I am Sophia Ingham, designer, artist, crafter, creator, teacher, mother and much more!
I run my business, Phia from my lovely new open studio/gallery Stiwdio 9 in Bangor, Gwynedd situated on the Menai Straits and at the foothills of the majestic Snowdonia mountains.
I was born into a very artistic family and spent my childhood creating and crafting, naturally progressing to study Fashion Design and Textiles at Llandrillo College, graduating with distinction from the University of Glamorgan in 2001.
Since then I have been raising two children and laying the foundations for my own label: Phia was tentatively launched in 2003, however raising a small family as a single Mum slightly interfered with my plans for global takeover… instead I gradually set up my business, studying eco-textiles and traditional skills such as couture, corsetry, millinery, upholstery, weaving, knitting and crochet (to name but a few…) along the way.
Having worked freelance for a couple of designers such as Frocked del la Valliere (based on Anglesey), I gained invaluable knowledge on running a fashion label but sadly witnessed first hand the throwaway nature of the fashion industry: I there and then vowed to use only the finest sustainable, recycled, foraged or waste materials in each individually unique Phia eco piece I create to the very highest quality! Environmentalism has always been a way of life for me and owning beautiful clothes one treasures is far more rewarding than adhering to disposable trends made from poor quality materials by people in poor conditions.
Over the years I worked with the Welsh Clothing and Textile Association, taking part in their fashion shows and events in London with the London Fashion Forum, Galeri in Caernarfon and at Parc Glynllifon.
In 2016 I facilitated the WRAP Love Your Clothes event in Bangor in association with Bangor University, raising awareness on clothing waste and running up-cycling workshops.
During the event we collected over a tonne of clothes which were then distributed around our partner charities such as Age Cymru, where I held a repairs cafe in store!
The event was a great success and it was lovely to work with such a great bunch of people!
Most recently I have been working with community projects to bring artists together and exhibiting my eco-artwork, as well as running exciting craft workshops such as freestyle weaving, dyeing and upholstery.
And in March 2019 our lovely open studio/art gallery Stiwdio 9 was born! Along with two other local artists we have realised our combined vision for an inspirational and functional Open Studio and Art Gallery where we can create and showcase our work whilst engaging with the public. Stiwdio 9 opened its doors on 7th April 2019 and we have been enjoying being Artists in Motion daily at our wonderful workplace, creating a great new dynamic movement!
So if you’re looking for something extra special and would like me to create you a beautifully unique Bridal gown or a fabulous piece of Phia eco crochet or knitwear, or have a much loved item which deserves a new lease of life, Phia is for you! Just pop into Stiwdio 9 for a chat or get in touch…
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoy my little website!