WHO WE ARE ......
Vanessa started her business on her kitchen table 14 years ago. For the first few months she worked after her four children were tucked up and before they came down in the morning, cutting all the samples with her pinking sheers and rolling out the first orders on a table tennis table!
After some very favourable coverage in Country Living magazine and the Saturday Telegraph followed by a Country Living Fair, business took off and Vanessa has never looked back. She has swiftly become one of the most exciting names to follow when you need to buy designer fabric.
She has a wonderfully loyal team:
Hayley is in charge. Miranda and Alison answer the phone and emails and give out helpful advice.
Vee & Clair look after our showroom and keep it looking beautiful, they also oversee all of our design consultation visits whilst Sam and Katie expertly inspect, cut and package your orders.
Nick labels every sample for us beautifully and Caroline makes sure they are organised and sent out promptly. Mike supervises all of our made to measure orders and Tracey looks after our accounts, making sure everything is straight. Linda is a jack of all trades; she helps with organising Vanessa's busy schedule, assists with marketing and upkeep of the website.
Laura oversees the printing, making sure that every metre coming off the printing tables and machines is as close to perfect as possible, Peter and Will undertake all of our furniture deliveries safely and professionally and Danny our trusted Parcelforce man comes daily to collect all your parcels in any weather with unwavering good cheer.
The amazing photoshoot team:
WHAT WE DO .......
I initially trained as a nurse and a teacher before marrying Nicholas, an architect, and having four children. Together we converted a cow byre in the Cotswolds. Since we couldn't afford curtains, I had to create my own fabrics. I found screen printing and block printing liberating and enriching and to my surprise, friends started using the designs in their own homes. Fourteen years on my enthusiasm for designing fabric burns stronger than ever and I just hope that people continue to humour and fund my passion!
The Cotswold countryside is the setting for my life and it hugely influences the look of my fabrics. The developing fashion in interior design is towards simple patterns which reflect a basic and rustic way of living and I have been very fortunate that this mirrors my life and, thus, my designs.
There are fourteen collections: Wovens, Bohemian, Swedish, Plains, Hand Printed, Meadow, Earth, Cockerel, Wildflower, Seaside, Garden, Woodland, Sky, and the Wall Collections. The collections complement each other by sharing colours and include useful co-ordinates such as checks, stripes, spots, and floral prints.
Gentle colours are my signature which include teal, pigeon, spinach, buttercup, limestone, reindeer, clay, damson, duck egg, stone, raspberry, mushroom, cornflower, cool, straw and lettuce, and many more.
I have really enjoyed working with a small family run mill in Solva, Wales to produce some beautiful rugs and stair runners made from 100% British wool… they are the last mill in Wales to weave rugs!
We offer a range of quality sofas, chairs, headboards and footstools made in the UK to order. These are expertly covered in any of our fabrics; please see our Furniture page for more information.
WHY WE DO IT ......
I only buy certified organic cotton which is combined with eco-friendly flax, to create our unique linen union which I use for all our fabrics - printed and plains.
This is because non organic cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop to grow, because it relies on the heavy use of pesticides which are hazardous to human and animal health. Pesticide use has serious adverse effects on biodiversity and contaminates local water supplies.
Over time the pests build up resistance, so the farmers have to increase the amount of pesticide they buy to grow the same quantities of cotton. The high cost of these pesticides frequently puts the farmers into debt; in April 2009 in Chhattisgarh, a central Indian state, this caused 1,500 farmers to commit suicide.
The World Health Organisation reports three million pesticide poisonings per year in developing countries, where almost all cotton is produced. Symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning include vomiting, skin rashes, headaches, tremors, respiratory problems, muscle cramps, blurred vision, and lack of co-ordination, seizures and death. By buying organic cotton you increase demand and help more farmers to be taken out of the debt cycle and have a better quality of life.
In my office we are trying hard to do all we can to reduce our impact on the environment: our heat comes from an air to air source heat pumps and our sample room and warehouse are highly insulated using sheep’s wool.
We use recycled paper and biodegradable cardboard. All our waste card and paper is shredded and used as bedding for our ducks and chickens, which in turn makes compost for the vegetable patch!