story of Little Emma Harriet
We are constantly inspired by stories of our Chicken Footstools making people smile. Every chicken carries the imprints of the natural materials from which they are made, the diligent artisans who create them, and the loving families and special spaces in which they come to reside. We are excited -to share more of these stories with you in a new series we are calling Chicken Tales!
Today, we are delighted to introduce Little Emma Harriet. This custom Chicken Little Footstool was commissioned earlier this year by one of our very own chickeners, Karen, before she became a chickener. Karen lives in Kansas City and has been a part of our team for about six months now. She quickly adapted her life-long seamstress skills to our unique feather upholstery work. Karen is a joy to have around the studio— she tells the best stories, is one of the most considerate and generous people on the planet, and she won’t quit stitching until every feather is perfectly secured and all of the “underpants” are covered! Karen identifies as a long-time chicken lover, which is always a helpful chickener trait. We sat down with Karen and asked some questions about her custom design adoption process for Little Emma Harriet…
How did you come to know The City Girl Farm?
One day, my daughter Amanda sent me an email and a link to The City Girl Farm. She said, "My neighbor, Carly, does this, and you have to see it because it is just like you mom!" She knows me well. I like funny things that are kind of quirky. I love sewing! I like textiles and that kind of stuff. So I looked at the chickens and thought, oh my gosh, those are so cool. I must have one. Later on, my husband Bill, for some occasion or probably no occasion at all because he's that kind of a guy, came home with a wooden egg in a ‘Nest Egg Box,’ a gift certificate for a chicken. My first chicken, Little Linus, has amazing grey and white checked felt feathers. I named him after my grandson.
What inspired Little Emma Harriet?
For Christmas last year, Amanda gave me two fabric bundles from Wallace & Sewell, a fabric design studio based out of London. Little Emma Harriet is named after the founders, Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell. They don't waste anything and sell bundles of fabric off-cuts from their products. It's like treasure. I knew I had to do something really special with it. One day I was in the living room and I looked over and noticed Little Linus looking at me. I thought— that's it! I could have the girls at the studio make another chicken and incorporate this wonderful fabric.
What was the custom design process like?
I met up with Sally and a few of the girls at the studio. They got out a “naked” chicken. It was just amazing— they started playing with it, pinning on sample felt pieces in combination with my fabric pieces. We determined the general design together and I left with confidence that they would do something great. When I got the fabric bundles they were tied together with the selvage of the fabrics. The girls ended up sewing the selvage around the edges of round felt pieces and incorporating the larger pieces of fabric into ruffles and tail feathers. It all felt extra-special.
For someone thinking of custom-designing a chicken, what advice would you give?
For my first chicken, Little Linus, I spent a lot of time on The City Girl Farm website. Most of the chickens that have been made are in the ‘Adopted’ section online and are also categorized in color, breed, and collection galleries. So, you can sit there and say: I like this tail, I like this color, and design your own. Talk with them about what you like and your inspiration.
Thank you, Karen, for sharing your Chicken Tale!
To learn more about Wallace & Sewell and the beautiful work they are doing, you can find them on their website (https://www.wallacesewell.com/) . If you are interested in sharing your Chicken Tale, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!