Introducing Alicia Archer, founder and creative director of Pattern Hive, wife to creative partner-in-crime Sam, and Mum to 3-year-old Cheeky Charlie and 2 Fur-babies.

Pattern Hive is based in the lovely silk town of Macclesfield, Cheshire.
They are a new and exciting print design studio, driven by a passion to produce fresh, contemporary print designs for the global home, fashion and lifestyle markets. The studio is home to Alicia and a vibrant team of designers; complete with a wealth of experience in the textile industry. They strive to create a diverse collection of hand-crafted, on-trend and commercial prints covering a vast array of trends and influences with the addition of bespoke creative design services to fulfil their client’s specific needs.

“The main inspiration for my work comes from the beauty in nature, observing and interpreting vibrant flora, fauna, colours and interesting patterns within it. I get excited at exploring new ways of designing, be it with new painting techniques or the emergence of new digital design software techniques to enhance my artwork”

“We are continually contributing to the extensive and eclectic Pattern Hive portfolio, adding new prints to our online print shop on a weekly basis, which customers from all over the globe can conveniently peruse and purchase, 24/7.

“We use a range of processes to create our designs. The majority of our collection is hand-crafted by our talented team of designers who then modify their artwork in CAD software, creating the desired final design, usually in seamless pattern repeats, including element/motif or colour separated layers ready for the customer.”

Alicia first became an AVA user after she graduated university, and has been using the software consistently for the past decade.

“I first discovered AVA after graduating from University, being awarded a place on the full AVA CAD Specialist Training course, which then enabled me to springboard my career in the textile industry working with one of the world leaders in home textiles where I utilised the software on a daily basis, propelling my CAD skills to new levels. I have continued to use AVA CAD CAM software with my new business venture as it has proved to be a very valuable resource for both design development and production of prints for the Pattern Hive collections.”

Alicia uses the AVA software because of the efficiency involved in creating seamless pattern repeats into separated layers, ready for production.

Her advice to new designers looking to start a career in the design industry would be:

  • Focus on your passion and keep fuelling that drive, striving for new ideas, concepts, innovations and learning to propel you through your development as a designer, gaining new skill sets, knowledge and experience along the way.
  • Be humble and ready to learn from your peers and industry leaders. The learning never stops, you never know it all! This is a fast-paced industry in an ever-changing global climate and you have to be adaptable, ready to evolve, to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Expect highs and lows, (they are inevitable) but remember they are part of the journey; they will shape you and hopefully drive you to succeed.
  • Feed your creativity! Do your research, tap into every resource available to you. Absorb inspiration around you, get out there to do market research and visit any trade shows you can.
  • Stay connected with people and what’s happening in the current market, utilising social/business networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.
  • Be you! You may need to be adaptable and diverse in certain settings to fit in with a company or brands for identity/guidelines, but remember your importance and value in that process.