Archive for the ‘Collaborations’ Category
I really want to bring your attention to these because they are so beautiful and tactile. Map lampshades. You choose the map and I make the lampshade. Such perfect gifts, especially for those pesky men if your life who are difficult to buy for. These shades are made from genuine vintage OS maps so they feature their creases, but that just makes them all the lovelier. And the light they create is so warm and welcoming. Here’s one I made from a 1954 map of Exeter and the surrounding area, including the Exe estuary and north Devon. I loved making this – spotting all the places I know, well-travelled routes and villages I never knew existed. Available now from Malby Maps.
Let me introduce to you a certain Mrs O. From Scotland; hard-working, ambitious and creative. Nerves of steel, it would seem, to set up a wee business whilst working a full-time job involving overseas placements for months at a time. ‘Help!’ she said over email to me late one night, ‘I need to MAKE!’, she cried. Tired of batting administrative emails to and fro, Mrs O wanted to learn how to make the lampshades her and her business partner, Mrs G, had been outsourcing to a lampshade-makers elsewhere. Now Mrs G is a talented designer, producing the most lovely, hand-printed country landscape prints, linens and silks featuring stags, hares and hummingbirds that sell like hot-cakes. With an over-flowing order book, a not-so-flexible lampshade supplier and an eye on the numbers, Mrs O travelled all the way from Inverness to spend a day with me, learning how to make their silks into shades. We had a very good day. I shared my skills; she shared her knowledge. (She’s a clever one.) Since then, I have picked up some work from this happy partnership supplying lampshades direct to their customers and I am super-stoked to see them feature at Top Drawer, Sept 2012. That’s Orwell and Goode then.
And on the arrival of a beautiful Orwell and Goode lampshade as made by me? Here’s what our first happy customer said:
I just wanted to drop you an email to say that the lampshade has arrived and that I’m utterly thrilled with it. It’s far more beautiful that I thought it could be and the finish is so hugely neat & professional.
Stunning, thank you!! A very very happy customer!
Back in December I was unsure about Quincy Lampshades so I cast my net and looked for a paid job. I applied for a post I found via Gumtree – a small Bristol-based business was looking for a customer service assistant. I could do that, no problemo, what with my understanding of ensuring every customer’s happiness, especially when it comes to small business. The reply I received was unusual… I was rejected on the grounds that perhaps I wanted to supply lampshades to them instead! A sign? Or serendipity?
Today, after 8 months (during which time I happily decided to go full-tilt with Quincy), Belle and Boo are now proudly selling beautiful lampshades made by me.
“Welcome to the world of a bob haired little girl called Belle and her adorable bunny friend Boo – a charming world of innocence, warmth and adventure. Belle and Boo is a British lifestyle brand known for original, nostalgic ‘story book’ illustrations of children. The collection includes gift items, books, framed artworks, stationery, home wares and a beautiful collection of girls’ clothing.
Belle and Boo has universal appeal and is available in over 500 stockists worldwide. The collection is loved by grown-ups and children alike, with every treasured product designed to embody all that adults and children love about traditional, old-fashioned story telling.”
I do love a good bit of stationery, don’t you? In particular, letterpress. Swoon. Alas, no cash to splash on that but I do have some great stationery designed by Ali Slater as part of our Logo for Lampshades skill-swap…
Over the years, me and my laptop have migrated from the sofa in front of the TV to the kitchen table. When my boys were smaller, it was important that I watched them as they sat glued to Tom & Jerry cartoons, while ideas for my lampshade business buzzed through my brain. At the close of every classic episode from the 50s, the producer’s name, Fred Quimby, would roll. Oh! That sweeping, curlicue, brush-stroke ‘Q’!
I wanted that too!
So, with a little tweak, the Quincy name was born. I had to ditch my own dull attempt of a logo and find something that would shine bright with colour, just like my lampshades.
Goodness knows how it happened, but Twitter really did produce the goods by introducing me to Ali Slater (designer and self-confessed typography geek) who being local and clever and having a great portfolio was the perfect person for the job. We agreed on a skill swap – a logo for lampshades.
Ali chose three large lampshades with translucent polypropylene diffusers and a small Black Beetles table lampshade for her home – a converted warehouse with very high ceilings. They are going to look just fab!
The lovely Quincy logo performs beautifully, don’t you think? (And are skill swaps the way to go for start-up businesses?)
Can you see it? Away in the distance? That wave of red, white and blue coming towards us? Slowly at first, then gathering momentum as people rush to celebrate the Jubilee and the London Olympics. Soon it will crash upon us in a burst of energy. But how quickly will it dissipate and recede?
Ensuring that all things great about Britain are not washed out to sea is a new online shop selling and supporting British design and manufacturing. I’m proud to be selling with Gloriously British – and buyers should feel proud in purchasing high quality British-made goods. Founder of GB, Sophia Armitage, says:
‘GB was born from a belief that us Brits are a supportive bunch who want to purchase British made, UK economy boosting products … this is a gathering place for the quiet heroes; those artists, designers and manufacturers who help to make up the backbone of Britain’s economy … if you buy something made in the UK the money you spend remains in the British economy. Our suppliers are not faceless businesses they’re genuine skilled workers whose ability, passion and expertise is part of what makes Britain great.’
Live Local, Love Local, Buy Local – should we endeavour to embrace this concept? Can it be done?
It’s difficult. I know. Our village has a monthly market selling local produce and crafts. Aside from selling at it, I rarely visit. Why? I am lured into the convenient world of online grocery shopping offered by the big supermarkets and I loll there. I can shop on my phone from the comfort of my bed for goodness sake! But, it is possible to get the best of both worlds. Popping along to the village market, picking up a few bits and bobs for dinner, buying the freshest of bread and chatting to friends really can’t be beaten. It might be a tad more expensive and a bit bothersome, but as your shopping bag bumps against your leg on the walk home you feel a connection to your community that can’t be had from an app on your phone.
This Christmas past I attempted to buy gifts from small companies or direct from designer-makers in the UK. It was a challenge. Amazon won out, especially when it came to compiling wish lists for the children. But, if you know where to look (and therein lies the challenge) you can find the most marvellous things. I am proud to say that I sell my lampshades with Love-Local – an online retailer specialising in gifts made in Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. Here’s some of the best from the sunny South West -
How can you successfully make a lampshade with a 4-year-old boy kicking around?
- Postpone interruptions with promises of ‘in a minute’ until child reaches non-stop whining point.
- Accept the disturbance and just do/give whatever child wants.
- Limit subsequent interruptions by giving them an ‘adult job’.
- Take pleasure in child’s imagination and skill.
Voila! One beautiful lampshade and one happy lampshade-maker in the, well, making.