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 so excited to introduce Tere who works in the wonderful Raindrops on Roses in St Albans, which has just started stocking IzziRainey products. Raindrops on Roses is extra special as all of their profits go to Combat Cancer.
Where did the idea come from to start Raindrops on Roses?
There are a number of reasons for setting up Raindrops on Roses:
- ABA Research who sponsors Raindrops is a research agency specialising in the retail industry, great way to ‘put our money where our mouth’ is when we make recommendations to its clients
- Number of people close to a few of the ABA team had sadly been diagnosed or passed away due to cancer
- Providing a platform for new and established local artists/designers/craftspeople to show/sell their products
We understand that your profits go to Combat Cancer- that is fantastic. Has that always been the ethos behind the shop? You must have raised lots over the years?
Yes, it’s always been our ethos. We’ve raised over £100k in the 5 years we’ve been open. The last donation was made to Action Against Cancer last October for over £43k
That is absolutely amazing. Had Alison (the shop owner) always dreamt of opening her own shop? Alison Bainbridge, founder of Raindrops on Roses and owner of ABA Research has wanted to be a ‘shopkeeper’ since she was a little girl!
Ah is it fantastic that she followed her dream. 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?
Supporting local and UK makers/designers/businesses is very important to Raindrops on Roses and we try to stock as many products as we possibly can that’s made/designed by UK designers/craftspeople
If it possible to, do you like to stock artists from your local area in the shop?
Yes, we have a number of local artists selling their items through our shop.
You have a wonderful selection of products in your shop- where do you tend to source a lot of these from?
Some items are sourced locally, and we also target the Spotted/Craft areas of trade shows such as Top Drawer for the independent designers/makers.
We think those sections of Top Drawer are fantastic for finding new talent. What first drew your attention to IzziRainey products?
Unique, colourful and fun designs and well made products.
Whats next for Raindrops on Roses....?
Continue raising as much money as we possibly can for Action Against Cancer
Fantastic. Thank you so much Tere. Such an amazing cause and a lovely shop too! If you are ever in St Albans, make sure you pop in. https://www.raindropsonroses.org.uk
Stuck for what to get your loved one this year...well not to worry! We have put together a selection of great gifts for the men and women in your life! And more importantly we have chosen all of our gifts from local companies to us in Norfolk!
We think that men are always so difficult to buy for but here are a few ideas for you...
Lottie Day is a screen printer who is based about 10 minutes away from us. We love her large double deck chairs, perfect for all you couples out there! We think they would make a great gift for the man who enjoys gardening or relaxing in the garden >>>https://www.lottieday.com
Why not treat the foodie in your life to a day course at Marsh Pig, a fantastic charcuterie company based in Norfolk who run some amazing courses. We think the 'Beer and Bangers' day course sounds fantastic for the men. They will learn how to brew their own beer and make sausages...perfect>>>https://www.marshpig.co.uk/events/categories/beer-and-bangers-course/
Or treat him to a delicious sampling set from Fenlands Spirits and Liquers. Their Raspberry Gin Liquer is just yummy>>>http://www.fenspirits.co.uk/shop-1/sample-set-containing-6-x-5cl
Why not treat your man to one of our Oil Cloth toiletry bags for your trips away together.
Now to the all important women...
First up we have this gorgeous sheepskin rug from Woolly Comforts. Woolly Comforts is a family run business based in Suffolk on their family farm of sheep. We love their rugs- as you can see we have one ourselves. They would make a fantastic Valentine's present for your loved one>>>http://www.woollycomforts.co.uk/index.html
Mr.Norriss Norwich does these quirky embroidery loops with lots o different prints and sayings embroidered on. They are fantastic little gifts for someone this Valentine's Day>>>https://www.facebook.com/mrnorrisofnorwich/
Madeleine Spencer is a Norfolk based jeweller, who creates beautiful handmade jewellery. We love the colour of the stone on this pair of earrings, what a lovely present they would make for your loved one this Valentine's. Maddie also does a range of personalised jewellery, making it even more special as a gift>>>http://www.madeleinespencerjewellery.com
Of course Valentine's Day isn't complete without an IzziRainey gift...our pom pom wash bags are fantastic for your weekends away.
Trying to find the perfect card this year...look no further than The Two Wagtails. Charli does the a fantastic range of personalised cards,take a look>>>https://www.thetwowagtails.co.uk
Now it is time to get shopping, Valentines Day isn't far away now.
We hope you liked our Valentines gifts for this year, we certainly liked picking them out and the fact they are all from Norfolk and Suffolk business is an added bonus!
We are back in the studio after an absolutely fantastic few days in London at the trade show Top Drawer. We are so pleased to say that you will be seeing IzziRainey in lots more wonderful independent shops around the country. We met so many lovely people who were also their exhibiting their products, lots of new stockists and it was also lovely to catch up with people who already stock our products.
The part of Top Drawer we were exhibiting in is called Craft. Craft is full of designers and makers who design and produce their products in UK, like ourselves. There was so many wonderful designers to pick from...but here is a few that we had to share with you.
We just love Gabrielle Vary Knitwear. Gabrielle designs and creates every piece with the help from a small team of knitters who all work on vintage knitting machines using traditional hand crafted techniques. Each piece of knitwear is inspired by memories and nature, living between the beautiful seaside and rugged south downs means Gabrielle is never short of inspiration! We love Gabrielle's use of colour and print amongst her knit, especially in her new range of cardigans>>> http://www.gabriellevary.co.uk
Daniels Bros. hand makes and designs a wonderful range of quirky wooden products in his studio in Sheffield. We thought his wooden jelly fish air plants were so fun and looked fantastic all hanging together. Have a look at Daniels website to see his full range >>> http://www.danielsbros.co.uk
Kina Ceramics had such a wonderful range of contemporary ceramics. Kina, originally from Poland but her studio is now based in Oxford, creates a wide collection of handmade, quirky ceramic products. We fell in love with her succulent and cacti plants with emoji faces on. To see Kina's full range have a look at her website>>>https://www.kinaceramicdesign.com/about
Craft is a showcase of British design and production, so we were so pleased we were a part of it. We will update to you all about our new stockists really soon, we are really excited! Now it is time to get making...
Happy New Year to you all. Sorry we have not written a journal in a while, we got back in the studio after Christmas and we have just been so busy getting ready for Top Drawer and still sending lots of parcels. We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year!
We are so excited about 2018 and it all begins this weekend at Craft. Craft is part of the wonderful trade show, Top Drawer. Top Drawer is a fantastic design let event that showcases lots of companies who are there to find outlets for their work. We are so looking forward to being back there again this year and to hopefully find some more lovely shops to stock our work. We will also be launching some new designs at the show which are now available on the website.
Craft is a section of Top Drawer, that promotes British design and manufacturing. Craft showcases one of handmade pieces that are individual and contemporary. We will be in Craft on stand CR320 so please come and see us. We are hand picked a few of our favourites who will be with us at Craft this weekend.
Sevak Zargarian is a ceramic designer maker based in London, UK. Working from his garden studio at home, he has since kept a focus on process, investigating different surface finishes and making techniques, with an aim to create beautiful objects for the home. We love Sevak's work and his use of colour within his pottery. You can see Sevak's work on stand CR721. https://www.sevakzargarian.com
Giannina Capitani LTD was established in 2013. Based in London and from Italian - Scottish ancestry Giannina Capitani is known for juxtaposing bold, colourful, graphic pattern with luxurious tactile knitwear. Using her heritage as a starting point she draws inspiration from Italian design and combines it with Scottish textile tradition. We love Giannina's use of bold colours and contemporary patterns. You can find her work on stand CR115 http://gianninacapitani.com
Heather McDermott Jewellery specialises in contemporary jewellery made using stainless steel and precious metal. Each piece is made in Scotland and the materials are all sourced from Britain. She takes her inspiration from her island home, the Isle of Skye. Fisherman's nets, stacked creels and weathered buoys scatter the ever-changing shoreline. We love Heather's work, especially these earrings pictured above. Her use of different materials makes her work so interesting and great pieces to wear all the time. You can find Heather on stand CR222. https://www.heathermcdermott.co.uk
If you are at Top Drawer this weekend, please pop and see us and everyone else is Craft. We will between the 14th and 16th of January on stand CR320. We can't wait to go back!
Now to start with we have got to apologise that this has taken so long to do, we have been so busy with Christmas fairs and lots of Christmas orders. But, we thought we would tell you all about last weekend, which was jam-packed with 5 Christmas fairs! Why do we do it to ourselves I hear you say...well we couldn't do it without the help of family. Izzi's family kindly stepped in and helped us so we could do all the fairs over the weekend.
The weekend kicked off with Deepdale Christmas market, where I was for 3 days, from Friday- Sunday. Deepdale is a fantastic local market that has over 100 stalls, most of which are local designers and producers from Norfolk. It was so busy throughout the weekend and it was fantastic to see so many familiar faces and met lots of new customers too.
On Saturday Izzi and her Mum, Sally, went off to Glebe House School in Hunstanton for their Christmas Fair. They had a great day and managed to get some Christmas shopping done too...always a bonus!
Olivia, Izzi's sister, spent the afternoon at Gresham's Prep School for their small Christmas market. A big thank you to Olivia for stepping in such short notice and braving the cold weather too!
And while all this was going on...Izzi's Dad, Graham, was kindly setting up our stand at our village's, Hindovleston, Christmas fair. This picture above was the village hall that the fair was in. It was so beautifully decorated, it looked like it could have come straight out of Country Living magazine. Graham wouldn't let us get a snap of him behind the stand...but it did look fantastic!
Izzi and I then went to Gresham's Senior School on Monday evening. It was such a lovely event, it felt so festive with all their decorations in the beautiful school chapel and the choir singing carols. It was great seeing lots of our old teachers and of course seeing all the other stall holders and customers too.
What a fantastic few days we had. We really want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that helped us, we couldn't have done it without you and all of you support. Thank you to everyone that came and bought from us that weekend, it makes it all so worth while. Also, a massive well done to Izzi who managed to organise everyone enough stock for each fair...she was spot on!
Sorry that we haven't taken any pictures of all of the other fantastic stands that were at all these fairs like we normally do. We were just SO busy that we didn't find the time. We have one final fair left this week on Wednesday at Taverham Hall School. They are holding a Christmas shopping evening, so please come and see us there for some last minute gifts.
We had a wonderful day on Saturday at Norwich Maker's Market. Norwich Makers Market houses some absolutely fantastic designer makers from the area. There was such a mixture of different work, we loved it all. Ella organises about 4 makers markets throughout the year and she always manages to hand pick companies with beautiful work and definitely gets a lot of people coming to the fair too. We have just picked out a few of our favourites from Saturday that we wanted to share with you.
Sally Nencini designs and knits lambswool cushions, toys and blankets for the home. She also recycles and upholsters furniture with hand embroidered fabric or felted lambswool. We just fell in love with Sally's handmade Bunnies with their very own outfits on; we especially loved their fairisle jumpers. https://www.sallynencini.com
Ella Elizabeth has a quirky and contemporary range hand screen-printed textiles and digital printed stationery. We think Ella's new range of stickers are just fab, we especially love her cacti ones! https://www.ellaelizabeth.co.uk
We fell completely in love with Karen Woodcraft's intricate hand painted and handmade wood work scenes. Karen finds old bits of wood, stones, driftwood etc from the beaches near her home and creates these wonderful street scenes. She has done a beautiful range of Christmas scenes as well as others too. We think her work is just fantastic, we could have bought it all! https://www.facebook.com/Karen-woodcraft--352995701555532/
Mr.NorrisofNorwich was there with her quirky range of handmade cacti planters and embroidery loops. We love her new embroidery loops with beautiful hanging baskets of flowers in. You can now get your very own DIY embroidery kit from Mr.Norris too. https://www.facebook.com/mrnorrisofnorwich/ If you didn't manage to make it to this event, then definitely try next year as it is not one to miss.
We are back in the studio this week preparing for our bumper weekend of fairs. We will be at the wonderful Deepdale Christmas market from Friday- Sunday so try and catch us there if not we are at Gresham's Prep School Christmas fair on Saturday afternoon, Glebe School's Christmas Fair on Saturday between 10-6 and also we will be at our village fair in Hindolveston on Saturday evening between 6.30- 9 and all day Sunday too. Please try and come and see us at some point over the weekend, all come to all four it is up to you. We lots of wonderful Christmas gift ideas and also some of our Christmas goodies left too! Please take a look at our events page to see where you can find us over the next few weeks. https://www.izzirainey.com/izzirainey-events.html
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.