Willow was born from a life-long love of history and creativity.
Natasha spent much of her childhood in the cosy home of her grandparents, two of the biggest inspirations and motivations in her life. Her grandad would spend days in his self-built garage and greenhouse making and growing things, occasionally allowing her to 'help' by holding 'very important' tools. Her granny would make beautiful clothes from her living room, the comforting hum of the sewing machine running through the house - and she's still trying to teach Natasha how to sew and bake 'the proper way'.
As an only child, Natasha would while away the hours drawing, painting and creating with her grandparents. The days were punctuated by eagerly anticipated trips to museums, castles and the theatre during the school holidays. She would pilfer well-worn books from her grandparents' bookshelves and curl up beside her ever-patient mum each evening, losing herself in stories, maps and illustrations of far-off places and far-off times. Her mum jokes about how Natasha would even try to read the dictionary to her.
She was encouraged to pursue a creative career, and after completing her GCSEs Natasha duly enrolled at a local art school. She lasted six weeks. This stubborn, obstinate child just couldn't stand being forced to copy other artists' styles when she was only interested in cultivating her own. So she found a job at an art shop and reapplied to sixth form to pursue academia instead.
A couple of years later she found herself reading Classics at the University of St Andrews, having no previous knowledge of either Latin or Greek. And she thrived. Focusing on Greek tragedy and ancient epic, Natasha was once again consumed by those stories she'd first discovered in her childhood. It was a module in ancient magic - curses, potions and necromancy, oh my! - that laid the first foundations for what would become Willow.
After graduation, Natasha and her now-fiancé moved to the beautiful city of Edinburgh. She found a job working weekends at a local boutique while she figured out what she wanted to do with her life, but quickly found that she had an aptitude for social media and online marketing. Now the online and social manager of that same boutique, she once again found her creative impulses straining to get out.
She turned, as always, to her mum for advice. They had long dreamed of owning a shop together, but living so far apart had forced them down different paths. Her mum - now owning and running a successful café in their hometown - encouraged her to just get on and do it, and suggested the name Willow, after Newton-le-Willows, the town Natasha's grandparents grew up in.
When it came to what she would actually make, the answer seemed obvious. Natasha had always loved the idea of jewellery, but had never built up much of a collection, being unable to find pieces she truly loved. Simple, geometric, but with a story behind them. She experimented with a few different materials before landing on polymer clay with all its simplicity and flexibility.
And the inspiration for the first collection fell as if in a dream: magic. Specifically, the marginal women of myth and history. The goddesses, mythic sorceresses, and tragic women condemned as witches. Hekate, the triple-formed goddess of the moon provided the basis of the collection with its triangular and crescent moon shapes. And other woman lent their names to the collection: gone, but not forgotten.