We are so excited to introduce Nicola who owns the wonderful Previous Homewares in Corsham which is in Wiltshire , which has just started stocking IzziRainey products.
Hi Nicola. Please tell us a bit about 'Previous Homewares'...
Previous Homewares opened in Corsham in 2015. Prior to that we were in Tetbury, Glos. but selling vintage items. In Corsham we sell mostly new items, but still do interesting vintage items, which are very popular.
It sounds wonderful! Where did the idea to start Cymbeline come from- had it always been a dream?
The idea came back in the early 2000s - I was a Senior Lecturer in History and Theory at Central St Martins in London and we were moving out of London. I had fostered the idea of the shop for some time, as a way of drawing my skill sets and experience together (I studied Design History and wrote books, but also worked in retail and sales in my youth) - my husband is an Architect with an encyclopaedic knowledge of design history too. Now we run a really successful business which offers interesting and unusual gifts, clothes and homewares at very competitive prices.
Wow what a difference to what you do now. Are there lots of independent shops in Corsham? 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?
Corsham is a fantastic town. It means that local people don’t need to get the car out and travel into Bath, but can rely on us if they need a present; we cater for everyone, from babies to grandfathers. We source our stock from all over the world, we love to champion designer/makers and have lots of locally made ranges too. We also have ranges which you can’t buy anywhere else in the country, as well as items that are exclusive to this shop.Corsham is (according to John Betjeman amongst others), the most beautiful high street in Wiltshire and we are lucky to have a spot on it - Cotswold stone and part-paved, with cheap and easy parking. There are lots of other great independent shops, from the traditional butchers, bakers, hardware to the deli, bookshop, jewellers etc. We also have Corsham Court with its wonderful collection of paintings and peacocks which wander the streets, as well as the 350 acre Capability Brown parkland. There are also some fantastic places to eat.
Corsham sounds fantastic, we will have to pay it a visit. It is also wonderful that you champion local designer makers- this is something that is very close to our hearts here at IzziRainey. What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
Izzi Rainey designs fit our ethos very well, they are bright, contemporary, practical, hand-made and reasonably priced.
Fantastic! Whats next for Previous....?
We are expanding to a much bigger shop soon, still on the High Street, which will allow us to have separate departments for womenswear, accessories, man-gifts, toys, stationary, jewellery and homewares and hopefully, our own cafe - a mini-department store, which will be well worth making a special trip to Corsham for.
Thank you so much Nicola for telling us all about your wonderful shop and a bit about yourself too. If you are ever in the area, make sure you pop to Previous Homewares. http://www.previoushomewares.co.uk
We are really looking forward to Easter weekend! Apart from all the chocolate, we are really excited about being at Norwich Makers Market first event of the year at the lovely Assembly House on Easter Monday!
Norwich Makers Market is always such a wonderful event with such an amazing range of designers, makers, illustrators, potters plus lots more! And even better most of the stall holders are from Norfolk too! We always love these events as it is great to chat to lots of local designer makers and catch up with other stall holders and customers too. We have picked out a few of our favourites that will be at the fair next week.
Gemma Rose will be there with her wonderful range of bright and quirky retro inspired handmade knitwear. Gemma designs and makes a wide range of products; from jumpers to contemporary earrings to upholstered furniture- and we love it all. We think this jumper is just fab, we are really looking forward to seeing Gemma next week. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/gmmrs
The lovely Lottie Day will also be at the Assembly Rooms. We absolutely love Lottie's screen printed textiles, we especially like these large screen printed lampshades of hers. https://www.lottieday.com
Geneality Art are a wonderful print and illustrations company based in Norwich. Beverley designs and prints a wide range of products; from books to prints to cards and more. We think this initial prints are lovely and would make a fantastic present. https://www.genealityart.com
Of and of course we will be there with lots of our bright colours and designs to mark the start of Spring.
We hope to see lots of you there to support all of the wonderful Norfolk designer makers at the Norwich Makers Market on April the 2nd. http://norwichmakersmarket.weebly.com
We are so excited to introduce Becky who owns the wonderful Cymbeline in Princes Risborough , which has just started stocking IzziRainey products.
Hello Becky! Please tell us a bit about Cymbeline...
Cymbeline is a new gallery/shop on the High street, I wanted to create a space for artists to show paintings, prints, ceramics, and a love of textile inspired work, running alongside a strong contemporary and fine art based stock of cards, notelets, wrapping paper etc. So, all though easily accessible to buy now a days online people want to be inspired by a collection of products that can be physically seen and experienced.
Added to these core products, I stock lights, cushions, jewellery, scarves, and some home ware products a very small amount of books from Candlestick Press and Little Toller as I have spent 13 years as a Book seller. The range is always evolving as I want customers to know they can find something of good quality, predominately British made but not always, scarves, most of the jewellery lights all from overseas currently but generally a little bit different.
I have a changing exhibition space for paintings and prints, currently showing a local artist called Barbara Shaw who I've known for many years and specialises in textile pictures, they have been very successful, we are about to have some of her work made into cushions and other products which hopefully will arrive next week. I have 2 other local artists showing prints, Kate Watkins who has some wonderful lino bird prints and Marian Carter showing a mix of her inspired colourful current work. One of the most successful Artist's I currently stock is Sarah Woolfenden who specialises in very detailed black and white limited edition tree prints but is based in Devon, but here in the Chilterns customers have loved the beech, the yew and some of her oak prints.
It sounds wonderful! Where did the idea to start Cymbeline come from- had it always been a dream?
A bit about me, difficult to sell myself here. Went back to college and studied Fine Art in my 40's and previous to that had worked for Laura Ashley when it was in its heyday, then to John Lewis in fashion and furnishings and prior to setting up the shop had been a card buyer for a small independent book shop in Oxford and Thame, I exhibited my own paintings in Art weeks over the years but have always felt like there was very limited exhibition space available locally for artists.
So by pure chance I want on a bike ride to Princes Risborough last year and this beautiful empty old building presented its self to me, which I guess I could of merrily not seen but sometimes in life the right opportunity knocks very hard at your door. So whether it was my dream to always have a shop and I never quite realised it but my life experiences have lead me to pushing my boundaries and take this brilliant adventure. The news is always telling us how bad the economic environment is currently and I experience great positivity from people and also the other side of the coin of you're brave or mad and blatant negativity to start a High Street business now. I strongly feel that this country has a creative force which is very powerful and people want to make things, live and appreciate art in all its many forms, so whether its one of your beautiful tea towels, to cards, to pictures on your walls, its all an important expression.
Wow- what amazing jobs you have had before Cymbeline. I completely agree people in this country have such amazing creative talents, which is making people buy British! Now...why is the shop called Cymbeline?
The Shop is called Cymbeline due to a historic site near by at Beacon Hill, where a hill fort motte bailey is, no real site to look at, just a great place to go and walk, take in the countryside and sheep and a hidden gem for kite flyers, picnickers and avid walkers. Brilliant views of the Chilterns and excellent for clearing the head.
Where do you tend to source all of your lovely products from?
I will tend to go to Top Drawer and Pulse but did go to Spring Fair at the NEC this year for a few choice companies,and new things seem to find there way to me, Instagram always a creative joy and of course local artists and makers coming into the shop, so currently have a changing programme of events, later this month Oxfordshire printmakers until the end of April and then it will be a very colourful collection of art work, new bags and home ware products from Nicky James and some very fun purses and bags from Artebene in May.
What first drew you to our products?
I obviously just loved your products, just because I loved them- thats how I decide to take on most of the work I stock.
Thank you so much Becky for telling us all about your wonderful shop and a bit about yourself too. It is always so interesting to hear what people have done before opening their wonderful shops. If you are ever in the area, make sure you pop to Cymbeline. https://www.instagram.com/cymbelineart/?hl=en
We are really looking forward to the Vintage and Creators Market this weekend run by the wonderful Mother and Daughter team, Deborah and Ella. The ladies have created a fantastic local market with a variety of handmade and local small businesses, with over 40 different stalls selling vintage clothes, homewares, ceramics, jewellery, textiles plus so much more. We have just picked out a few stalls that have caught our eye
Charlotte Johnston creates quirky and organic illustrations. Her collection of illustrations has been inspired by the lush pockets of green in New York. She uses stronger colours for the plants, showing her passion for bringing green into the home. We remember seeing Lottie's work at the NUA degree show and can't wait to see it at the fair this weekend. http://www.lottieillustration.com
We absolutely love Stone and Rope's range of knitted plant hangers and concrete planters too. We can't wait to see their stand- feel it will be hard to resist buying. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/stoneandrope
Studio Adorn design a range of contemporary sterling silver jewellery with a focus on shape, form & simplicity. We really like their new range of rings, featured above, it will be great to see them this weekend. https://www.studioadornjewellery.com
We are also really looking forward to seeing our good friend Amber with her gorgeous range of knitwear. Her new range of bobble hats are perfect for this cold weather. https://www.etsy.com/shop/ambermayde
We of course will be there with our range of new products and prints and lots of great gift ideas for last minute Mother's Day presents.
We hope to see you all there on Saturday in Norwich between 11.00-4.30. https://thevintageandcreatorsmarket.weebly.com
We are a textile company, based on a farm in Norfolk, designing and manufacturing high quality homeware and interior products within Norfolk and the UK.