Celebrating Women in Craft & Design


THIS GIRL MAKES is the result of women still being under represented in the craft and design industries. As the demand for furniture makers steadily grows in the UK, the necessity to inspire and cultivate a new generation of creatives is vital for the industry’s survival. It is therefore crucial for the success of the industry that it is representative of men and women.

THIS GIRL MAKES is an inclusive blog, online community and events program that aim to promote craft and install confidence in people by celebrating women in craft and design. Whether you are a creative director looking to expand your workforce; a course leader seeking fresh talent; or an aspiring maker, THIS GIRL MAKES will have something to offer you. The aim is to remove the outdated concept of gendered crafts and job roles, and promote craft to new audiences in a relevant and relatable way.

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This blog was established in October 2016 by Rycotewood Furniture College graduate, Harriet Poppy Speed.

Harriet is a young designer maker that combines her background in illustration with a love for making with natural materials. Her work encourages others to assert more value on curiosity and play through the objects they use, as she strives to redefine traditional archetypes of furniture in a playful and honest way. The THIS GIRL MAKES blog and workshops, her craft, and her public speaking provide opportunities to pass on practical skills and knowledge, as well as opening up new channels for discussion.

Her enthusiasm and wide skill set have allowed her to pursue a variety of projects, rewarding her with many exciting opportunities. The most significant have been attending the LINLEY Summer School in August 2017, shortlisted for the 2017 Wood Awards Student category, and the award for best undergraduate poster design at Oxford Brookes University’s Get Published Conference in April 2018, which outlined her research project: A Maker’s Guide to Grief.

She will graduate from Rycotewood Furniture College in August 2018 with a BA Honours in Furniture Design and Making. Her ambition is to continue working within the craft and design industries, operating as a freelance creative practitioner.


Harriet Poppy Speed photographed with her HINNY chairs, which were shortlisted for the Wood Awards Student Category in 2017.