My Beyond Creative series is back and in this edition I’m featuring the very talented Victoria Eggs. We met at this years Home/Top Drawer event in January as I was searching for the latest trends and new products. Stumbling across Victoria’s stand I was instantly drawn to her typography and iconic design. I’m definitely into the ‘Made In Britain’ movement and Victoria’s homeware range really embraces that theme.
We had a little chat and hearing a bit about her story made me want to share it with you guys. I decided to interview Victoria to discover how her amazing company started, the challenges she faced and what 2012 has in-store for Victoria Eggs.
HOP: Did you always know that you wanted to be a Textile Designer.
VE: I have always had a passion for art and design, and knew from a young age that this was something I wanted to pursue. I studied Art and Design at A-levels, completed an Art Foundation year and graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Birmingham Institute of Art and design. I later began working for a greeting card company where I developed a photographic style of working. My first experience with textiles was working for Ben Sherman in Sydney 2009-10 where I discovered a love for T-Shirt and textile graphics.
HOP: How did you start Victoria Eggs
VE: I returned from a year of living a working in Sydney, full of enthusiasm and ideas of working on my designs and starting a brand of my own. I picked just four of my designs to start with and printed the first run of T-Shirts with a friend in her screen printing studio in south London, along with one Tea towel design. Soon after I expanded the product collection to include mugs, screen prints and bags and launched the company and website on 21st March 2011.
HOP: It’s only been a year since you started your company ‘Victoria Eggs’ so how did you find your first year
VE: The first year has been simply amazing. I’ve loved every minute and can’t believe quite what’s happened in such a short space of time. I learn something new every day (and hope that never stops) and am so excited about the next year. The first order I received from a retailer was John Lewis, which was unbelievable, and after my first trade fair, Top Drawer in January, I now stock Libery, Fenwick, Topshop along with many other fantastic independent retailers.
HOP: What was the biggest challenge you faced
VE: The biggest challenge was finding suppliers to produce my products. I wanted my products to be Made in the UK and from the start I was looking for companies who could produce large volumes and high quality products. It took some time to find the ones I have now, but it was worth investing the time and effort to get them right from the start. All my products are inspired, designed and made in the UK and this is something that is really important me.
HOP: What was the inspiration behind your unique print
VE: I wanted to do something with a typical English menu. I love the quirky English food names which are so familiar and charming to a Brit, foods we’ve all grown up with, love and sound normal, yet would be totally unappealing taken on face value! Toad in the Hole, Bubble and squeak and spotted dick for example wouldn’t exactly be appealing on a menu if taken literally, and I love that fun element about it.
HOP: Congratulations on winning ‘Gift of the Year 2012’. How does it feel to achieve so much in such a short space of time
VE: Fantastic! I keep having to pinch myself, as I said it’s been an unbelievable year, and to win Gift of the Year for the Made in UK category and be runner up in the Celebrating Britain category really was the icing on the cake.
HOP: Who is your favourite designer and why
VE: Ooh, such a tough question, do I have to pick just one?! I love the work of Rob Ryan and Gillian Kyle at the moment. Obviously very different styles and subject matter but they both tap into a certain emotion which makes you relate to the designs immediately with such a sense of familiarity.
HOP: What 3 things could you not live without
VE: Family/friends, my Mac and curry!
HOP: What are your top tips for anyone thinking of going freelance or hoping to start their own creative company this year
VE: Ask as many questions as possible. You don’t know, what you don’t know and there’s so much help and information out there. The British Library Business and IP centre is an amazing resource and has been a great help on many levels. I even got to talk to the wonderful Emma Bridgewater at an event they held there recently, who is such an inspiration. A huge leap for me was doing my first trade fair in January at Top Drawer London it seemed like a huge risk at the time, but one that has well and truly paid off. It’s an amazing way to get in front of such a large target audience and show them what you do, I’m already booked up for Top Drawer 2013 and will be exhibiting in Pulse in June.
HOT OFF THE PRESS: Victoria has recently designed some exclusive designs to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee in collaboration with The Tea Shed! Roll out the bunting and get your tea and sandwiches really! These beautiful textiles for the culinary kitchen are so delightful and iconic. The colour choices are yet to be confirmed however, take my advice and hot foot it to the Victoria Eggs stockists as I can see these flying off the shelves.
All images supplied by: Victoria Eggs