Redesigning Alice: Etsy and the British Library joint project (Category:Creative / Artistic, Entrepreneurial)

Name of Submitter(s): Dina Malkova

Organisation: Dina Malkova

I have been inspired by the original Alice's Adventures Under Ground with fantastic illustrations by Lewis Carroll and thought of creating the range of bow ties and other gift products to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice! A fragment of the original book illustration was used to create the fabric to make bow ties, ties, cuff links and pocket squares.
URL for Entry:


Twitter: dinamalkova

Job Title: Owner/designer

Background of Submitter:

Dina is a designer, maker and businesswoman. Her career has been varied, from running a big hotel in Tashkent, running a fashion design business and studying Enterprise Management for the Creative Arts at the University of the Arts in London. Dina is running a small studio in Lewes, East Sussex, where she creates and makes her collections. The V&A Gift shop and Glyndebourne Opera shop are among the stockists of Dina's designs.

Problem / Challenge Space:

The challenge was to create new gift products by using the original hand drawn illustrations by Lewis Carroll.

Approach / Methodology:

The methods used:
a) studying the original manuscript which was exciting! and great for finding about the topic.
b) searching for and analysing customers’ buying patterns, preferences and tastes.
c) online research for Alice products/gifts to identify the niche
and make sure that someone else hasn't already used the same idea

Extent of showcasing BL Digital Content:

The gift products were created and developed for the Lewes Bow Ties brand. Founded by Dina Malkova, Lewes Bow Ties are hand-made from vintage fabrics in limited numbers. The bow ties are self-tied, adjustable in length and each bow tie is packaged in a vintage style gift box made of recycled paper. As you can see by the image below, Dina has used a fragment of the original book illustration to create new fabric for this bow tie. - See more at:

Impact of Project:

The project was a success and led to generated income and publicity. The Lewes Bow Ties is one of the winners of Redesigning Alice competition this year and it's bow ties and cuff links will be sold at the British Library Alice in Wonderland Shop this Autumn.

Issues / Challenges faced during project(s):

The biggest challenge was to find the local supplier of digitally printed fabrics. I wanted reliable, affordable and creative company, who would share the excitement about Alice competition. The fabric had to be made in the UK so finding the right price was not easy either. With a bit of luck and negotiations the right supplier was found just in time!