After the rollercoaster of the past twelve months it is sadly time to give back the keys to most beautiful studio I will ever have. 13 Sadler street was everything I could dream of, a real rough beauty that needed a bit of work but was spectacular with its full height window overlooking the Cathedral in Wells.
When I had the shop (at Number 8) I walked past every morning looking up and dreaming of being able to use this space.
I could wax lyrical about the ceiling height, the wooden floors, how the space was perfect for customers trying on big dresses, even more perfect for photoshoots etc. etc. That stunning window, the wallpaper and the staircase were Grade 2 listed and I planned to decorate the shared hall in metallic gold that would have looked great for both the Thai restaurant downstairs and myself. And it was HUGE, all the space for customers to enjoy and store the dresses ......
But the reality of having a beautiful 18th century studio during a pandemic when no one could visit and weddings were all cancelled made it all pretty difficult. The pandemic made me adapt my business back online, I pivoted to make facemasks, ready to wear collections and kept my head above water. I also had time to reassess what was important to my work.
After 10 years of stressing about spaces for customers it took a pandemic to make me slow down and realise all that worrying about what people thought of the space was to the detriment of the work. I used to constantly panic that customers wouldn't like my work because it wasn't in a shiny shop, nothing was ever good enough until Number 13.
But looking back, it was, the shop was gorgeous, the studio perfect but all my energy went into the space not the work itself.
A studio, shop or shiny space does not make a beautiful dress any more than a logo makes a well designed car or bag. I created some of my best work at home and that's where I'll make beautiful work again. After all, I'm a pretty unsociable designer not a great boutique owner or salesperson!
This is most definitely a new phase, my business isn't going anywhere and the dresses, which will be available online only, will be wonderful. I promise.
My new studio, is a wooden shed, down a country track in Somerset where spectacular gowns will be created.
We will be at the Wells studio until the 31st May. Bespoke Gowns will still be available to order with Anna and appointments will be carried out at a location most convenient to you either via home visits, studios in Street or Frome or at my Somerset studio. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org