We are delighted to have collaborated with the super talented Nicola Holbrooke who created the imaginative and magical Christmas Kalenderhaus. Recently she has turned her attention to creating beautiful rice paper outfits for her gingerbread dolls using imagery from the Wild and Gorgeous Autumn Winter 2016 and Spring Summer 2017 collections. On 25th and 26th March she will be at the Wild and Gorgeous Harrods pop up and inviting children to get stuck in, decorate a doll or two which they will be able to take home with them. We caught up with Nicola to find out a little bit more about the inspiration behind Clever Gretel.
I launched Clever Gretel just before Christmas 2015. I’ve always loved making things for my kids to do and for friends who don’t feel quite so confident about baking and assembling. When my daughter asked me to make an advent calendar for her and her brother to decorate their gingerbread house with, I thought it would be a great kit for families to do together over Christmas. And so, Clever Gretel was launched with it’s first product, KalenderHaus.
Were you inspired by anyone or anything in particular?
My daughter is a great inspiration. She comes up with so many ideas for Clever Gretel and is a business partner in the making! There are so many opportunities for people to turn their creativity into businesses, however small and I find it really inspiring to be surrounded by that.
You made your name with the Kalenderhaus. If you were to recreate one famous building in biscuit which would it be and why?
There are so many iconic buildings that I would love to do. I have done a gingerbread Big Ben in a jar for the last few New Years, which you can see on my bespoke cakes nicolaholbrooke.com. For now, for Clever Gretel, I would love to do an alternative Christmas gingerbread house. Maybe a Miami beach house with some festive palm trees! I love to use printed icing so I would also love to do a gingerbread doll house with edible wallpaper and decorative furniture. I’m always thinking of ways that I can use edible printed images so watch this space…
How did you get the idea to create edible paper clothing to dress your gingerbread dolls?
I love doing the workshops at Wild & Gorgeous and I really wanted to create an activity that was unique for them. I was looking at their collection for inspiration and there were all these gorgeous images of clothes staring out at me. I think everyone loves the idea of paper dolls and kids love Wild & Gorgeous clothes and might even have the same outfits that they put on their biscuits. And once again, any excuse to use those edible printed images!
If you had to choose one Wild and Gorgeous outfit which would it be?
While at a meeting at Wild & Gorgeous I got a sneak peek at the Spring/summer collection and immediately fell in love with the Mexican inspired white cotton embroidered dress. It’s the perfect summer dress. I wish they did it in my size..but I’ll have to live vicariously through my daughter!
What can we expect next from Clever Gretel?
I love the idea of people sitting down and getting creative together and I hope that the products from Clever Gretel do that. They make great activities to do at parties and a wonderful party gift to take home, something for families to do together at holidays and a totally unique gift (as a kit for them to do or made by you with love). And I want parents to get as much fun out of it as the boys and girls so that it doesn’t matter if you are 5, 15 or 45. I’m always trying to come up with new ideas for more biscuit kits but I see Clever Gretel naturally branching out into non edible kits as well. I know there is huge satisfaction from making something beautiful and stylish yourself. That’s what Clever Gretel is there to help you do.