Celebrating Women in Craft & Design


THIS GIRL MAKES is a multi-dimensional project that started as a blog in October 2016.

Taking inspiration from the THIS GIRL CAN movement, the initiative celebrates women in the craft and design industries, in pursuit of removing the outdated view of gendered job roles. It also strives to educate and inspire a new generation of makers, as well as highlighting how making can provide women with resilience and independence.

The blog responds to two facts: women still remain under represented within this sphere, and there is an increasing skills gap within the UK furniture industry. Therefore it features craftspeople, designers and makers from a variety of backgrounds, to highlight how industry can benefit from diversity.

From writing, the blog turned into doing, and now THIS GIRL MAKES consists of an online community, events program, and printed publication.

The events program currently includes practical courses that provide an introduction to craft that can be adapted and tailored to specific needs. Harriet Poppy Speed, the founder of THIS GIRL MAKES, also delivers talks on the project and her own experiences as a furniture designer maker and young woman entering into industry.

What the project has yet to offer is as diverse as the community it strives to bring together. THIS GIRL MAKES is open to all, not just women, and not just makers. It is only as strong as those that are part of it, so please feel free to get in touch with ideas and opportunities.

Projects that are currently in development for THIS GIRL MAKES are:

  • Exhibitions
  • Mentoring scheme
  • Podcast series
  • Video blog series
  • Greater choice of workshops
  • Merchandise
  • Build at Home kits
  • Poster Campaign


If you feel you can assist with any of the above, then we would love to hear from!

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Harriet Poppy Speed graduated from Rycotewood Furniture Centre with a first class honours degree in Furniture Design and Make in August 2018. She now works as a Furniture Design Engineer for established furniture company, Ercol, who are based in Princes Risborough.

She 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. Her broad body of work provides her with 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, 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, and recently winning Best in Show at the 2018 Young Furniture Makers Exhibition.


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