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Meet the Maker - Sarah-Jane Brand

Meet Sarah-Jane Brand. The talented artist behind the CUTEST baskets of all time! In early 2013, Sarah-Jane started to make plastic bead baskets based on a Swedish craft from the 1970's. After encouragement from my family and friends, she decided to open her shop and call it HEJSAN GOODS. (Pronounced 'Hey-San', it is the Swedish word for 'hello!')

Sarah-Jane loves to recreate the playful combinations of colour and pattern as in the original baskets. All her baskets are designed and carefully handmade from her home in the West of Scotland. She was nice enough to answer all our burning questions. Let's get into it!

Q. How would you describe your creations to someone who’d never seen it?

A. Bold, playful and BIG on colour!

Q. What do you hope people get from your creations?

A. I think my baskets are cheering you on, like they’re sitting on your shelf throwing bursts of colour at you. Like they’re relentlessly cheerful.

Q. Can you describe your personal home decorating style?

A. I aim for a clean, modern rustic look, with some European decadence thrown in. But I cannot resist the kitsch. Also, I have three young kids, so my decorating style at the moment is mostly trying not to have crumbs and half-finished LEGO all over my sofa.

Q. What’s your favourite item at home/your most treasured possession (functional or decorative)?

A. I feel guilty picking just one thing! But I’ll go for a built-in cupboard in my kitchen. It was probably made in the 1960’s and it has wooden shelves and rickety glass doors with a sweet little turn-latch. The reason it’s so precious is because my husband keeps threatening to knock it down and turn it into a pantry, so it’s earned a sort of ‘endangered’ precocity for me. I love it, I display all my nicest china in it and I will always fight for it to stay. Hands off, hubby!

Q. What (other than art) are you passionate about, and can you tell us a bit about it?

A. Right now, my oldest is really into Pokemon and I am a total sucker for stuff like that. We play the online game and try to earn new cards and poke-coins. It can be quite vicious as I am unattractively competitive. Oh, and gardening! I’m just getting into gardening. We started growing vegetables a few years ago and I’m hooked. I’m not a natural, but it is so rewarding. Spending an afternoon pottering around outside definitely makes me feel better than, say, losing a bunch of battles on Pokemon TGCO.

Q. What’s your favourite quote or saying?

A. I remember my parents would say ‘Easy come, easy go’ when we were kids and it’s something I’ve said ever since. It partly makes me feel better if I lose something, like don’t worry about it, it’s just stuff. But also I think it’s saying that you get out what you put in. Work hard and earn your way. If it all comes too easily, then it can all disappear the same way. 

Q. Something I have a particular interest in is human resilience - Can you tell us about a challenge in your life that turned out to be a blessing?

A. I have partial hearing loss – it just happened one day about 8 years ago. I was a new mother and already had many changes to deal with. When the doctor told me my hearing loss was permanent, I was angry. And after, I felt sad. I was worried that it would change how I heard things and that I was going to miss things like my kid talking or not being able to listen to music the same way. But now it’s not a problem, I barely notice it. The nurse told me that my senses would adjust and your body compensates for things like this. 
Blessing: if my husband starts snoring, I can just turn my head on the pillow and get right back to sleep. Bonus!

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