To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2022 we wanted to champion some of the amazing women and female-led companies that have joined us at the Country Living Fairs. Take a look below to see some of the fantastic female artisans exhibitors, makers, crafting experts and more that have inspired us over the years…
Sara Ward, founder of Hen Corner and previous columnist for Country Living Magazine is an all-time favourite and long standing presenter at our Fairs. While Sara the family continue to expand their hands-on skills, they train and encourage others through their schools programme, writing, and series of courses that are run from Hen Corner throughout the year. Be it jam making, wood carving, bee keeping or bread baking, there’s always something new that we can learn.
Sophie Allport is a British homewares and lifestyle brand. Sophie runs the business with her brother Jem from their head office in Bourne, Lincolnshire. After university, Sophie worked as a freelance illustrator in London for many years and was invited to paint at the Country Living Fair in London in 1996, where she had a few of her designs made up into cards to sell on the day! She always wanted to run my own business, and so did her brother Jem. In April 2007, they decided to team up to create Sophie Allport Ltd.
Arleen is a mixed media textile artist creating fine art framed and unframed originals and hand finished stitched and embellished prints and greeting cards.
She has always been inspired by nature and this is reflected in her work. Seascapes , landscapes, woodlands and flowers are always to be found in her collection. They have a real sense of light and movement and reflect this beautiful country which has been her home for the past 30 years.
Kerrylyn, founder of Can to Candle started her business when she saw citronella candles in recycled tin cans on Pinterest. After she made her first candle she showed it to some friends who were impressed with it and everything started from there.
Kerrylyn was keen to get back into the work place but with three young children and living in a rural location she needed something home based that would draw on her creative side shaped in the interior design career she previously had. So she starter her own business from home.
Lottie Day produces a range of handmade, screen-printed products featuring her own illustrations, inspired by the Norfolk countryside.
She used to run a gallery and shop in Norwich, started drawing, sewing and screen-printing behind the desk and before she knew it, Lottie was producing her own handmade products. See the interview with Lottie below to get an insight into her story,
Sandra Hardy designs and makes a range of ladies jackets, coats, hats & scarves in 100% quality boiled wool including unique ‘’one-off specials” featuring many decorative details such as colour piecing, pin tucking and surface stitching. Find out more about how Sandra started her business.
Chris Myers founder of The Cozy Club ‘where you are a stranger only once’ brings together ladies who share a common desire to make and create. They sit comfortably together in her home where all materials are provided and refreshments are always on hand. The project is often based on the season and a delicious homemade lunch is provided and the table is set to inspire
Samantha has always been an artist and designer at heart. She graduated from university with a degree in textiles and ever since then, has been creating designs developing her style and skills. She took the plunge to start her own business in 2017 after she met her friend, a fellow artist who told her to just do it! It all began from there.
Melanie Russell designs and makes decorative mosaics for interiors. Her pieces are all one-offs, made from hand-cut bone china, especially English Victorian tableware. Melanie’s husband cuts the templates for her in his ‘workshop’ (their garage) and she has turned her dining room into a studio. It’s a team effort, and very much a ‘kitchen (or dining!) table’ enterprise.
EDDIE ROSE ASHLEY
Rosie, business owner of Edie Rose Ashley creates abstract floral acrylic paintings, using bright and fresh colour palettes, with each piece evoking a unique aspect of the British countryside. She also does handwritten calligraphy tags and customised wedding calligraphy as part of her business.
Tanja Möderscheim is a Dutch fine artist based in London who paints in oils using classical style and techniques common in 17th Century Holland. Tanja has always been creative but painting soon became her way to relieve stress and after 16 years of practice, she’s arrived at her current painting practice, approach and themes. Due to increasing sales over the past years and due to the wish to be ‘there’ for her two young sons she left her career in 2018 and has been a full-time artist since.