Vendulka – Owner
Vendulka opened OliVen with her partner Olivier in 2011 on the Isle of Wight and the name of the shop is a combination of their names Olivier and Vendulka – OliVen. After four lovely years on the island filled with creating, teaching and also giving birth to their two children they decided to move the business to the mainland and settled in picturesque village of Monks Eleigh in Suffolk.
Vendulka started sewing and dress making with her mother as a young girl back in the Czech Republic but it was at spring 2008 when attending beginners patchwork class in Aberdeenshire her passion for quilting was born. Vendulka is now a prolific quilt maker, she loves a challenge and her interest comprises from Cathedral window techniques, free motion quilting and machine embroidery, hand embroidery to some surface design techniques using Markal Paint sticks, Marabu Liners, painted Bondaweb, foil and many more. Her biggest passion is to make textile hangings inspired by yoga, sacred geometry, buddhism, symbolism and often carrying interesting messages.
As the business continues to grow and prosper Vendulka spends her time teaching workshops, sewing or thinking about the next artistic project whilst loving every minute of it. In addition she travels to teach groups and give talks.
Olivier is Vendulka’s partner and has been helping her in the shop since it’s inception. Although a fully trained pastry chef and chocolatier he has given up this career path and fully embraced the world of textiles. His talents lie with more artistic installations and he has created some stunning 3D pieces and felted objects. Other than felting he also enjoys experimenting with texture, chenille work and painting.
With a very good eye for colour he is the main go to person in the shop for colour combinations and is the expert in working out fabric requirements for borders, backings and bindings.
Charlie joined the team at OliVen’s in Feb 2017 as a general all round helper in the shop and on the website. As a young girl she learnt from her Nana to sew, knit and crochet but did not take up patchwork until she joined an evening class on patchwork whilst in her mid 20’s. Since then her passion for crafting has mainly focused on quilt making but she has been part of an informal quilting group for nearly 20 years and during that time the group have been taught and tried out many different techniques, from indigo dyeing, soldering techniqes, plastic bag weaving and embroidered pieces. Working surrounded by the craft of patchwork is like a dream come true, although it is still a daily struggle to resist buying all of the lovely fabrics in the shop.