Endangered in the Woodlands & Inspiration
We’ve all seen a hedgehog somewhere, snuffling around the back garden, maybe crossing a road, but have you noticed how little we see them anymore? That’s because their numbers have been declining for a long time, the same goes with red squirrels, hares, dormice, and plenty of other species around the UK. Slowly they have been losing habitats, dying due to disease, and few people seem to know about it.
With so much going on in the world, it’s no wonder we don’t notice these creatures disappearing from our local woodlands. That’s why I built my Nature collection around these animals, to hopefully spread some awareness of the decline, and perhaps how we can help as well.
My business started off during the pandemic, it was a crazy time and I was living in rural Wales with my parents. Surrounded by wildlife and with a lot of time on my hands while finishing my degree, I ordered an outdoor wildlife camera, built a little hedgehog hut and put it outside. It took months to get any action besides house cats and crows, but finally my little house setup attracted a lone hedgehog, who returned every single night for the next few months for a crunch of biscuits and a drink.
I drew my initial hedgehog design from him, which developed into the hedgehog pattern that you see across all my products today. I added the red squirrel and hare to my collection and have started some smaller dormouse products too. I now focus my time on marketing, craft fairs, and blogging to raise awareness of these creatures.
My collection includes a range of gifts and accessories featuring animals and nature, including makeup bags, totes, hair accessories, reusable skincare pads, art prints, sleepmasks and more. These are all handmade by myself, with all the designs you see on the fabrics drawn here too. I chose these kind of items because they are small, go together well and affordable. Personally I love to buy a few things and turn a gift into a giftset, so that is the idea I went with for my own collection that it is easy to make them work with each other.
Something I really enjoy about my work is the interesting people I meet, I’ve met a number of hedgehog rescuers, people who work in the National or Wildlife Trusts, and people who have hedgehogs in their gardens just like I did.
So where am I now? I live in Swansea, South Wales now, but still visit my rural home often. I currently have the camera set up tracking hares in a nearby field, so hoping to find some lovely videos on that next time I return. My business has been up and running for over a year, and I regularly do events and fairs in South Wales, and of course sell online and in a number of giftshops across the UK.
My future plans include further awareness-raising of these species, and expanding my collection to include other endangered creatures in the UK and beyond. I would love to work with some of the big Trusts in the UK in particular, seeing my products in a National Trust shop would be the absolute dream!
If you are interested in seeing more of what I do, check out www.tahliapaige.co.uk for pretty products and patterns. You can also follow me on Instagram at @tahliapaigetextiles and on Facebook under Tahlia Paige Gifts and Accessories.