Artists at Home 2024: Hannah Gilmour

Images: 46 Stitch’s embroidered collars helped to kick start the business during the pandemic; Garments and accessories by 46 Stitch

Hannah Gilmour joins Artists at Home 2024

Artists at Home 2024 takes place in less than a month, over the weekend of Friday 14 -Sunday 16 June, when around 100 local artists will be opening their homes to invite visitors in to see their work.

From painters to sculptors, photographers to ceramicists, the event offers art enthusiasts the opportunity to explore a diverse range of artistic talents within their own neighbourhood.

This year, Hannah Gilmour is making her debut, where she will be showcasing handmade contemporary clothing. Her business 46 Stitch, was launched in 2021 and provides unique, contemporary items created in small batches using natural fabric remnants in India and in eco-friendly yarns.

Having lived in Chiswick for almost ten years, Hannah told me she found the annual Artists at Home event “really inspiring” and was eager to take part for the first time this year.

“It’s great to support the local community – and have a snoop around in their houses!” she added.

Image: Some of Hannah’s designs

Hannah said her dream with 46 Stitch was to create a lifestyle brand combining all the elements she felt best reflected her own style, while supporting people and the planet to produce collections that were “desirable, practical and impacted in a positive way”.

The items of clothing she creates celebrate traditional artisan crafts, including wood-block print, hand-embellishment and embroidery, all of which are  central to the vision of her brand and in turn allows her to support a community of craftspeople she admires and have worked with throughout her long career in fashion buying.

Hannah’s extensive retail background has included junior and senior buying roles for large high-street brands such as Monsoon, as well as being a freelance buying consultant. The role of a buyer in retail is to identify customer preferences and forecast consumer trends.

Throughout her career she developed long-lasting relationships with suppliers. In the early days of 46 Stitch, through her connections, she found a “tiny little factory” in India, in Delhi, which was starting up at the same time – a 15-person factory ran by a husband and wife partnership.

All Hannah’s garments are created at this factory, and the materials are sourced nearby, which she says is incredibly important as it helps her pieces remain more sustainable and environmentally friendly than anything you might find on the high-street.

Images: Hannah at the factory in Delhi, seeing the fabric production process; Choosing fabrics 

“Come and see it and feel the quality”

A broad range of artists have inspired Hannah’s artistry, from classics to contemporary.

“I loved Degas and his ballerinas, Monet I went to see on a school trip, and Matisse. Barbara Hepworth I actually did my dissertation on in university. I did pottery A Level, sculpture and more abstract are things I’m really interested in.”

Sharing a bit about her creative process, Hannah said:

“It’s quite hard when you’ve got two young children, but it comes naturally to me, it’s sort of ingrained, it’s part of my DNA, I’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years. I’m inspired by fashion, massively inspired by interiors, I love visiting museums and galleries, I’m always looking what people are wearing… everything and anything!”

On how her business has developed:

“I started my business just around lockdown. I probably didn’t launch until 2021 properly. It started off with embroidered, detachable collars which you’d wear over a t-shirt to sort of jazz it up. I think it kind of took off because we’re on Zoom calls, and people could only really see the top half of you!

“Since then, to build the business I started doing the Spirit of Christmas Fair, which is heaps of money and a lot of investment. That was good to delve into the deep end. Since then I’ve done Spirit of Christmas three times, and I’ve done 20 or so fairs now.

“I think when you work at home it’s quite isolating, so what’s so nice about doing fairs or inviting people into your home is that you get true customer feedback and seeing the reaction on people’s faces… there’s nothing more rewarding being front-facing with a customer.

“With an online business it’s hard for people to quantify the price. They want to be able to come and see it, feel it, see the quality.”

Image: Studio 63 is on Burnaby Gardens which is between Grove Park Terrace and Gordon Road

Where to find Hannah

Hannah is sharing Studio 63 with jewellery crafter Cherry River. You can find Studio 63 on Burnaby Gardens in Grove Park.

The nearest tube station is Gunnersbury, which is about a five to seven minute walk.

Hoping to attract visitors from outside of Chiswick, Hannah urged anyone commuting to the event to make a day of it by exploring Grove Park and Strand-on-the-Green.

“Grove Park is a beautiful area, it’s a beautiful walk along the river with three nice pubs so people can enjoy a day of it and the trail it takes you around” she said.