This week we are introducing the first of our interviews with the designer makers that sell their delightful handmade wares in Emporia Fabric and Crafts. Kicking off our series is Wendy Richardson of Richardson and Richardson, who works with her daughter Hannah designing and making their unique laser cut jewellery and cards. Check out what she has to say about her crafty life, work and inspirations.
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Mother and Daughter team Wendy and Hannah Richardson. We design and create unique laser cut birch wood keepsake cards and quirky Perspex jewellery.
How did you get into crafting?
We’ve always been an arty crafty family and have always made things for family birthdays, and we go especially mad at Christmas! Hannah and I have a very similar mindset, and have a love for anything quirky and different. I studied Art and then fashion, and Hannah has a degree in model making, and is now an architectural model make; and that’s how the laser came into play.
Who and what inspires you to create?
Everything and anything! We find inspiration anywhere and in the most unusual places, so we quickly have to write things down there and then before we forget. (We both have a Brain Book.) We send each other very weird texts/emails and photos, and our brainstorming days are amazingly good fun.
Which crafters/artists/designers do you most admire?
That’s a tricky one … We both adore Butler and Wilson jewellery, especially the outrageous, over the top pieces. But I admire anyone who has a passion for what they do, and goes for it, no matter what they make. We’ve met some amazing people over this last year at different fairs and markets. The talent out there is astounding.
When did you decide to make the leap from making for friends and family to creating your own business?
It just sort of happened with no real planning. I had just given up work – 30 years in corporate retail is enough for anyone. I was going to concentrate on painting/drawing which had been on hold for many years, when we did a couple of local fairs which went extremely well. And we haven’t looked back.
What five things would you say were essential when you set up your craft business?
For our business it would be our Brain Books, the laser cutter, our understanding and supportive families, a sense of humour, and wine!
Name three of your most popular designs.
It’s usually not the things we think are going to be popular. Our best sellers in jewellery are the Magpie necklace, the Goldfish necklace, and the Crows and Moon necklace, which we originally made for Halloween but is still selling well. And cards – the Floral Birthday, New Baby rocking horse, and the Wedding Cake are all good sellers.
If you weren’t a jewellery and card designer, what would you be doing with your time?
I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. If I wasn’t designing jewellery/cards, I’d be painting.
Do you run any workshops or take part in any groups?
No, unfortunately no – no time! We’d both LOVE to take some classes and learn new things.
What’s new with your craft for 2014? Tell us about some of the exciting things we can expect to see from you in the shop or at the Emporia market this year.
New ideas come in all the time. We are working on a spring range for jewellery and looking into doing wedding fairs, as our personalised wedding book is very popular. And we thought invitations/order of service/table settings etc. would be fun to do.
If Wendy has inspired you with her love for what she does, take a closer look at her and Hannah’s designs on their website. More insight into our unique and creative designers coming up soon!