Following International Women’s Day on 8th March, we wanted to get to know these fantastic female-owned businesses better. Read our Q&A below to find out about their plans for 2021, the markets they love most and why shopping small is so important to them…
Pedddle: Tell us a little more about you and your business!
Bic Beaumont Art: I’m Bic, and I’m based in Worcestershire.
I have two distinct areas of work within painting; one being abstract and experimentation and the other whimsical. In either area, my work is full of colour and sparkle, it is fun to create, energetic with mark making or texture and it makes me smile when I look at the work. It isn’t serious or heavy with emotion; it is just about having fun, especially when I’m creating my animal characters.
My lino work follows a similar ethos, using animals and folklore, but the work tends to be more peaceful and relaxing, welcoming the viewer in, just to take a moment out from their everyday lives – I certainly find it very therapeutic when I’m creating them.
I make original paintings, lino prints, greeting cards, fine art giclée prints, cushions, mugs, decorations, notebooks, coasters and tea towels, which are all available via my Etsy shop.
Katie Clement Illustration: I’m Katie, an illustrator and printed textiles designer based in London.
You can often find me getting immersed in exploring a city’s architecture, which inspires my collection of Greetings Cards, Art Prints and Gifts, which are created from my plant filled South East London home.
My illustrative style can be described as detailed monochrome illustration with a striking colour pop. All of my prints are high quality Giclée prints that will last on your walls, and have started out as hand drawn illustrations before being made into prints.
I love to draw buildings, as you can probably tell, and I also take on illustration commissions, so if you are looking for a keepsake of a special place such as a family home, wedding venue or Sports Stadium then please do get in touch. All of my cards can also be personalised to make them extra special, and I can even write a message and send straight to the recipient if you are short on time or distancing due to Covid. I love to brighten up occasions during this strange time with a little more snail mail to put a smile on someone’s face!
The Pepper Press: I’m Liz and I make handmade linocut prints and cards and bags using my illustrations. My linocut prints are designed and hand printed in Norwich, under the mantle of The Pepper Press.
The inspiration for my work comes from the natural world, plants, animals, insects and curiosities. I’m interested in colour and form and the juxtaposition of shapes and pattern.
I started my business to explore an interest I’ve had for some time and to see where it would take me, and I have just started getting involved in craft markets in person. It’s a great way to meet like minded artists and creatives and to meet the people who buy my work. I love meeting everyone and chatting about the creative process and the story behind what I make.
Pedddle: Our featured traders this week are all illustrators who focus on the natural world. How are you inspired by nature?
Bic Beaumont Art: I was very fortunate to grow up surrounded by
countryside and animals, with a family extremely interested in sustainable living, growing our own fruit and vegetables, and living with the seasons.
From a young age I would rescue animals in distress, nursing them back to health where I could and I was just fascinated by nature – the patterns, texture, colours. Many said I had more affinity to animals than humans, even as a child, and I just never grew out of that curiosity and respect – and I hope I never will!
Katie Clement Illustration: There is just so much inspiration in nature. Whilst I love drawing cityscapes and architecture with all the straight lines and angles, I always end up coming back to a bit of nature. My partner works in horticulture and our flat is a jungle so there really is no escaping all the amazing inspiration that I wake up to every day!
My collection includes plant prints and various birds and animals. In the bird prints I love looking at all the patterns in their feathers. They often become quite geometric and there is so much detail to get stuck into, and who doesn’t love a good plant! Plus, whilst it is fantastic to be surrounded by real plants, you can’t kill a print!!
The Pepper Press: I think I’ve been interested in the natural world since my childhood. I was influenced by my parents’ love of nature and wildlife and its kind of stayed with me!
My art practice has often leant toward natural elements. I have a background in painting and drawing and only recently started printmaking. My interests are in animals, insects, plants, fungi and the natural world in general, and I think looking at wildlife and other curiosities I find around me enables me to appreciate them in all their forms. It combines some of my hobbies of gardening, craft and foraging for food, so it’s very me!!
Pedddle: We are huge champions of sustainability, working with companies such as Noissue to help our members find eco friendly packaging. How do you incorporate sustainable practices into your small business?
Bic Beaumont Art: Where possible I try and use recycled paper, card and
envelopes with biodegradable and compostable display sleeves for my hand printed cards and lino prints. For the externally printed cards and prints, I will use any sustainable option I can, plus biodegradable display sleeves again. For paintings I use eco handmade paper.
I reuse packaging from supplies I’m sent and if anyone is getting rid of any packaging or art supplies, I will always try and reuse those as well.
I like supporting small businesses and ensure I use vegan friendly supplies and materials too.
Katie Clement Illustration: Whilst I try to be eco conscious with my business practices, I know I’m not perfect! I am currently looking into sourcing new tissue paper and stickers to ensure that they can be recycled. All my cards and prints are packaged in biodegradable and compostable cornstarch sleeves, and whilst I send them out in these as standard for added protection, I am also happy to send without the sleeves if requested.
The Pepper Press: I’m gradually trying to make a lot of my work, and it’s packaging, as ethical as possible. It can be hard to get everything spot on and just right when it comes to the materials I use, but it’s about trying to get the balance right between a beautiful high-quality product and limiting the negative impact on our planet.
I use handmade paper and linseed based inks for printing, my tote bags are organic cotton made in SEDEX factories and I try to source as much of my materials in the UK as possible. My packaging is recycled card and tissue paper, paper uncoated stickers and bio film cellophane. Most of what I make can be reused, recycled and is biodegradable.
It’s very important to me, as a maker and nature lover, to try and limit my impact on the world’s resources, so I’m always looking to make items that are as ethical as possible. I’m planning on using linen in my textile printing as it has less environmental impact than cotton… so that will be coming soon!
Pedddle: What’s next for you in 2021?
Bic Beaumont Art: I am currently creating a number of original lino print
greeting cards which will be suitable for all occasions, and more lino prints.
Next month I will have new lined journals featuring ‘David’ the sheep and ‘Fred’ the fox, and if the quality of the ‘Luna’ the hare ones I got last month are anything to go by, they will be fab – perfect for gifts!
Katie Clement Illustration: I’m currently working on a new ‘Botanical Garden’ collection which I am super excited about! It is giving me the opportunity to really explore nature in my work but also combine it with architectural structures. It’s a perfect match for me to combine my signature monochrome illustration with a bit more of a striking colour pop. I am hoping to launch this collection on to some new gift products but I will keep these under wraps for now whilst I am still in the development phase, but keep an eye on my social media for sneak peeks as they come!
The Pepper Press: I’m always thinking of new ideas and images so there will no doubt be lots more prints and printed fabrics this year.
I’m planning to release a range of linen tea towels soon. These will be printed by hand using small linocut blocks, featuring mushrooms, feathers, leaves etc. I will also be creating a range of handprinted paper garlands.
Pedddle: We love to shop small, independent and local, and encourage others to do the same. Why do you agree that this is so important?
Bic Beaumont Art: I think of small businesses and independents as a community and I want to support my community. I want to sing their praises and recommend them to my friends and family.
Small businesses have a story, there is a face behind it and quite often it is just one person who is doing every role there is within that business, so they really care, plus they tend to offer something completely unique.
Equally, by supporting a small business, you will quite often find that they are supporting other small businesses by getting supplies and in turn they will no doubt be supporting and putting that money back into their local community.
Katie Clement Illustration: Not only do small businesses offer unique treasures, but they also offer a much more personal shopping experience. Each store is one-of-a-kind and the owners have a real passion for their products. We work tirelessly to understand our customers and to provide them with service that feels special and personal.
Not only that, but as consumers we really are helping to bring people’s dreams to a reality when we shop small or independent. Whether that is buying a card from me, a coffee and cake from your local independent coffee shop, eating out at the tiny independent restaurant around the corner, it all helps. It brings a smile to our faces every time someone walks through our ‘doors’.
The Pepper Press: Shopping small and local has such a massive, direct impact on individuals. Unlike shopping from large multinational companies, shopping small and independent is so much more ethical, friendly and personal. The special thought that goes into a sale from a small business or maker is what makes the creative world such a wonderful place!
Pedddle: We’re hoping that in-person markets will re-open soon, when safe to do so. What is your favourite market, and which markets are you hoping to sell at next?
Bic Beaumont Art: The Fold Market near Malvern, Worcestershire, is held on the first Sunday of each month, March to December, and will always be a special market for me. I used to attend the market and their events before I even thought about having a small business. I have met so many great
people through this market, both customers and fellow stallholders, and they really have all been wonderful. My fellow creatives who I met here have been a massive support over the years, plus lots of other opportunities have come about through going there. It is a wonderful environment and I just love going there and setting my stall up, but regardless of the season you always need to wrap up warm!
All being well (and Government guidelines allowing), I will have my first face to face market of 2021 on Sunday 18th April, which will also be my first time attending the Crowcroft Market near Malvern, Worcestershire.
Katie Clement Illustration: Local Makers Market in Wanstead has to be my favourite market. I have traded there several times now and have begun to notice the regulars who come to every market to have a browse and a chat with us. There is a real sense of community spirit and shopping local, and a real range of ages who attend. It wouldn’t be what it is without the fantastic curation and organisation by Rosie, and all the Wanstead locals who brave the elements to come and queue round the block to get in!
I’m having a quiet spring, market wise, whilst I work on my new collection, which will be ready to launch in May, just in time for the next Local Makers Market on May 1st and The Wonderlist Directory online event on May 6th.
The Pepper Press: I haven’t attended many markets since I started making my linocuts, but I really enjoyed being part of The Fresh Artisan Makers Market in Norwich. A really lovely space and a great atmosphere, full of lots of lovely artisan makers!
I don’t have any in-person markets planned as yet. It’s been such a strange year so far that it’s hard to make plans! I am focusing on making new work at the moment and preparing stock to go into a couple of shops that I’ve been lucky enough to get involved in, so my focus is on that for now.