Posts Categorised: Lifestyle/Fashion

A lovely week in the West Country

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We’ve just had the most lovely week in the West Country. We have been looking forward to it for ages. Funny how you spend ages feeling excited about a holiday for weeks and then suddenly you’re looking back at it.

It did rain. A lot. But it didn’t stop us getting out and about locally but mainly from swimming as much as possible.

One of the places that I was most wanting to visit was Bristol. I’ve never been but had heard that it is my kind of place. It really is. Next time I go, will be for a collaboration and I will get more time to take some images to post here. More on that soon.

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Luckily, because it was a tad cool in the week and definitely warmer clothing weather on several of the days, I had my new coat with me. I was standing looking at the lush pastures around The Tor in Glastonbury when a couple walked by. The man said ” Ooh I love your jacket ” … which felt nice as it was my first outing with it on.

It’s the classic Ledbury style from Boden and is a pastel shade of green. It fits like a glove and it’s nice to try a colour that I don’t normally wear. This season it is also comes in Charcoal Melange and Navy.  It’s a dress up or casual coat – and ideal for days like this one for skinny jeans and pumps.

I love the shape and the style – what do you think ?

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If you follow me on Instagram you will know my total love for gorgeous front doors and Bristol didn’t disappoint. I loved this yellow one. Might have to change ours again ! You will also see lots more photos from the last week of us out and about.

I would love to hear of any recommendations for Bristol for my next upcoming visit. Shops, restaurants and anywhere interesting for a colour lover to check out. Please leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good one.

Lucy x

This post is in collaboration with Boden. All opinions my own.

Photography by Andrew Henderson.

INSPIRE ME – with Amelia Coward from Bombus.

decoupage bombis artowrk

Today my ‘Inspire Me’ feature is focused on Amelia Coward, owner of unique découpage gift company Bombus.

Mixing vintage style with modern design, the Bombus ethos is “making something out of nothing” – producing pieces such as bespoke map art, Up-cycled stamp art chairs, cards and jewellery to name but a few….

Amelia, what is your early design background ?

People often ask how I got into découpage and I realise that this was something my mother had introduced me to at a very young age. She would give me scissors and an old magazine and I would cut out small images and organise them in piles. She then taught me how to glue the pictures onto large pebbles and varnish them for door stops.

and your formal design background ?

I studied textiles and weave at Central St Martins; followed by postgraduate study at The Royal College of Art. After several years working in the commercial textiles and furniture industry I was keen to get back to doing something handmade.

butterfly decoupage artwork

The Bombus story ?

It started in 2003, when I découpaged vintage cowboys and Indian comic strips to a 1950s coffee table. I used it for a shop window display as a prop and it sold within hours. This technique was applied onto chairs and a range of home-ware products. Customers were keen to commission special pieces using their own choice of comics and vintage papers. The light-bulb moment came when I stumbled across a box of old maps. The concept of applying maps to the products, took my designs to a whole new world of eager customers. I now had a waiting list of people wanting their own choice of map location applied to the products.

Nine years later…

We are now a team of seven and working out of our dedicated studio space in a converted stable block on a farm in Kent.

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Do you have a Signature product ?

The Bespoke Map Heart. Everyone loves maps and certain places hold special memories. The beauty of our bespoke map collection is that the customer can choose their own map location. You can be as detailed as a street name, as broad as a whole country or anywhere in between.

What was your inspiration ?

In 2007, when my partner and I moved house, I made a Valentines card using a vintage map of the area we were moving to. It was a simple idea but I realised that it could potentially be a good commercial product.

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Any advice for a designer thinking of setting up in business ?

Get your pricing right. We time each part of the making process against a stopwatch, so we know the exact cost of labour. There are the obvious costs of materials of course but it’s also critical to remember stuff like VAT and the commission percentage if you are selling via a third party. Keep checking your price against your competitors and contemporaries. We always try to aim for a profit margin of at least 45%. You can’t be sentimental about a product that isn’t going to make you any money.

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What does 2012 hold for your brand ?

We’ve had a great year so far. We exhibited at a trade fair in January and now sell via more than 30 independent retailers across the country, including Liberty of London who stock some of our greetings cards. We sell via our own website of course and have two storefronts on Notonthehighstreet.com We are exhibiting at another trade fair, Pulse London in June, where we will be launching new collections and developments of our current range. We’re in early stages of developing a textile collection, which we’re very excited about. And following frequent customer enquiries we’re also currently designing a wedding stationery collection. We’re hoping to ‘soft launch’ the wedding stationery in autumn this year with a full launch in the spring of 2013. We just wish there were more hours in the day!

A big thanks to Amelia and her company – I have much admiration for her. 

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