The HoBo Story

Hi, thanks for stopping by. I'm Tracy Berry, owner and founder of HoBo Handmade.

Based in Leigh-on-Sea in the east of England, a coastal town on the Thames estuary. Full of unique character, charm and colour, and a thriving artistic community. The galleries and pavement cafes, the famous cockle sheds, colourful fishing boats, cobblestone streets, the sandy beach which, when the tide goes out, becomes a beautiful muddy landscape. It's a wonderful place to live and work. 

Lovely Leigh-on-Sea in the winter snow

Lovely Leigh-on-Sea in winter. My home town.

I grew up in London but have lived in several places in the UK. I've worked in several industries and I've travelled the world. Backpacking and working, in Europe, Asia, North Africa and Australia. It all started as a portable hobby and a passion for making things. Then a dream - a portable business that I could take anywhere in the world - the idea for HoBo Handmade was born.

It was 2006 on the homeward bound journey of another adventure travelling the world by train with my husband, Mike. We continued our travels in the UK in our trusty old motorhome, working as we went, and I knitted. Constantly!

Our Old Bus - in the New Forest

We have now returned home (just 30 miles from London where I grew up). We have no plans to move again (except for the occasional short adventure!) - It turns out heart is where the home was! And I had found my passion - knitting!

Train Journey on the Trans Siberian Railway - Where the idea for HoBo Handmade was born.

The HoBo journey began - on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Gobi Desert

The name HoBo Handmade is derived from the words Homeward Bound, with a nod to our nomadic lifestyle and love of train travel! The song of the same name by Simon and Garfunkel also featured heavily on our playlist while we were away and, on occasion, a little homesick!

I like to think of myself as an artisan expressing myself and my values through 2 knitting needles and a ball of yarn. I hand knit earthy, stylishly simple, thick chunky bobble hats, beanies and earwarmers.

HoBo Handmade Chunky Knit Headband Earwarmers - in my courtyard garden studioThe HoBo Handmade Chunky Knit Earwarmer Headband.

To me earthy means practical, hearty, natural and uninhibited. Stylish is being comfortable in your own skin, finding who you are and being that person, both in the clothes you wear and the life you live. Simple to me means living your authentic life, without clutter or unnecessary adornment. All of these things form the basis of HoBo Handmade.

Hand knitted either in my winter studio, a lovely corner of my flat where we have a cozy log burner and lovely big, bright sash windows, or my summer studio in my little courtyard garden.

HoBo is inspired by my travels around the world, the wonderful fabrics, textures, colours and people that I came across, and my lovely home town. The colours of the fishing boats and local festivals, the sights of the beach and sounds of the sea, sometimes calm and serene, sometimes crashing and wild, but always with a rhythm that soothes the soul.

Over 14 years of building my knitting skills, plus my lifetime (so far) of amazing experiences, all come together to make your HoBo Handmade hat.

The Orginal HoBo Handmade Lofty Bobble Hat - available in my shop

HoBo's signature 'Lofty Bobble Hat', one of my first designs and still going strong

But enough about me! What about you, may I ask you a question or two..... you love long walks on the beach in the winter sunshine, beachcombing, collecting driftwood? Or days when it's windy and raining but you just have to be out there, feeling the elements on your face, watching the waves crashing, or the crunch of leaves under your boots? you love returning home after an exciting adventure to a crackling log fire, a big steaming pot of stew, and snuggling down with a good book or a great film? you love small indie music festivals and gigs. Acoustic guitars and maybe ukuleles and mouth organs? Strolling down cobblestone streets and browsing handmade markets? you sometimes like to get a bit messy and pull on your comfy boots and an old chunky knit jumper, it may have a few little holes but you just can't bear to part with it? you like to have your own unique style and are confident enough to wear it? you like the simple things in life?

Yes? Then you ARE HoBo - You need the accessories that go with your lifestyle, you need them to be made with the heart and soul of someone that holds all these things dear. You need to live this life looking your best unique cool self. Lets go on a journey together. Here's to the next adventure!

Tracy Berry - Founder of HoBo HandmadeThank you to everyone who has supported me on this exciting journey, it's been an amazing adventure so far. I am grateful to you all and am looking forward to the future of HoBo. It is continually evolving. 
Be warm, look cool! With love, Tracy x