Hello Momtaz! Who are you and what do you do?
Hello! I’m a Journalist (writing for magazines for over 15 years), Presenter (TV, radio and live events) and Crafts Expert - I’ve worked in the crafts industry for over 10 years including designing crafts projects for Children’s BBC, being Editor of a crafts magazine, writing crafts books and running workshops.
Why do you love what you do
I’m never bored! I’ve curated my career so that I can do things I truly love – every week is varied. One day I’m interviewing a Bollywood megastar for a video interview, the next day I’m writing about cake for a wedding magazine and that same evening I could be teaching a crafts workshop.
I’m constantly inspired by your beautiful, colourful wardrobe. Have you always made your own clothes? How did you get started?
Like a lot of Bangladeshi women in London in the 1980s my mum was a seamstress, sewing clothes for British high street stores like C&A. I grew up watching her sewing on a huge Singer sewing machine so ‘making clothes’ was something that was completely normal, although her machine was so precious she never let me touch it! When it came to choosing my A’levels I discovered that there were two colleges in London that offered A’Level Fashion so I enrolled at one of them and that’s when I first started making proper clothes that I could wear. I also spent my first wages from my weekend job when I was 17 on buying a sewing machine so I could continue sewing in the holidays.
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
I am a superfan of Indian Fashion Designer Manish Arora. He creates quirky, rainbow fused, embellished outfits that capture the fun side of fashion then on a serious side, behind the scenes he works with incredibly talented crafts people who do the ornate embroideries and handiwork. Working with him in some form would be a dream.
What exciting plans do you have for the next year?
I’m always making plans! I’ve been running London Craft Night The Make Escape for over five years and that’s now expanding to run more craft workshops, I’m working on a children’s TV craft show pilot and am spending more time on my blog Craft and Travel. I’m on a mission to travel the world learning about different crafts so lots of travel plans too. Plus, I’ll be at The Handmade Fair in September where you can join me on the Friday and Saturday to make needle-felted vegetables.