Oct Meet the Maker: Wintercroft
Being able to feature Wintercroft’s product in our Play Pretend box was something we really wanted to share with our subscribers. Steve Wintercroft and his wife Marianne are the duo behind this eclectic company. We love how these masks can encourage anyone to get creative-- the polygon design by itself already looks so cool. It’s even better that they encourage their customers to reuse and recycle materials! Let’s get to know Wintercroft, the one that can save you on last-minute costumes that don’t look last-minute at all!
Tell us about who's behind Wintercroft and your background?
My name is Steve Wintercroft and I live with my wife Marianne and two children in Yorkshire, North East England. By nature I am obsessively creative and started making things as a kid with my granddad. I studied Art and design, then furniture studies and have been designing and building custom surfboards since I was a teenager. I've worked as a cabinet maker but have spent most of my time as a full time surfboard shaper. Since 2013 my wife and I have been designing and selling templates and instructions that enable our customers to make 3dimensional Low-Polygon Masks from waste card.
How did designing these masks come about?
The original inspiration for our business came out of necessity. I’d been invited to a friend’s Halloween party, struggling to come up with a suitable costume and short of time I raided the recycling bin for card. After gathering together some waste card, a roll of packing tape and a knife I set to work building a mask. Everyone at the party loved the mask so we developed the idea of supplying a digital kit that would help other people to make their own masks.
We are very impressed and amazed by these masks! What are some of your favorite designs?
My favourite masks change all of the time, I currently enjoy wearing the Magic Hat around the office. I also have a soft spot for the Zack and Quack Mask on our shelf that came into being through a chance meeting that led to a collaboration.
What's your mission and vision?
I have a strong belief that making things is a very valuable part of being human, it enriches our lives and gives us control over the objects that we surround ourselves with. Some people are not naturally gifted makers but with the right tools and guidance anyone can make something of beauty and value. Our goal then is to provide you with a starting point and the knowledge needed to create amazing things from simple materials. Parallel to this runs my desire to create a business that makes a positive difference to the people and environment that we interact with. Supplying our products digitally and encouraging our customers to use reclaimed or recycled materials helps us minimise our impact on the environment. By supporting a number of animal welfare and environmental campaigns we can hopefully make a positive change.
How would you like to expand?
Our business grows by engaging with new people and through this we develop new creative collaborations. These connections are always rewarding and fun so we are constantly looking for new ways to connect, engage and collaborate. I really enjoy the process of enabling people to take simple materials and create beautiful things from them. Over past year we have been working on a new range of ideas that will take is process further.
What are some of the challenges that come your way as an artist and creative entrepreneur?
I find, as I imagine most entrepreneurs do, in order to run a successful business you need to master or at least manage a whole range of contradictory skills. Developing our products requires a free, creative, artistic and often chaotic way of thinking that is in direct opposition to the structure and order needed to keep a business functioning on a day to day basis.
What advice would you share with others who want to go into a creative business?
Make sure that you are doing something that you believe is important, that what you create is of quality and makes a difference to the people that interact with it.
Want more mask templates?
Get 10% off* entire digital mask order at wintercroft.com: CREATE2016. Expires January 15, 2017.
*The code is valid for any digital mask in their store and is taken off the cart total. THE CODE IS ONLY VALID FOR DIGITAL MASKS. IT IS NOT VALID FOR THEIR BOOKS OR JEWELRY.