quincylampshades

Posts Tagged ‘the makery

Whilst I adore going over to Bath to teach lampshade-making at The Makery and here at my home, I really wanted to bring the course here to my home town of Bristol. Et voila! I will be teaching at the Bristol Folk House on Sat 30th June, 10-1. Be quick – there are 10 places only and it’s extremely good value at just £28.25.

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People often ask me how I feel when I teach lampshade-making to individuals who then go on to make and sell their own lampshades. They ask me if I’m giving away my secrets and how I feel about the competition. Thing is: I don’t mind. We all know very little about a lot, and a lot about something. My something is lampshades and I want to share my skills and knowledge. Not everyone who attends a lampshade-making course at The Makery or has one-to-one tuition with me intends to set up business, but some do. I feel pleased and proud to help them on their way.

My first ever student was Maya Wilson, who runs her own interior decoration and fabric design company – Source. With me, she made a beautiful lampshade featuring her bird design fabric. Maya has gone on to produce her own select range of lampshades.

Maya Wilson - Source

Next was Gillian Goodman who wanted to offer her clients at Tala Valley Upholstery a bespoke lampshade-making service. Here is her first ever made-to-order shade. It’s rather lovely.

Gillian Goodman - Tala Valley

Most recently, Naomi Mcindoe, passionate and skilled in the art of papercutting, wanted to bring her papercuts to life as lampshades. So she came to me to learn some basic skills and do some experimenting. We were both chuffed to bits with the results. Naomi is in the very early stages of setting up business and I’m sure that with work like this she’s going to do well.

Mrs Mcindoe

Lampshade making is about to hit daytime TV! Anna Ryder Richardson will be demonstrating how to make a lampshade on the Alan Titchmarsh show on Fri 27th Jan at 3pm on ITV1. If you fancy having a go yourself, there are places available on my excellent morning courses at The Makery, where you can also buy all the materials you need to make more gorgeous lampshades at home, at very reasonable prices. Or you can always do one-to-one tuition with me at my home near Bristol. (Contact me) Here’s what a recent student of mine said:

Thank you so much for your tuition today, especially in the comfort of your lovely home.  I really enjoyed the one to one tuition as it was easier to focus on each task and to ask questions; and to go at my own pace.  I’m sure I could never have produced such a lovely lampshade otherwise!  Thanks for the inspiring chat about fabrics too.

My world grew this year. It billowed outwards and encompassed a world of new friends and touched lightly on the shoulders of business. With this alone, I am happy. I have been delighted by reciprocated kindnesses and taken aback by other’s selfless generosity. For me, this year has been about people.

I have made and sold over 200 lampshades. Selling via 5 online shops, one bricks and mortar, two pop-ups, a load of markets and fairs, and from my own home. I  have supplied wholesale and forged a partnership with an interiors supplier. More on-line shops are lined up for early next year, but they’ll be fewer markets and shows – I have to be pickier. Discovering that my grandfather was a lampshade-maker in the 50s was a joyful surprise. Over 20 people have learnt new lampshade-making skills from me. I have embraced and enjoyed social media, networking, and selling. Lampshades have been ripped apart, sold for peanuts, got squashed in boxes. Pricing and quoting has been difficult (the amount of quotes I’ve given for bespoke lampshades without a reply in response is really quite surprising, and dispiriting). I have got through 12 rotary cutters, 2 steam irons, 2 metal rules, one pair of scissors, 100m of fabric, 50m of PVC, hundreds of ringsets, roll upon roll of tape, corner punched hundreds of compliment slips, price-tagged, listed, and spent many hours ironing! Oh, the ironing.  I have grappled with a gazebo, carted around huge boxes, have frozen and fried to a crisp at various markets. I am in profit, and by a decent margin.

What does 2012 have in store? A new range of lampshades. An e-commerce enabled website. A rebrand. Perhaps my own shop on the Gloucester Road, Bristol, for one week only. What would you do, if you were owner at Quincy Lampshades?

Quick! If you want to make your own lampshade(s) and live anywhere near Bath – sign up! I’ll be tutoring sessions at The Makery on Thurs Nov 17th, 10-1, and Sun 11th Dec, 10-1. All you have to bring is half a metre of your favourite fabric. You choose the diameter and the depth. I provide the materials and the know-how. You’ll skip home admiring your very own lampshade, handmade by you.


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