Set in the heart of the British countryside, Maker&Son’s studio, ‘Kemps House’ is a haven of creativity, bustling with ideas, laughter and, of course, the most beautiful set of sofas we’ve ever seen. We were lucky enough to spend an afternoon with Marnie, best known for her iconic ‘sofa jump’ which has now become synonymous with the Maker&Son brand. We caught up on everything from the start of the slow motion videos, the history of Kemps house and, of course, the joy of wearing dresses.
I started working with Alex when I was 17, maybe… On my first day, I was at Kemps, I think I cleared the workshop out. We were building new workstations. Alex needed help and I really like doing hands-on, physical things so I ended up painting frames and stretching canvases.
From that, we just ended up working together and when Maker&Son started, I just did whatever needed to be done. So many jobs. I was emailing people, I was cutting up samples, and admin things. And then I have no idea how that translated into doing this.
I think occasionally we’d do a still on a sofa. It was never serious. Then the jump. Then I guess we went to Wales. It was so long ago. We did that falling back video on the beach in Wales, but it wasn’t so much of a jump. It was definitely slo-mo and it was just a moment in time.
My grandparents lived here for 40 years and my mum lived here with her parents. It was always a very special and social place - it still is. People were there all the time; there were parties all the time. My grandad loved a party, he loved talking, and he would chat the night away.
Then around 2006, they all moved out and Alex and his family moved in. One day my mum walked over to meet him and little by little, we all got to know each other and ended up becoming so close.
I think it just came to Alex; he’s very spiritual. He just wanted to slow life down.
It was so gradual, that it wasn’t like ‘this is what we’re doing’.
We do all sorts and are open to ideas coming from anywhere. We all muck in. These days we have a bigger team. Before, we were doing everything - carrying sofas, planning all the sets, the styling, the clothes - lots of online shopping and raiding my mother's wardrobe for lots of dresses, oh and so much steaming, plumping, then of course also jumping into furniture.
But, I still do carry a fair few sofas a week.
Horse riding has always been a massive part of my life. Now, I play tennis and I play football on Saturdays. I’ve just enrolled on an electrician’s course, I’m going to then do plastering. I want to have really good life skills and I want to renovate a house someday.
My favourite part about my job is absolutely the people I work with. My day to day shoot team. I absolutely adore working with strong, intelligent women. Our team on set day to day is great and it’s great that we get so much done. Everyone is just on it. The care to achieve things at a high standard is really nice.
It’s going to have to be Killing Eve. Even though it’s just finished I’ve started watching it from the beginning again. It’s my favourite TV series of all time. I’m obsessed with Jodie Comer and also the wardrobe is insane.
Eclectic. My style is just a bit mental. I can go from being dressed like a small boy to loving old clothes, I love vintage! It’s funny because I really like clothes on other people more than myself.
When I was younger I was such a tomboy and wouldn’t be seen dead in a dress and, as I’ve gotten older, I now absolutely love wearing a dress. But I think for so long I really had imposter syndrome.
Now for me, I think dresses are like a celebration. It’s like… oh, I can wear this… and I look good… and it’s fine. Dresses have a big part of my heart. For a long time, I think I felt like people had a thing about it, or were like - that’s not you. But now I have the confidence to know it is also me.
I don’t but if I really don't like something I’m not going to wear it. Sometimes when it’s freezing it's a challenge to put a dress on to go outside.
I’d say, on a practical level - socks. Sweaty feet and shoes are my ideas of hell.
Is a hat an item of clothing or an accessory? Because a hat in any form… cowboy, beanie, cap... Any hat, I absolutely love hats.
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For more stories, try the The Story of the Rah Rah Skirt