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Sitting Down With Soph from Soeuf Shop

Hello! My name is Sophie from Soeuf Shop, I also go by Soph the Oeuf, I am a full-time egg maker (not a chicken!). I'm 22 years old and Coventry born and bred. I've lived here all of my life except for 3 years away at university in Liverpool.

What made you start your creative journey into EGGS?!

It has honestly been so crazy for me because it was a complete fluke! During the first lockdown I was furloughed and so like everyone else, had lots of time on my hands, which I enjoyed! My brother had just moved into his first house, we'd been playing around with salt dough and I had a little bit left over, so for a bit of fun, I made him and egg -Inspired by @dceezy's finale product in a series we'd been watching called Blown Away (see it here). My brother posted it on the instagram he had set up for his new home @househomo (ed: go check it, the decor is awesome) and people just loved it! People were asking if they were available to buy, which I couldn't believe; I thought they'd gone mad! Not only because it was an egg but it was one I had made! Because of the reaction he asked me to make him one for his 1K giveaway and we decided that by the time the winner was announced I'd have an instagram account for the eggs and well, Souefshop was hatched! I always feel incredibly lucky because it's something I never would have attempted or even considered for myself but it let me punch through that insecurity that had made me feel trapped in a conventional job for so long!

Do you make these beauties yourself? Was it self-taught or did you learn at school/college/uni? I’d love to hear how you began to make these treasures.

I am the chief (and only) egg maker, every single creation you've seen on my instagram has been individually, handmade by me. That is one of the proudest aspects of what I do – people have often suggested using moulds or casts to speed up the process, but honestly, I take a lot of joy in knowing that every egg I make is completely unique! Although I would love to say otherwise, I have no art training at all, in fact I studied History at university and was planning on returning to do a master’s degree before the pandemic hit, but because of circumstances I pulled out and I’m so glad I did because now I get to live in my eggy paradise!

If you could go back and tell your younger self something eggcellent that they needed to hear, what would it be?

If I could go tell baby Soeuf something it would be that you don’t need to be cookie-cutter perfect at something to do it. I never thought there was any space/chance I’d ever do something artistic with my life, but now I can recognise that’s what I’d wanted but denied to myself so that I wouldn’t fail at it. But just doing exactly what feels right to me now, has been the most freeing experience of my life and I think it’s a good way to live. We’re quite used to be funnelled down expected pathways of education and 9-5 jobs to be ‘successful’ but if the pandemic taught be anything it was the value in having your own time to live your own life. So that’s the most magical thing that running my own business has offered me!

Do you work from home or in a studio space?

I work from home, I’m lucky enough to have a very supportive and understanding Mum who can keep her cool when I turn the house into an eggy bombsite pretty much every day! In the summer months I worked in our shed at the end of the garden, but by December, despite the two heaters, thermals and blankets, it got a little too cold for me so the Dining room has been commandeered. BUT as the sun is out again, I’m back in the shed which I have freshly tidied and started to organise it in a more egg friendly manner! The shed is a really great place for me to work, in fact, its where I used to revise for my A-levels. It works so well for me because the walk down the garden acts as the separation for me between relaxing and focusing, so I work well when I have that specific space dedicated to hatching eggs! Not only that but it’s lovely to work in, in Spring/Summer because we have so many trees next door that I can look at and all the birds love playing in our garden! On the walls I like to have some other small biz faves art and a couple of eggs that I just couldn’t part ways with!

Who or what inspires your egg creations?

I genuinely don’t have any specific or straight forward answer. I think the fairest thing to say is that they have really taken over my world and my brain, I’m thinking of them 24/7 and so my brain is doing like an internal rolodex of ideas that could slot into an egg theme. Like a one armed bandit, there is often that jackpot moment and I have to scribble it down! The best example for that is the ‘Born Drippy’ design, that was a real Eureka moment! A lot of my work is based on puns and my terrible sense of humour so that’s where the cross over comes but then a lot of the stuff is random things I just want to paint on them – which I know in theory has no place on an egg but here I am!

Two of Soph's Punny Eggs.

Stopp, I LOVE your humour! What do you get up to when you are not creating egg masterpieces? I saw that you’re a part time egg maker, what do you do with the rest of your time!?

So I’ve recently quit my job as a waitress, to become a full time egg maker which is extremely exciting! I would still like to do a masters degree but it’s something I’m not rushing into as I am so happy with what is happening in my life right now that I see no reason to give it up! History isn’t going anywhere so I’ll revisit it when it’s the right time.

What’s next for Soeuf?! I’d love to hear where you see your project going and what avenues you fancy exploring or a “THAT IS THE DREAM” goal if you feel like sharing?

You’d think I’d have run out of ideas for things to put on eggs but I have so many more things that I would love to do! I would like to alternate between making more exclusive themed collections and some of my classic designs. I just released my first themed collection ‘Pop Oeuf!’ based on pop art and the reaction was absolutely wonderful, so I’m hoping to continue making more of these! I do have a dream but it feels like a crazy pipe dream, but I have since university dreamed of curating an exhibition that used art to express something more than history itself. It’s hard to explain quite what I mean (even to myself!) but I have a few ideas where I would like to use my eggs as a medium for expressing political stances that I think are very important! If I could do that, and have them shown somewhere where people could see them I would just be completely blown away.

Are there any cool independent places worth checking out in Coventry?

In Coventry, especially when I was growing up there were not many exciting or creative spaces to visit or be, apart from a small handful of places including Fargo village, a hub of independent shops businesses and bars and the 2tone village a memoriam of the SKA 2tone music label founded in Coventry.

(Ed: I have to add somewhere myself as I frequent the most awesome Palestinian restaurant in Coventry called Habibi . It's fiercely independent, authentic and so damn tasty, where you sit outside under blankets with and eat an array of small dishes from the Middle East and BYOB)

If you like what you see, you can find Souefshop in the following places ready for her next upload on Sunday 17th October at 8pm;

Instagram : @soeufshop

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