...I have always loved to create and invent things. From the Blue Peter project days, to crazy hair styles, to making my own clothes and accessories, which led me and my mum (Louise) to become hair braiders over 25 years ago (can’t believe its been that long! I think we can call ourselves professionals now!- see below for pictures over the years). We travelled the south west of England in search of the perfect seaside pitch to soak up the sun and perfect our craft, adding in the services of henna, body art and eco glitter and braided jewellery along the way. We are now a friends and family run business with over 60 years of collective experience and insight.
We love the process of coming up with an idea and bringing it to life. We have made hundreds of different braids, braided accessory designs and kit ideas over the years and now I am sharing our favourite ones and skills with you all.
When The Braiding Circle first began, it was just me, in my day dreaming state thinking ‘this could really be something more’, and my desire to share our knowledge, skills, insight and craft with a wider audience was calling me. Now, I’m lucky enough to work with an incredibly talented group of ladies, all of whom have become great family friends.
We’ve had lots of success over the years at festivals, home parties, events and at our flag ship pitch in Lyme Regis, which can be put down to two main things; Firstly, we’ve been gifted with an eye for detail and trends, allowing us to keep our fingers on the pulse and craft to the highest standards and design. Secondly and most importantly, we operate not so much as a business but as a big family. We pride ourselves on treating our customers as we would our friends and this is one of our mantras, which has meant we have a wonderfully high returning customer rate, some coming to us for 10+ years.
'Find your feel good' + 'Creativity and good vibes can save the world'
Over The Years...
Penzance, 1993, aged 8. This is a picture of me with my first every hair braid! I am so pleased we have this picture! I loved it so much that I refused to have it taken out, so cut it out at the top and kept it in a special box. I love it when I hear of children loving their braids so much that they do similar. There is something special about them. Maybe its the summer memories associated with them. Its this braid that lead to me buying a a 'learn to braid at home kit' and then I braided my best friends beautiful blond hair, and took her down the supermarket to show it off to drum up business, and I would charge £0.50p. That was enough to buy quite a lot of sweets! I have no idea where all my confidence came from!
Lulwurth Cove, 2001, aged 15/16. We had a pitch here for a few beautiful years. Lots of lovely regulars, and the Purbecks are such a beautiful place, and where my mums side of the families routes are from.
Home hair plaiting and extension services: 2001, aged 16. I loved doing these, even though it was back breaking and loooonnnng days. I had my own hair done, and then had the idea of offering it out to others. I think I charged £100 for a full extended head and roped in friends and family to help. I loved making them go curly by plaiting them and dunking in boiling water.
Weymouth harbour: Summer 2003, aged 18. I remember that black silk money bag, and loved it soooo much! This was in the peddlers days at the harbour, many good trading and sunshine days here, with lunch breaks spent crabbing with my friends.
Lyme Regis: Summer 2004, aged 19. My love of puffa coats was in full swing! When you work outside you need to have alll the clothes for all the season changes which can happen in one day. This was also the first year we had a stall with a roof! We were going up in the world!
Lyme Regis: Summer 2006, aged 21. This is when I would come and help my mum out on the stall in between my time off from my other job as an art gallery manager. The pull of trading and working outside was something I could never shake off, and still to this day, it feels wrong if I am not trading in the summer holidays. I miss it so much.
Lyme Regis: Summer, 2007, aged 22. I was just about to go off to university this year, and I was getting a little upset that this could be the last year that I traded. Hahahahahha how wrong I was! Two degrees later and I am right back to where I started. Sometimes I think the universe has a plan for you.
~ Bridie x