Retro and re-vamped furniture designer and Roller Derby star Lauren Sears, also known as Peggy Peril of Portsmouth Roller Wenches, gives RubyxRedxHeart some of her precious time for a Q&A session. The talented 23 year old from Portsmouth has been running Peggy’s Difference since 2012 and with 2015 holding lots of events, a website revamp and this weekend featuring at Brighton Tattoo Convention. The only way is up for this local lass…
RRH: On your website you say that Peggy’s Difference is a ‘hobby turned business’, what first drew you to revamping and making vintage inspired furniture and furnishings?
PD: I started Peggy’s Difference as a hobby. I bought a beaten up, £2 coffee table from a charity shop and just saw it’s potential so started to sand and paint it. I enjoyed working on it so much, that I started to pick up more bits and experiment with them. It helped me express my creativity that my mundane everyday job (bar work in a social club – yep, that boring!) wasn’t allowing me to fulfill. I have always had a great interest in past eras whether its furniture, fashion or the lifestyle. I have always thought I was born in the wrong era!
Cushions and seat by Peggy’s Difference
RRH: You say your parents had a big influence through various skill sets (carpentry, haberdashery and painting). Is this something they’ve just always done around the home, or in a professional capacity? Have they been your greatest influence?
PD: My parents have been a huge influence from the start of PD and continue to have great involvement. My Dad has been a Carpenter since he left school, and my mum was a sewing machinist for the British rail, so they both have a life time of experience. From a really young age, I’ve always shown a huge interest in my parent’s work. I’ve worked on a few jobs with my dad, from building decking, fitting kitchens and even a bit of roof tiling! I’ve never been afraid to get stuck in! My parents have always been really creative and work really well together and I’m very fortunate to have them involved with my business!
Before and after.
RRH: Apart from the influence from your parents are there any designers/ fashion houses that currently inspire your work? Or is there any other medium you draw inspiration from?
PD: I take a lot of inspiration from Kustom Kulture. I love to research different art forms from old car restorations to pin-striping. My favourite artist at the moment is Lucky Hellcat. Her work is incredible.
I also get a lot of inspiration from the Roller Derby community. I am constantly surrounded by strong, creative individuals who are not afraid to be different.
RRH: I’m also aware you are also known as Peggy Peril of Portsmouth Roller Wenches though have been taking some down time due to injury. Are you taking part in the Championships this year? How do you find time to fit everything in with full time job, Roller Wenches and Peggy’s Difference? You’re a busy gal!
PD: I injured my knee playing roller derby last July and have had to take a huge step back from skating. This has been an extremely difficult experience. From skating up to 10 hours a week to taking months off skates is a huge challenge and it felt like my main passion had been taken away from me. I really struggled at first and found it very difficult to stay involved with my team and the roller derby community. Once I changed my attitude, I put all my focus onto my business to take my mind off my injury and the fact that there isn’t anything I can do about. I am grateful I have PD to keep my sanity!
Peggy Peril doing her thing as part of the Portsmouth Roller Wenches team.
I have been self employed for about a year and a half. I’ve worked up to 3 part time jobs at one time to support myself and my business. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but the best things I have learnt is self motivation, keeping a positive attitude and ORGANISATION. I constantly like to keep busy as I like to live life to the full!
RRH: Did you do any professional courses? I’d imagine it’s quite a task to making the pouffe’s and fabric cover stools?
PD: None what so ever! I have literally started from scratch and my only form of knowledge is from experience. I don’t have any business (or maths for that matter!) qualifications, so everything is a huge learning curve for me.
RRH: What’s your favourite piece you’ve made/ revamped up to date?
PD: I have a few! Every piece I revamp has a bit of a story behind it, from the moment I source it, to the hours I spend transforming it. Practically every piece of furniture I source is what someone would class as junk. They certainly don’t make furniture like they used to, and I love to rejuvenate a piece to give it an extra lease of life. My favourite pieces are Dressing Tables. This is because so much work goes into transforming them.
RRH: Are there any pieces you regret selling and wish you’d kept for yourself? I do this ALL the time with my jewellery?!
PD: I don’t regret selling any piece, but I do become attached to certain items. I just wish I had the space to create my own kingdom!
RRH: What does 2015 hold for Peggy’s Difference?
PD: 2015 has already started off great. I have been working extra hard to attend some pretty big events this year. The calendar is already pretty packed! I am in the process of working on a brand new website which will be launched in a few weeks. I will continue to work towards goals as this is what really motivates me.
Big thanks to Lauren for taking time out to chat to RubyxRedxHeart! You can catch her selling at the following events:
Lamp and foot stool by Peggy’s Difference.