What a lovely weekend we had a North Norfolk Arts and Crafts Christmas fair. It was fantastic to be surrounded by so many wonderful designer makers who are all from Norfolk. The fair was so well attended and it was great to speak to so many customers and see lots of familiar faces too. We would definitely recommend coming to the fair next year if you didn't make it as it is full of wonderful one off handmade pieces.
Here are a few of our favourites from the fair.
Abbie Conway's beautiful handmade jewellery is contemporary and quirky, we love her use of colour and especially like her new range of 'Disco Diva' earrings which were a sell out. http://www.abbieconway.co.uk
It was great to see Leanne, from Birch Lea Soaperie. We absolutely love all her natural handmade soaps, and they all smell delicious, especially the peppermint and patchouli one. https://www.birchleasoaperie.co.uk
Mims Heritage have the most gorgeous collection of cashmere booties, gloves and clothing for children. Mims heritage garments and accessories are made from restructured boiled wool, individually handmade and finished, we wish they did them in adult sizes. http://www.mimsheritage.co.uk/home/4551341643
It really was a wonderful weekend and we are looking forward to next year already. We are back in the studio today and getting for the Wealden Times Mid Winter Fair, we hope to see you all there.
What a wonderful evening we had at John Lewis in Norwich Christmas Shopping event last night, promoting our products and the 'Made Locally' section of the store. Every year John Lewis hold shopping events for their loyalty card customers, where they have the opportunity to shop after hours, they get some fantastic discounts and of course food and drinks too! We were so pleased that they asked us to come along to promote our range in store and talk to people about our products and our story behind the brand. It was lovely meeting so many customers and talking to them. It is always lovely to know people are intrigued to learn about local companies and the 'story' behind our company too. It was great to meet so many of the shop staff, including the store manager, who all seemed so excited to have a local company in store too, which was lovely.
We will be at another event in John Lewis on December the 9th between 6-8, so if you are nearby please pop in.
We are really looking forward to next weekend at Swanton Novers village hall for North Norfolk Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair. North Norfolk Arts and Crafts is a group Norfolk artisan designer-makers, an organisation that supports and promotes artists, designers and craftspeople in East Anglia. Every year there are two fairs when you can come and see then work of these Norfolk makers. It is lovely being at a fair when all the other stallholders design and make all of their products and are all from Norfolk too. It is definitely a fair that we would recommend you come to as there is some absolutely amazing work.
Here are just a few of our 'Top Picks' of what you can see next weekend...
Karen Downing hand throws the most simplistic yet stunning porcelain all in white. We absolutely loved seeing Karen's work at the Summer event, her stand looked absolutely beautiful with little pops of colour from her fresh wild flowers. We are really looking forward to seeing her again next weekend too. https://www.karendowning.co
Abbie Conway will also be there exhibiting her contemporary and unique jewellery. Her work combines precious metals, silver, 18 carat gold, precious stones and plexiglass. We love the pop of colour that Abbie uses in some of her work. We may have to our Abbie Conway jewellery collection...http://www.abbieconway.co.uk
Holkham Forge are a collective of Artisan Blacksmiths based on the beautiful Holkham estate, creating bespoke metalwork. The forge always create a beautiful display at the fairs we have seen them at, so we are looking forward to seeing what they do along with their intricate and amazing work. http://www.holkhamforge.co.uk
We of course will be there too with lots of fantastic Christmas gift ideas, our Christmas collection and lots more...! We really hope to see lots of you there next weekend, the 11th and 12th of November between 10-4 each day at Swanton Covers village hall. https://www.facebook.com/northnorfolkartsandcrafts/
We know it seems so far away, but with November just around the corner we thought we would share with you our range of Christmas textiles and fantastic Christmas cards and wrapping paper. This year Izzi has designed two prints for our festive textiles, our Norfolk Black Turkey design and Robin design, which you can find on our festive tea towels, oven gloves, gauntlets and hob covers. Definitely a must have this Christmas for your kitchen but also would make lovely gifts for friends and family.
Our range of Christmas cards and wrap have already been extremely popular, so don't forget to put your orders in. We will also be selling all of our Christmas products at the various fairs we are going to plus our full range too. You can find us next at Erpingham Christmas fair this Saturday from 10-4, then at North Norfolk Arts and Crafts Christmas Fair on the 11th and 12th of November before heading to Kent for the Wealden Times Mid Winter fair from the 16th to the 18th of November plus lots more. Please take a look at our events page to see where you can find us- https://www.izzirainey.com/izzirainey-events.html We hope to see you before Christmas at one of our events, there is lots to choose from!
We are excited to introduce the lovely Duncan who owns Guist General store, just a few minutes down the road from us in Norfolk! Duncan has a wonderful, shop, tea room and post office in the lovely village of Guist. We pop and see Duncan most days to post our parcels and sometimes grab a homemade cake too! Thank you so much Duncan for joining us...
Please tell us a bit more about Guist General Store?
We are located in the small North Norfolk village of Guist, the village shop & café offers local produce, meals & sandwiches, and essentials to the community. The shop and the post office have always been a feature in the village but the decision to change the range of products that are sold, the style and the tearoom came from observing other village shops and tea rooms in the surrounding villages in Norfolk. It was interesting to see what worked well. We knew we wanted to create a local place for people to come and relax but also somewhere easy for people to stop by too- we hope we've done this! We always have a selection of homemade cakes, fresh sandwiches, cooked breakfasts and delicious coffee too!
You definitely have. We love it in there. Have you always dreamt of owning your own shop?
No, I hadn't ever thought id actually own my own shop and tea room or run a post office! I trained as an accountant and worked in private banking after my training, but I had always like the idea of working for myself and having my own business. When the opportunity came up, I thought I would give it a go, and so far so good!
What we love about Guist General Store is that you stock local products and use local produce for your cooking- is something that is important to you?
Definitely! I stock local artists cards and products- including IzziRainey's range of greetings cards and Cecily May Rose cards too, I have local honey, Adnams (our local wine merchants) wine and beer, local meat and vegetables too. I feel it is important to support local business' from my surrounding area and give them the opportunity to build their own business like I have had the opportunity to build mine. I wanted to create a business that supported the community but also promoted community life too- I feel it is a local platform.
We also have wine tasting evenings at the shop which is lead by Adnams which is based in Norfolk. This again is a great opportunity to promote local business' as the food we provide is all local and of course the wine and beer too!
Well we love it there and would recommend anyone passing by to pop in. You will also find our cards on sale in there too! https://www.facebook.com/guistgeneralstore/
We are back in the studio today after a wonderful weekend at Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace! The Handmade fair is bursting with wonderful workshops, delicious food, lots of wonderful stalls full of handmade products and has the most fantastic atmosphere. The Handmade Fair is a fantastic event showcasing British design and manufacturing, which is something that is very important to us here at IzziRainey. It was great meeting lots of our lovely customers, meeting lots of new stall holders and of course catching up with old ones too. We also had the pleasure of Kirstie coming to our stand to talk about our products and prints, it was lovely to meet her again.
Below is just a little snippet of our time at The Handmade Fair, if you did not make it this year then definitely pop it in the diary for next year.
We absolutely fell in love with these wonderful TillyBob Bunnies. Holly creates these beautiful handmade bunnies in a variety of colourful and different prints. We think these would make such a wonderful gift for a new baby and be one of those toys that children will have for a lifetime. Take a look at Holly's to see her wide range of handmade bunnies- https://tillybob-bunny.myshopify.com
Hello Marilu's stand really caught our eye over the weekend. Her range of quirky hand painted cactus planters, electric range of prints and handmade Christmas decorations were gorgeous and extremely eye catching. We fell in love with her work and even bought two of her prints. Take a look at her website to see her creative lifestyle brand- https://www.hellomarilu.com.
It was great to see Sam and Lottie from Lottie Day- another Norfolk company at the fair too. We love Lottie's illustrated screen prints which have been inspired by our home county of Norfolk. Lottie designs a range of gorgeous homewares- take a look at her website to see her full range- https://www.madebylottieday.com.
We were lucky enough to be opposite the lovely Beth and David from Walter and May. Walter and May is a fantastic selling platform for British designer makers. Beth handpicks beautiful handmade products ranging from gifts to homewares. She has a beautiful range of products- we are lucky enough to sell on her website too! Take a look at Walter and May's website- http://walterandmay.co.uk.
Charlotte Stockley's hand thrown quirky, porcelain tableware was fantastic. We loved the simplistic shapes that she used for her products, making it perfect porcelain for the everyday. Her illustrative designs on the pottery made her work really stand out; her stand looked lovely! http://www.charlottestockley.co.uk/index.html
All in all we had a really great weekend- it's a fantastic event that you should definitely try and get to next year if you can!
We are so looking forward to being back at Kirstie Allsopp's wonderful Handmade Fair in the gorgeous grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Kirstie's fair is full of wonderful workshops, delicious food stalls and of course two tents full of designer makers. The Handmade fair is a fair bursting with things to do and a wonderful ethos which is to champion British design and manufacturing- we just love it.
We have picked out a few stands that we love and think you should all make an effort to visit.
Ambermayde has a gorgeous range of machine knitted homewares and accessories. Amber is from Norfolk too and has just graduated from the Norwich University of the Arts. Amber's range of contemporary homewares and quirky accessories are definitely a must see. We love Amber's range of knitted necklaces, especially the pop of colour on each piece. Amber is next to us at the Handmade Fair so please pop by and see us both, on stand E55.
We were lucky enough to be next to the lovely Marie and Ali from Meminio at a fair in the Summer and we are so glad they will be at the Handmade Fair too. They have designed a gorgeous range of leather memory boxes to keep all those special keepsakes in. Take a look at their website to see their full range- you can also have them personalised too- we love them! https://meminio.com. They will be on stand E37.
Scattergood and Taylor design simplistic and stylish fair trade eco- smocks. They use natural and organic materials to create these gorgeous artisan aprons that you can wear in the winter and summer. We love the shapes of their smocks and the ideals behind the business. Make sure you go and see them on stand W127 at the fair or head to their website to see their full range https://www.scattergoodtaylor.com
Enamel Factory create colourful, hand-painted kiln-fired enamelware that’s hard wearing and designed to stand the test of time. Based in Kent they make plates, bowls and mugs perfect for camping or everyday use, to bespoke plaques and objects of art. We love they use of colour. Don't forget to pop and see them on stand E116.
As we said apart from lots of shopping to be done there is also some wonderful workshops going on given by experts. On Friday between 10-10.30 you can have a go at making your very own origami trinket box- we hope we get time out to do this one! Or spend your time learning how to decorate cupcakes with floral designs between 3-3.30 on Friday too!
We are so looking forward to the weekend and really hope to see lots of you there, it really is a fantastic fair, definitely not one to miss! For your last minute tickets head to https://www.thehandmadefair.com/hampton-court/.
We are excited to introduce the lovely Annabel who runs The Hen House and wonderful Egg Shed, near us in Norfolk! Thank you so much for joining us Annabel...
Please tell us a bit about The Hen House and The Egg Shed?
The Hen House is my Farm Cafe & Gift Shop. Enjoy great coffee and homemade cake in a shed on a working farm.The Egg Shed is our self service Egg Vending Shed where you can buy our fresh free range eggs straight from our farm.
Sounds just up our street. Where did the idea come from to start the cafe and shop? How long have you had the farm or has it always been in your family?
My family have been at Cavick House Farm since 1973 and there are still three generations of our family on the farm.
We started selling free range eggs from The Egg Shed 7 years ago. After a lot of interest I opened The Tea Shed, a self service honesty tea & cake Shed where you could make yourself a cuppa and enjoy with a piece of homemade cake. This really took off so after a year I decided to quit my job at an art gallery and opened up The Hen House.
I took a lot of inspiration from cafes and pop-up food businesses in North Norfolk & Cornwall and chose little painted sheds as seating areas.
Had you always dreamt of opening your own shop and cafe?
I definitely hadn't dreamt of owning a cafe or making coffee for a living as I originally trained as a fine artist, but I always like the idea of running my own business. The didn't anticipate how much people love coffee and cake!
The Egg Shed has its very own vending machine...you must be the first person to ever do that in Norfolk! It is such an amazing idea...is it going well?
Yes we have an egg vending machine and it's a first for Norfolk. They are specially made in Germany and supplied by a farmer in Scotland. It's proving incredibly popular. We were lucky to have the press pick up the story which made it to The Times and we got a mention on radio 2!
Wow that's amazing! What sort of products do you stock in your lovely shop- The Hen house?
As well as great coffee, homemade scones, cakes & biscuits I stock design led bits for your home as well as scented candles, artisan chocolate, enamelware, edible petals, cards & wrapping paper and of course IzziRainey cushions!
As you know all of our products are designed by Izzi and manufactured in the UK, is this something you feel passionate about? Do you stock a lot of other British designer makers?
I definitely feel strongly about sourcing and using local producers & designers where possible. As a farmers daughter I understand how important it is support local and U.K. Industry. As well as Izzy Rainey I stock stoneware from a potter in Bristol, postcards and prints by Amelia Bowman who's based in Wymondham, Chocolate Deli chocolate made in Wells-next-the-sea, Art Angels cards and warp printed in Norwich and The Printed Peanut soaps and shopping bags made in Yorkshire.
It is great that you stock lots of local designers. You have lots of wonderful products in store, where do you tend to source your products from?
I source stock from all over. Sometimes on recommendations, magazines, Instagram and trade fairs if I can find the time to go to one. I was a buyer for a gallery shop so luckily I had a little book of suppliers and designers.
What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
That was based on a recommendation from a good customer. I loved the designs and use of colour but I also liked the fact that she is a local farmers daughter too!
Thank you so much to Annabel. Please make sure you pop by and visit Cavick Farm if you ever get the chance...even it is just to see their fantastic egg vending machine. http://annabelseggshed.co.uk/the-hen-house
We are excited to announce the launch of our homewares in the prestigious high street store, John
Lewis. John Lewis has recently begun a new initiative to support British artisan makers called ‘Made Locally’, our products can now be found in the Norwich store as well as the online store. We are particularly excited to be now part of this initiative as it is giving a boost to independent British business. It is fantastic to be part of a new concept aimed to champion and support British designer makers and having our products in such a wonderful store. Please keep your eyes peeled next time you are in Norwich as you may spot our prints!
What a wonderful day we all had at Burnham Market Summer craft fair. Burnham Market is a gorgeous village about half an hour down the road from us in Norfolk. There is a beautiful green in the centre of the village that really is the most perfect spot for a local craft fair. The fair has been running for over 25 years now, showcasing local designer makers. It was such a shame we didn't get more time to leave our stand to see everyone else's work- but it was just too busy! However from what we saw, there was a wonderful selection of local and regional artists showing off their quality products, it was great to see so many stallholders we knew too. It was lovely being a part of a fair that champions British design and manufacturing and supports local designer makers. A big thank you must go to Izzi's Sister, Cecily, for getting up so early to help us set up and helped throughout the day- couldn't have done it without her. She also was selling her gorgeous hand designed animal patterned, greetings cards on the stand too- everyone loved them. To see Cecily's work take a look at her Instagram >>>https://www.instagram.com/cecilymayrose7199/?hl=en or buy them on our website >>>http://www.izzirainey.com/store/c60/Cecily_May_Rose_Cards.html
We were so pleased the sun shined for most of the day...even though it was very windy! However, we can't complain, we had a fantastic day and hope to take part in the event again next year as it really is such a fantastic local fair run by a small committee in the village. If you have never been to the event, you really should make the effort to go next year- we hope we will be there too!
Izzi and Lara
IzziRainey is a Norfolk company, based on a farm, designing and manufacturing high quality homeware and interior products within Norfolk and the UK.