Thursday, 22 November 2012

Jean Power - Jewellery Designer and writer


Inspired: London featured Designer, Jean Power tells us about her business and what we can look forward to seeing in the future.


What is name and background behind your company?
I work under my own name: ‘Jean Power’ and have always done so.

Where are you based?
In London.

How long have you been in business for?
Solely for myself since 2007.



What do you love most about living in London?
The liveliness, the mix of cultures and nationalities, the secret quiet spots, the cocktails, the shops, the river…my love for London is endless!

Who or what inspires you?
I am mainly inspired by the beads I use. Their shape, structure and colour all inspire me to create my work.



What advice would you give designers starting out?
Practice! There is nothing else which makes as big an impact on your work as putting in the time to perfect it. Every minute you spend creating teaches you new things and I truly believe it all pays off.



What is new for your company?
I’m beginning a series of self-published books with one on geometric jewellery being the first which will be out around November time.




ilanaDesign - Handcrafted jewellery

This morning, we chat to the lovely Ilana about the inspiration behind her jewellery. ilanaDesign is featured in We Make London's new book, Inspired:London which is out now!


What is name and background behind your company?
My company name is called ilanaDesign and grew out of my fine arts and graphic design backgrounds. My intention is that all disciplines will intertwine, influence, shape and inspire one another.

Where are you based?
I am based in West Kilburn where I work from my cozy little flat.

How long have you been in business for?
Approximately 2 ½ years.


What do you love most about living in London?
I love that there is a plethora of design and art. So much inspiration everywhere you turn! I also love London’s big parks! Just couldn't go without mentioning that!

Who or what inspires you?
Things that are clever and creative inspire me. Simple and witty. Things that are larger than life and also those that are commonplace and almost go unseen. The people who inspire me are those who just get out and DO, and don’t let their fears get in the way.


What advice would you give designers starting out?
I still see myself as starting out, and I probably will for some time to come. It’s a process. A growth and a learning. I would say, find mentors, get advice, ask questions, see what and how others do what they do, build and nurture your network and have a colleague or two to regularly meet with to churn out ideas, get feedback and discuss challenges with (over a great cup of coffee of course!).

What is new for your company?
I’m working on some new collections and ideas are floating about. I continue to look for opportunities like the Makers at the Mill exhibition I recently took part in where I had to create a piece that was inspired by the historical location it was held in.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

I Wish I Was A - Handmade costumes

This afternoon, we discover more about Inspired:London featured designer, I Wish I Was A...




What is name and background behind your company? 
I’m a costume designer & maker based in London. I trained in textile design (specialising in embroidery) and have a background in film & TV

Given my background, I was delighted that my son had a natural passion for dressing up from an early age. He dressed in whatever he could find lying around the place (a marigold glove, a piece of string or cardboard cut to his requirements, a vintage fur hat, a fringed leather waistcoat). I watched how freely he played when his games sprung from his own imagination. He invented characters and stories to go with each (somewhat eclectically styled) outfit. He became the creator of his own world. He became the inspiration behind iwishiwasa...

I started to make pieces ‘on demand’ for him, then for his friends and over time, this evolved into iwishiwasa… 

My mission is to produce pieces which are vibrant, fun, beautiful and well crafted with an emphasis on colour and design. I value imagination and my costumes are designed to encourage creative play. Each piece is made by hand in my studio in South London and the detailing and finishing I do myself.


Where are you based? 
I have a studio space just 5 mins from my house at the vibrant Bussey Building in Peckham 

What do you love most about living in London? 
The energy, vibrancy, sense of community, Londoners’ open-ness and friendliness 

We are lucky to be living in such a culturally rich city with so many things to do and see, many for free. Ranging from ‘high’ culture: art, galleries, design etc, to the cultural and ethnic mix of people living here and diversity of street culture, music, food etc etc 


Who or what inspires you? 
Inspiration can strike at any time… I often have great ideas whilst just chatting with friends (a kind of informal and lighthearted brainstorming) I enjoy talking to kids and getting inside their heads (usually a very interesting place!) and watching how they play. I find the work of many photographers and childrens writers/illustrators inspiring as they have the power to transport me to another world. 

What advice would you give designers starting out? 
Don’t work in a vacuum… Get out there, get seen, get feedback from customers, ask for help, there is a lot of support for new designers in terms of business, creative development and community. 



What is new for your company? 
New collections just about to launch for Christmas 2012 and lots of exciting new products in development for 2013 



Hope and Eden - Beautiful childrens gifts

Today ,we chat to Inspired:London featured designer, Hope and Eden.


What is name and background behind your company?
For many years I worked as a freelance fashion textile designer, later combining this with teaching at various art colleges. After becoming Mum to two beautiful daughters, I was inspired to start producing cuddly creatures to keep them company at night, other Mums loved them and asked me to make creatures and other items for their children and my range grew from there. I named my business after my daughters, as they were my inspiration for starting Hope and Eden. 

Where are you based? 
I am based in lovely East Dulwich. 

How long have you been in business for? 
I started my business in April 2010 and have loved every minute since. 



What do you love most about living in London? 
It’s such an inspiring place to live with such diverse cultures and people. 

Who or what inspires you? 
I am inspired by many things: the nostalgia of 1950’s children’s book illustrations, especially the colourful, witty work of Miroslav Sesek and Paul Rand; the joy of childhood and its many memories; and a love of natural fabrics, pattern and vintage buttons. 



What advice would you give designers starting out? 
Do what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to take creative risks. 

What is new for your company? 
I am currently working on a range of new products. 



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Monday, 12 November 2012

Frances & Francis - Beautiful Paper Artist

This afternoon, we discover more about Inspired:London featured designer, Frances & Francis.


What is your name and background behind your company?
Frances & Francis was launched in the summer of 2011 as a design studio focusing on creative solutions using tactile mediums such as paper. We opened an online store to sell products based around our commissioned pieces.
The first ‘Frances’ of our name is in reference to myself Helen Frances, and the second is a tribute to my grandpa who was a great inspiration and whose stationery was so proper that it always felt like an honor to use.


Where are you based?
We are based in St Albans, just north of London and only a 20 minute journey from St Pancras International. We love being located here as we get the best of both worlds by seeing countryside near our studio and being able to pop into beautiful London easily.



How long have you been in business for?
We established Frances & Francis in the middle of 2011 but have only been selling our paper bouquets for the last 8 months. 

What do you love most about living in London?
It's the way that you can find inspiration anywhere. It could be the lovely ornate architecture of the Queens Palace to the amazing spirit that came about this year through the Olympics and the Jubilee. 



Who or what inspires you?
The drive of being creative inspires and pushes me forward. I can only think and do in a creative manner and so it's proving to people that this is what I'm about.

What advice would you give designers starting out?
The fear of going solo to cover studio costs and expensive London rent will generally give any creative that extra push to work exceptionally hard and all hours of the day to make their business a success. Having said that, establishing a name for yourself as a bench mark is extremely important before taking the plunge. Make sure creditable people in the design world believe in your work before hand and not just your friends and family. 



What is new for your company?
We are currently working on a framed floral range that will be available from our shop very soon. 

Useful links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frances-Francis/255505227829041

Florio Designs - Bespoke Millinery and Jewellery

Florio Designs is featured in Inspired:London, We Make London's new book. Today we find out all about Florio Designs and plans for the future.




What is name and background behind your company? 
Florio Designs. It’s my husband’s surname and I may have borrowed the name before we got married, but it just worked. We were engaged at the time that I started up and I was making Tiaras and wedding accessories. 

Where are you based? 
Streatham, South London 



How long have you been in business for? 
5 years 

What do you love most about living in London? 
The vibrancy of a busy multicultural city 



Who or what inspires you? 
The materials themselves, I love to see how different things go together. 

What advice would you give designers starting out? 
Don’t run before you can walk…take your time. 



What is new for your company? 
Even more sparkle!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Flaming Lily Glass - Handmade Contemporary Glass

Flaming Lily Glass is featured in Inspired:London, We Make London's new book. Today, we find out about Flaming Lily Glass and plans for the future.



What is the name and background behind your company?
My company is Flaming Lily Glass. I've been fascinated by glass for a long time and after experimenting with it for a number of years, I finally took the plunge and set up my own design business.  The name itself comes from a trip into the bush with my mother in Botswana, where she is from. We were driving through a muted landscape of browns and yellows when we came to a clearing where a stunning red lily was in full bloom. The light made it look as if the flower was on fire and the image has never left me.

Where are you based?
Southeast London. I live in Brockley and my studio is in neighbouring Nunhead.


How long have you been in business for?
Four or five years now.  In many ways it feels like I've been doing it forever (in a good way!) as I feel I’m doing what I was meant to be doing.

What do you love most about living in London?
I love the fact that the world comes to London.  I find the mix of people and cultures (including British!) exciting.  I had terrible wanderlust when I was younger and now that I can no longer just take off to another country for a few months here or there, I love the fact that I can still discover something or somewhere new in the city where I live.



Who or what inspires you?
This can quite a difficult question to answer as I find inspiration all over the place and it’s hard to narrow it down.  First and foremost though, I’m probably inspired by colour.  I’m also very drawn to Japanese art and design, patterns in architecture, 20s and 30s design, as well as old books, and sometimes even just words and phrases that resonate with me.

What advice would you give designers starting out?
It’s rather a cliché but I think the best thing you can do is stick at it and stay true to yourself.  Also try not to overload yourself with information if you’re starting something completely new to you, such as running a business.  That’s definitely a mistake I made: I took courses, read hundreds of blogs, listened to anyone willing to talk to me about it.  I followed so much conflicting advice, without really considering whether it was good for me and my business, I ended up getting knocked off course more than once.  I’m not saying you don’t need advice and information, you definitely do, but just remember it’s okay to pick and choose.



What is new for your company?
Lanterns!  I've been wanting to do some for ages, light and glass are natural companions after all, and after some trial and error and a lot of experimenting with adhesives I’ve come up with a design that I’m really happy with.  I’ve started making some and hope to have them for sale on my website before Christmas.

Enclosed Spaces - Silk Screen Prints

Today,we chat to Inspired:London featured designer, Enclosed Spaces.



What is name and background behind your company?
Initially it wasn't actually meant to be my company name. It was a domain name and email address I’d had for years, but had a creative slant (it referred to the warnings on spray-paints about not using in an enclosed space). I always liked the name though and realized it could easily also refer to your own living space. Be it a flat, or house, or studio, we’re usually in an enclosed space and for a lot of people, particularly in the city, it’s a little cramped! I designed my logo to reflect the sardine-like situation of living in a city, and my company’s aim became to help people cheer up their own “enclosed space’ with art.



Where are you based?
I’m currently based in the same area I spent the early years of my life – West London.

How long have you been in business for?
I launched my website in 2010, with a year or so of experimenting with printing before then, but it’s only been since 2011 that I've started to turn it into what I’d call a proper business.



What do you love most about living in London?
I think it’s easier to ask Londoners what they don’t like about the city (we like to moan). To sound a little clichéd, it really is a vibrant place though. No more so than during 2012 with the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations. What I love most is how multi-cultural it is. It feels like you can get pretty much anything from anywhere.

Who or what inspires you?
My dad. He’s the most entrepreneurial person I know. We’re alike in that we both have lots of interests, and I think it’s focusing on just the one which is our dilemma (case in point – aside from screen printing, I’m hoping to branch into jewellery shortly too).



What advice would you give designers starting out?
Expect to make mistakes. And when you do, call it a learning experience! Also, research, research, research. With the internet at your fingertips, there’s really no excuse not to make sure you know as much as you can.

What is new for your company?
Aside from the new Inspired:London book, I’m also getting involved in a couple of We Make London’s fairs in Spitalfields in November; focusing on expanding my stockists; and opening a sister company selling jewellery.


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Emily Bedford Jewellery


Today we chat to Emily Bedford; another designer featured in We Make London's new book, Inspired:London


What is name and background behind your company? 
The company is Emily Bedford Jewellery. I have been designing and making jewellery and selling  direct to private customers and to shop, galleries, boutiques.

Where are you based? 
North London



How long have you been in business for?
Since 2005 part-time but now a full-time venture.

What do you love most about living in London? 
Diverse life going on around me. It is invigorating, exiting and inspiring and I am addicted to it.



Who or what inspires you? 
Going to the British museum and the V and A and being amazed by what humans have managed to create 1000 years ago. I am inspired in a more general sense by music which I am always listening to and dance which I love to do as much as making jewellery.

What advice would you give designers starting out? 
Combine a huge amount of confidence with a small amount of doubt. When you start out you are the only one who thinks it can work so you need to keep that thought and not waver but always question and ask if you could do better. Enjoy it, be pleased it is there and that you are doing it.



What is new for your company?  
Using clear quartz crystal which acts like a looking glass over miniature prints and the incorporation of semi-precious stones such as emeralds and rubies.

Ela Studio - Hand-printed accessories and homewares

Ela Studio is featured in Inspired:London, We Make London's new book. Today we find out about Ela Studio and plans for the future.




What is name and background behind your company?

Ela Studio is the space that I found to develop my creative practice. The name Ela is the last part of my name Gabriela.
Recently I launched my first collection of accessories and homewares designed by me and made in London.

Where are you based?
I am based in South East London, near Bermondsey Street area. Some days I work from home when I have to do admin stuff or when I am doing digital design. When I need space to do more hands on work I go to my husbands’ studio very close by.

How long have you been in business for?

One year ago I designed my first collection of scarves, cushions and wallpaper, which I started selling in design fairs, markets and online sites as well. Although I was a bit off the business as I was also doing a foundation in textile design which kept me really busy.

What do you love most about living in London?

The great inspiration I get everyday. I find an amazing creative flow all over the city. I get inspired by the people, the streets, events. I love the feeling of freedom that the city offers. In a single day you can travel thru many cultures and climates.
Living in London has given me the inspiration to start into textile designing. Before moving here I was in a totally different environment and never imagined that I was gonna be doing what I am doing right now. It is been an amazing creative journey and this city has awaken that side in me.



Who or what inspires you?

Architecture and design are both strong influences in my work. Fashion is also very inspiring and in a city like London you can find it anywhere.

I like the geometric forms that emerged in the 60´s. I admire brands such as Marimekko, the finish textile fabrics with bold and colorful patterns.

I love patterns and I like to experiment with varied media to create artwork that I can translate digitally. I think is important that the original work is hand made as it brings a different value to the digital prints. My first collection emerged from hand stamping which I worked digitally and then printed unto fabrics and wallpaper.



What advice would you give designers starting out?

To take time to develop their products into something that has a meaning for them as well as good quality. Invest in samples, try out different materials and suppliers, and have feedback from someone before launching, in order to offer something truly unique and very well made.

What is new for your company?

At the moment I am working on a new collection of scarves which I am willing to launch by the end of the year, at Christmas markets. I am in the process of developing new textile products such as bags and blouses for next year.
Also I would like to launch my own website and look more into wholesale retaliers.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

De Anna Kiernan Jewellery


This evening, we discover more about Inspired:London featured designer, De Anna Kiernan Jewellery



What is the name and background behind your company?
At seventeen I had the opportunity to train with a prestigious jewellery company in Bermuda and began my jewellery apprenticeship. Here I trained under two exceptional jewellers, gaining invaluable technical skills.

Being young I wanted to travel and explore other areas of design, which led me to London a few years later where I studied at Central Saint Martins, completing an Architecture degree. I soon realized that jewellery was the area of design I wanted to be working in as I missed the very hands on nature of designing and making that jewellery allows. I then completed the Jewellery MA at The Cass where I was able to draw on both my technical skills in jewellery and the broad design perspective I gained studying at CSM, and it was during my MA that I developed my first independent collection. I then worked for a large jewellery brand where I was able to experience the commercial side of the industry. Shortly after this I decided I had the tools and skills in place to go out on my own and De Anna Kiernan Jewellery was formed!



Where are you based?
I work from my lovely Clerkenwell Studio at Craft Central in the heart of London’s jewellery quarter.

How long have you been in business for?
De Anna Kiernan Jewellery was established almost a year ago.

What do you love most about living in London?
I love that on any day of the week I can hop on a tube or bus and go to an exhibition or art gallery for inspiration. I also love just sitting at a café and taking it all in. London is such a fascinatingly diverse city to observe.



Who or what inspires you?
My work is greatly influenced by the geometries of modernist architecture and the natural contours of the female form and looking at how to harmoniously combine the two.

The begining of a new collection can come from a small detail in a building that intrigues me and then working out how I can relate this to the natural contours of the body is where it all begins. Its about finding that balance in contrast between the bold and the subtle and the geometric and the organic. The line and how the eye follows the line is key, so how a piece fits the body in a very specific way is important or how the play with angles and light creates a visual illusion.

What advice would you give designers starting out?
Get networking!



What is new for your company?
As an emerging brand this year has been packed full of new and exciting opportunities and experiences. The latest news was being selected as a 2012 KickStarter and having our first trade show at IJL, which was a great success.



Creating Trouble - Mosaic jewellery

Creating Trouble is featured in Inspired:London, We Make London's new book. Today we find out about creating Trouble and plans for the future.




What is name and background behind your company?
Creating Trouble came about mostly because I love creating things and found I had made more things than I would ever need or use! The inspiration for the name came about because someone at work used to say ‘Here comes Trouble’ every time they saw me, and I felt it worked with what I do – it seems to be quite an apt name as smashing up glass as a pastime does create a certain amount of trouble in our flat.

Where are you based? 
I’m from the south of England but I’ve been in London for nearly 8 years now, almost all of which have been based around the East End. I’m presently based in Hackney which I love.

How long have you been in business for?
Nearly 2 years now, although it’s only been this year that I have thought of Creating Trouble as a business. Before it was more of a hobby and pastime.



What do you love most about living in London?
I used to swear I would never live London because I disliked it so much. Now I can’t imagine ever living anywhere else! I love that there is always something new to discover or something to do – whether that is going for a cycle and finding sudden green spaces, discovering secret cocktail bars or just having the luxury of living close to most of my friends and being able to have an impromptu dinner or barbeque in the garden. I love how diverse and engaging London is – there really is something for everyone here.



Who or what inspires you?
I sometimes wonder this myself! A lot of my designs have a distinctly Art Deco feel to them, so I guess I would say that was a major source of my inspiration. But honestly I find inspiration in so many different things it is hard to pinpoint it. I love the works of Kandinsky, Rothko and Matisse. I love the architecture of St Paul’s and The Gherkin. And I love being out in the countryside and seeing what there is to see there as well, so I guess I would have to say: anything and everything is my inspiration!

What advice would you give designers starting out?
Keep at it! Believe in yourself and don’t expect it all to happen overnight. I consider myself to be a new designer and I am really still trying to find my feet – where my markets are, what I should be focusing my energies on, what I need to be doing in terms of marketing, accounts etc. It’s a huge undertaking to suddenly leave the security of what you’ve always known and jump into being a designer-maker. I’m still slightly daunted but I am loving the whole process. So believe in what you do, and go for it.



What is new for your company?
Everything! Creating Trouble is still in it’s early stages so at the moment I am focusing on the smaller mosaic projects. I have recently started adding rings into the jewellery collection and, at some point in the near future, I’m hoping to add earrings as well. I like how well the cufflinks I’ve recently added have been received so there will be more of those too.


Coral Turner Couture - Handmade fashion


We chat to Coral  about her business, Coral Turner Couture. Coral is one of the talented designers featured in We Make London's new book, Inspired:London.



What is name and background behind your company?
Name: Coral Turner
Business Name: Coral Turner Couture

Background: Predominately a self-taught fashion designer, a love for fine fabrics, the art of couture sewing to produce great fitting clothes, and statement pieces that creates their own identity/personality for the wearer, not easily defined or categorized is the ethos behind my company.

Where are you based?
South East London

How long have you been in business for?
I have been making private bespoke pieces for over 20 years for both men and women.  Tailored shirts for men and varying garments for ladies from silk dresses to tailored suits, I set up an on-line ready-to-wear couture boutique 2011.

What do you love most about living in London?
The variety of creative outlets, the opportunity of experience whether it be in a working environment or the people you meet, forever growing and evolving. 



Who or what inspires you?
My parents/family/partner are my inspiration, they have always encouraged me to go for what I believe in, never give up, be kind to others along the way, and take the path less trodden.

What advice would you give designers starting out?
Think for yourself, but don’t be so wrapped up in being right that you forget to listen and take advice.  If it’s encouraging embrace it, discouraging take it with a pinch of salt.  Above all believe in yourself, where your abilities are lacking take the time to learn more, always keep listening and learning.



What is new for your company?
The couture on-line boutique www.coralturner.co.uk under my label ‘Exclusive Originals’, which sells only one-of-a-kind, ready to wear women’s wear.  I have started out using jersey fabrics for the initial collection, but will later move onto woven fabrics such as silk and linens. One-of-a-kind is very important to me as I believe in dressing the individual.