News

Featured in Vogue September 01, 2018 18:33

Our hand painted mistletoe bauble was featured as one of Vogue's 'Best Baubles' of 2017


Style Magazine August 31, 2018 16:12

Our Snake Bauble for Harrods Christmas 2017 was featured in the Sunday Times Style magazine 


Harrods Christmas Catalogue August 30, 2018 16:17

Our punk baubles were featured in the Harrods 2017 Christmas Catalogue


Featured in the 'Richmond Resident' Magazine August 29, 2018 17:04

Eleanor was featured in her local magazine, 'the Richmond Resident'

Being a resident of lovely Richmond, I was very excited to be featured in the April edition of the 'Richmond Resident' magazine and talk about all the local places that have inspired my collections


Featured in Tempus magazine August 07, 2018 19:37

Our gold acrylic bird cage decoration for Harrods was featured and looks lovely!


Featured in House and Garden magazine August 06, 2018 19:40

Our beautiful hand painted lemon bauble was featured in House and Garden's top baubles for 2017

 


Exhibiting with 'Homegrown' at 'Home' London August 06, 2018 17:45

Eleanor first exhibited at Top Drawer in January 2014

I exhibited this January with the fantastic 'Home' London in the 'Homegrown' area surrounded by some really talented designers, big names and small names. 

 It was a brilliant opportunity and I loved every minute of it, from setting up to meeting new stockists, potential stockists and existing stockists. It was very strange taking it all down after a whirl-wind three days as it becomes like your own miniature shop!

 Here are a few photos from the stand:

 


The British Library - Interview August 05, 2018 17:36

Eleanor was asked to appear in a short film discussing her work and relationship with the British Library, home of the original Alice in Wonderland manuscript

Made with the British Library - Illustrator Eleanor Stuart on business and inspiration

We love it when illustrators find inspiration in our collections and create new products. Eleanor Stuart did just that with her Alice in Wonderland-inpsired ceramics. Since our last interview with her back in August her business has taken off and here she tells us all about it. 

How has your business has grown since the success of PopUp Piccadilly last August?

Since PopUp Piccadilly the business has grown beyond what I could have imagined this time last year when I started. I always wanted to work with great British retailers and when I started I imagined that one day, many years in the future, I might work with places such as the British Library, Liberty, the Royal Academy and Somerset House and yet within my first year I’ve been lucky enough to work with them all so I have to pinch myself sometimes!

I’ve also designed two new collections since Piccadilly which has been great to flex my illustrator fingers trying out new styles of illustration; my Animal Collection in particular was an exciting new abstract style of illustration for me which has proven to be successful so far – it even caught the eye of Rick Stein’s team who loved the Octopus and Seahorse so much they commissioned a Lobster and Crab so they could stock a whole sea-life inspired range in their Padstow shop, so what started as an exotic collection of animals now also includes a humble crab and lobster!

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your Animal Collection? I love the seahorse!

The Animal Collection was born from a humble doodle. I had been toying with the idea of creating a series of illustrated animals for a while but couldn’t quite imagine how I wanted them to look, and then one eve in December I drew the outline of an elephant and started to draw shapes and lines within it and as it came together I realised I really loved the abstract and detailed quality to the drawing as I love quite simple and geometric shapes.

I was keen to explore exotic animals as they tend to have more unusual shapes, patterns and vivid colours which was perfect for my simple and abstract style of drawing. After going through an entire alphabet of animals I finally settled on my final six – an Antelope, Flamingo, Octopus, Parrot, Peacock and Seahorse and on Christmas Day, I started drawing the Antelope in the morning and by Boxing Day morning finished off the final line of the Seahorse and an Animal Collection was born! 

Some designers create work in line with trends. Do you keep up with trends or do you just create what you like and let your work sell itself?

Very much the latter! I think as an illustrator, and for any creative person, it’s important to at least start from a point of creating what you love, otherwise you will forever be chasing trends and you’ll never really develop your own confident style. I think from that point onwards you can then introduce elements of trends into your work rather than attempting to mimic styles and trends other people have set; for example if neon pink was suddenly on trend it might be fun for me to produce a limited run of neon pink Flamingo prints, but I wouldn’t necessarily design a whole new bright pink product for the sake of it (my eyes couldn’t take it!)

 


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Eleanor Stuart Animal Collection - fine bone china 

You're getting a lot of press coverage – how has that helped?

Having your pieces in the press is always exciting – I think the best moment I had recently was reading through the Metro and coming across a large picture of my ‘Girl with a Hot Air Balloon’ plates as part of a feature on decorative plates when I had no idea it was going to be in that particular issue so that was a nice surprise – if not a little surreal! Press pieces are always great for publicity and exposure and the more targeted pieces such as featuring in a weekend magazine interiors section can really directly boost sales.

Have you taken on more staff?

I have recently taken on a much needed member of staff! I’m currently doing a pop up shop in Camden and after working in the shop every day for five weeks I thought it’s about time I get a little help and so I now have a great assistant who works with me. 

Have your business challenges changed? 
 
The challenge now, having created a number of products which I’m really proud of, is getting the world to notice me! I think with any small business, particularly a product based business, marketing is key and with social media and a little press release writing savvy it’s not as daunting as it seems. It does have to be an almost daily consideration, marketing yourself and your work, because if no-one’s finding you no-one’s buying from you!

I also love meeting fellow small businesses at events such as fairs and markets and going to talks such as the recent Crafty Fox Talks where one of the speakers was the PopUp Britain and Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones who since PopUp Piccadilly has been such an inspiration and help to me as I’ve built my business over the last year.  


The British Library Blog August 03, 2018 17:31

A very nice feature on the British Library blog, published by Kissley Leonor. 

Read it here


Or, I have conveniently copy and pasted it for you below:

Alice in Wonderland-inspired ceramics and prints by Eleanor Stuart

I met designer Eleanor Stuart last week at PopUp Piccadilly where she was selling her Alice in Wonderland-inspired collection of plates, prints and cards. The Library holds the original Lewis Carroll manuscript of Alice in Wonderland and we also have it available online through our award-winning Turning the Pages software which Eleanor used for her research. Here she tells up more about her work. 

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Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind your designs? 

When I first came upon Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and the illustrations by John Tenniel, I was struck by how intricate, surreal and detailed each drawing was. What I was particularly taken with was the expressions each character had that tell a story in themselves; from the rather angry looking Queen of Hearts to the nervous and very late White Rabbit to the mischievous Tweedle Twins.

The inspiration for re-working and adding my own touches to the original work was a feeling that these original illustrations were being lost in a sea of cartoon versions of Alice in Wonderland far removed from these wonderful originals. The originals are also quite small and in black and white, so I felt there was a great opportunity available to revive the illustrations, bring them sharply back to life and add colour, quotes and my own little spin to the work.

We love when people use our collections to make something new. Can you tell us about how you used the Library for research? 

When researching Tenniel’s original illustrations, I used the British Library’s online Turning the Pages application to see Carroll’s original illustrated manuscript. What I had not previously realised is that Carroll had even illustrated his original work, and it was interesting to see that Tenniel’s illustrations do bear a close resemblance to those featured in the original manuscript.

I think the British Library and its collection is an inspiration in itself: knowing all these great works of literature penned by authors both British and from afar are housed within this one huge building full of rabbit warrens and glass columns full of old books where you can find and stumble upon almost anything in the world of literature is pretty amazing.

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I like that image - the British Library full of rabbit warrens! What fun! So what has been your biggest challenge as a small business?

Patience! With my designs and illustrations completed, and the ideas I always have swimming around in my head, I always want to realise them instantly which is of course not entirely doable. Learning to slow down and appreciate the processes involved with realising an idea has been something I have come to enjoy. For example when I was in the process of having my Alice Collection of fine bone china plates produced, it was so rewarding to be able to visit the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent to see how this traditional British industry is still applying traditional British techniques and sensibilities to the work they produce, and I feel this attention to detail and quality of work really shows in my pieces.

What does “Made in Britain” mean to you? 

“Made in Britain” is so important to me, I put it on my logo! Not only am I proud to be made in Britain having grown up in lovely Richmond, but I love that through the work I create I can support British industry and help to keep the skills we have in this country alive and current. I have met such enthusiastic, incredibly helpful and skilled crafts people in my search for suppliers to help create my products, which is such a rewarding experience.

I also feel “Made in Britain” is important not only to British people, but internationally as well. I have found when selling internationally and in Britain that the stamp of authenticity and that relationship between my product and globally recognised institutions such as ‘The Potteries’ in Stoke-on-Trent is really important to people. Not only British people wanting to buy British, but international customers wanting to buy into the quality and skills they associate with the British craft and creative industries.

I have also found other designers and illustrators are equally as passionate about that “Made in Britain” stamp of approval as I am. I have come to know and admire some really great people on my journey into the world of design and illustration including Jo Robinson from HAM who creates fun animal themed screen prints made by her own fair hand in London, Cecily Vessey who designs wonderful London themed illustrations across a range of ceramics, and Sara Smith (my neighbour at PopUp Piccadilly!) whose selection of colourful, gilded and illustrated teacups are really rather beautiful – and made in Stoke-on-Trent.

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The shop has been super busy, I hear. What kind of feedback are you getting?

I have had some really amazing feedback; I would say it has been one of the best things I have done as a small business in terms of exposure, testing the market and meeting other like-minded designer/makers. (Rupert Laing from Shortbread House has made mine and my fellow designers stay at PopUp Piccadilly particularly enjoyable with an ever refreshed supply of delicious shortbread samples to hand).

As a predominantly online business, coming out from behind my computer screen and meeting my customers, showing them my products and being able to have them touch and feel the quality of each item has been a really rewarding experience. I have also had a great response from potential retailers, so that is an exciting direction I am looking forward to taking my business in - with Alice and her surreal, mad and late friends in tow!

Images courtesy of Eleanor Stuart.

- See more on the British Library - Inspired by blog


The Alice Collection featured in London's Metro paper August 02, 2018 16:47

Our Alice in Wonderland collection was featured in the Metro

One rainy Monday morn whilst I was trundling along on the train through London, flicking through the Metro paper, I was very excited to turn to page 37 and find none other than my Alice plates featured in their Christmas gift guide! In partnership with the British Library who stock the Alice and Alphabet collections, three of the Alice plates were featured which was really rather exciting. 

Since starting the business, seeing my work in cold, hard print had always been something I had wanted to achieve, and so to see it in a paper such as the Metro surrounded by all my fellow commuters was brilliant.


Eleanor Stuart featured in Director Magazine August 01, 2018 15:40

Eleanor featured in Director magazine

I was delighted to be asked to be featured in the Christmas edition of Director magazine. Along side other great businesses, I was profiled as one of Britain's newest creative business owners to launch this year who is experiencing continued success and looking forward to expanding the business as it continues to grow. 

 

 


Pop up Piccadilly July 31, 2018 16:35

In August 2013, Eleanor launched her illustrated home and gifts business in a pop up shop in London's Piccadilly Circus. 

So August was rather exciting, I was part of the launch group for Pop Up Piccadilly, an initiative with PopUp Britain and Start-up Britain. I was selected as one of 10 businesses to showcase and sell our work in the pop up shop metres from Piccadilly Circus tube station. 

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I loved every minute of PopUp Piccadilly; even the early hours of the morning spent prior to my week there prepping stock and writing out tiny little price labels. Naturally I was trepidatious about setting up shop selling two collections I had only launched six weeks previously, in one of the most famous shopping locations in the land; but upon arrival at the shop and meeting a lovely bunch of fellow tenants and mounds of shortbread I quickly realised it was going to be a rather fun week.

I didn’t really know what to expect from my week at PopUp Piccadilly other than figuring I would just ‘roll with it’; and I ended up having an incredible week. Day 1 saw everyone being papped and interviewed by photographers and I had mastered my posing by the end of the day. Then following a great day trading came the launch party which turned into a surreal evening of investment bankers figuring out my illustrated alphabet, to the British Library approaching me about the possibility of stocking my Alice Collection series of illustrated plates alongside the original Alice in Wonderland manuscript; all topped off with meeting PopUp Britain founder Emma Jones.

The opportunities being in a location like Piccadilly afforded continued to roll in with a representative from BAFTA approaching me about the possibility of using the Alice Collection plates in BAFTA HQ, Waterstones stocking the Alice Collection series of greetings cards, and finally a Fortnum and Mason’s Director popping by and discussing an opportunity to exhibit my work with them; so a rather exciting week!

What I have to be incredibly thankful to PopUp Britain for is that none of these opportunities would have presented themselves so soon after launching my collections without them. The opportunity for a small business to be in a location as fantastic as Piccadilly has been so exciting, and I have met such incredible people during my week’s stay including my lovely neighbours and co-tenants who I would now very much consider friends.

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Here are my snaps from the week  x

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Let them eat Cake! July 02, 2018 16:26

Commissioned to create a bespoke illustrated cake featuring The Queen of Hearts. 

Eleanor illustrated the cake by hand with our popular Queen of Hearts illustration for an Alice in Wonderland themed birthday. 

 

 


The Telegraph July 01, 2018 16:28

Eleanor was commissioned by Wonderland Events to create nine illustrated Alice Through the Looking Glass inspired plates for The Telegraph newspaper. These were to be used in The Telegraph’s big tent at the lovely Hay Literature Festival as part of a Wonderland themed tent.  

"I illustrated nine plates inspired by the original drawings from the book by Lewis Carroll and John Tenniel, but added a few Telegraph twists…"