YOU DON’T WANT ANOTHER CUTLERY SET – YOU WANT A DREAM FULFILLED.
Look, knives and forks have their place – but generally, that place isn’t on your giftlist for after your wedding. Chances are, you’ll already live with your partner, and unless you’ve been eating soup with your hands pre-engagement, you probably won’t need cutlery. But most gift lists don’t represent this reality of modern couples and their weddings, leaving you scratching your heads at what to ask your loved ones for. This is true of honeymoon funds, too, who often don’t offer anything with any flexibility for the two of you to celebrate yourselves (which should be the whole point of a honeymoon fund, no?) Enter Patchwork. They’re the alternative gift list and honeymoon fund for modern couples, a frankly GENIUS concept where you build a ‘patchwork’ of what you desire, and your guests all contribute to make it happen collectively. What’s super clever about it is that your guests can donate money – eliminating that awkward element of having to ask for money instead of gifts – experiences OR skills, making it a truly collaborative effort. What’s even better is that this allows you to work towards anything you desire – and some of the things people have used Patchwork for are truly incredible. We chatted to Patchwork’s founder, Liv, about her brilliant concept – but be warned, you’re going to have about 12 ideas for your own Patchworks by the end of this…
WHO ARE YOU + WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I am Olivia, and we are Patchwork, an alternative gift list and honeymoon fund. We’re based in London but our platform is global (as is our general outlook as citizens of this beautiful planet we all call home).
DESCRIBE YOUR WORKPLACE
We’re a team of five women running Patchwork from our studio in Brockley, South East London. It’s an old shop that was empty for a year before we took it over and it’s lovely. Not only because it’s a two minute walk from my house but because it’s right in the heart of the community in which we all live and so we often have friends, family (and sometimes total strangers) popping in for tea.
WHERE/HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I had the idea for Patchwork when planning my own wedding. I already lived with (my now husband) Laurie and our two kids and had flat full of stuff so we really didn’t need a traditional wedding gift list. The one thing we really did want was a way to ask our friends and family to contribute towards the honeymoon we were planning to Cuba.
We didn’t just want to ask people for cold, hard cash. It felt embarrassing and weird. So I created a website that let me upload photos of all the experiences we wanted to enjoy as a family. Then people could see our plans and choose what part of our adventure they wanted to treat us to.
It was this site that acted as an accidental prototype and the Patchwork concept was born.
FAVOURITE WORK TO DATE?
I suppose our favourite thing is seeing the many ways our amazing couples use Patchwork. Alongside all the adventure honeymoons people have used Patchwork to fund, we’ve had wedding guests contribute cash, time and skills to help make so many amazing dreams come true – like buying and re-wilding a patch of woodland in Scotland and helping to build an eco home in Spain.
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I get inspiration from so many people and things. I’m always hugely inspired and excited when we’re setting up at independent wedding fairs and meeting other people building brilliant businesses. I love the creativity, energy and the sense of endeavour. I also love being part of a carnival, a protest, a picket or a party. It’s the collective thing, the feeling of hope, of love, strength and solidarity you get from being together with other good humans. On a daily basis I’m inspired by my family, my mates, team patchwork and our couples. And I’m fuelled by tea and biscuits.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY
Wake up with tea and biscuits. Do a bit of work before everyone else gets up. Take kids to school. Come to the studio. More tea, biscuits and a catch up. Busy, busy, work, work. Stop for lunch all together at the table. Afternoon meetings usually. Then a combination of dinner with kids/wine with husband/out with friends/tv and flopping.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO?
Other than our bed in Brockley. My favourite places in the world include an old-man’s pub in Brighton pub, a still-smokey restaurant in Paris and little bit of jungle in La Reunion.
FAVOURITE WEDDING VENUE
I’ve just discovered The Fire Pit Camp in Norfolk. It’s amazing.
TRENDS YOU HOPE TO SEE THIS SEASON
Planet-friendly, waste-free weddings.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN
Don’t snatch. Share.