the blog where we celebrate our amazing presenters by having a catch-up and get to know them a little better! Last month we chatted with the lovely Hayley Westt, who told us about his highlights of being Hochanda among many other things – if you missed it, you can catch up here.
Now, it is time to unveil who this month’s star is…
Hi my name is Fiona and I am a freelance presenter on Hochanda, and I have been with the team since the launch 5 years ago. Where has that time gone? Previously I presented on Gemstone TV and Jewellery maker for over 10 years.
I am a trained actor and still tread the boards, but love being able to utilise those skills in the presenting world.
What have you enjoyed most about being part of the Hochanda family?
Oh so much. It really has opened a whole new world to me, and revitalised a whole side to my creativity. There are so many new skills that I have been introduced to. I love learning and variety, and there is plenty of that at Hochanda. The whole team here are brilliant, as are the guests we get to present with, and everyone is very generous with their knowledge and top tips.
Have you picked up a new craft recently?
Not necessarily a new craft, but it has re-invigorated my love of sewing, and I have the lovely Hayley West to thank for that. She set me off on my sewing journey with a new sewing machine, and both Hayley and Natasha, always make me feel like I can achieve the projects. The guests with their fantastic skills, also fill me with confidence, and I am always listening attentively, it’s fabulous. My little girl loves to draw and colour, so this Christmas Santa is introducing her to a stamping platform and some stamps, but don’t tell.
Can you tell us a little more about your love of panto, maybe a career highlight?
Well I started working in pantomime over 20 years ago, and 3 years ago we decided to set up out own pantomime company, PantoEverAfter. At the heart of which is the story telling element. Often pantomime is a child’s first experience of live theatre, and to see their expressions, and their utter belief in what is happening on stage is priceless. It’s a great experience for all the family across the ages, which is why I love it so much. Having our own company means we are involved in all of the processes, from costume, to set design, lighting, writing the script, hiring the actors, costume, make up, and we get to work with fabulous creative people. It ties in with a lot of creative skills you see on Hochanda. As for a career highlight? I’ve rubbed shoulders with a few famous folk and worked with them on stage, but honestly, just glad to still be working in the industry.
What type of crafting is your favourite and why?
Aside from sewing, I do love painting and drawing. I did Art as an O‘level and A’level, and then went on to do an Art Foundation course. I am always in awe of the stamp designs that the crafters create and draw by hand.
What has been your highlights since you joined Hochanda?
Looking back, what I have loved seeing is the smaller, homegrown business, gain exposure on Hochanda and really grow, and for our audience to grow and love them as well, and see them go from strength to strength. I’ll always remember Daisy Chains’ first morning on Hochanda, and being with Rowandean in those early days. Supporting those smaller companies, I think is really important, and more so now than ever. I’ve also loved seeing individual crafters go solo, and turn their passion into a business. It’s inspiring. Hochanda is a platform I’m proud to be part of.
Thanks for joining us once again in the Presenters’ Corner, we hope you’ve enjoyed a nice relaxing read. Be sure to look out for next month’s edition for a catch-up with another fantastic presenter. Learn more about Fiona on her presenters’ page!