Behind the Scenes with Laura Felicity Design
Carrying on our closer looks at some of the exciting card and gift businesses in our industry, today we’re getting a sneak peek behind the scenes of Laura Felicity Design.
Home to homewares, giftware and interior design products, Laura Felicity design matches perfectly pretty screen prints with high quality materials; a combination that results in beautifully crafted designs that will look amazing in any home.
What inspired you to start Laura Felicity Design?
I’ve always had a passion for pattern and interiors. Ever since I was a little girl, and mum would decorate our family home, I’d love to collect all the wallpaper designs and colour samples and keep them to create inspiration boards.
Plus, I’ve always loved being creative, which showed through my school years and degree course. I graduated in 2009 from the University of Hertfordshire with First Class (BA Hons) in ‘Applied Art’, a very practical degree where I was able to learn my skill in screen printing onto paper and fabric.
I especially loved my final year of the degree course and once I graduated I applied to shows and intern work for independent Designer/Makers.
I spent 9 months interning, exhibiting at selling shows, developing new designs and making products. In April 2010 I had been trading for 6 months, and it was the decision to keep going as a business that made me set up Laura Felicity Design.
What can you tell us about your indie business?
Laura Felicity Design is an independent business specialising in quality and design. My silk-screen printing skills and hand drawn patterns come together to create beautiful handmade wallpapers and interior accessories.
All product materials are sourced within Britain and the collection is completely hand drawn, handmade, silk screen printed and digitally within the UK. Laura Felicity Design wants to bring a sense of the traditional, handcrafted, high quality era of British industry to all products.
What sets LFD apart from my corporate contemporaries is, as well as the ready-to-buy products you can purchase through the online shop and independent retailers, I also provide colour matching and bespoke design services. These are for individual clients looking for an extra unique touch to their home when getting the look for their wallpaper and home accessories.
What’s your role in the business?
My roles within my business are Creator, Designer, and Screen Printer. I also manage the admin, finance and marketing side of the business…the list is endless. I’m mainly a one-woman band. But it’s great (for the moment) because I am able to learn all areas of the business before I am able to hand over specific roles, growing my expertise in all aspects of my business.
One of my favourite things about my job is that everyday is different! It’s great to wake up and look at the diary to see what is planned for that specific day, and knowing it won’t be the same as yesterday. It’s very refreshing, and it certainly keeps me entertained, there is never a dull, quiet day, which is great because I can get bored very easily.
Are there other people who contribute to the business?
I have external companies who do the making side of my digital print wallpaper, home accessories and gifts; window blinds, cushions & lampshades, art prints, lavender bags, and Travel Cosmetic Bag range.
Each independent business is based in the UK. They are a joy to work with and enable me to focus on the designing and screen printing side that I love the most. Plus I then have time to market, develop and grow the business.
We believe that independents offer an amazing combination of unique design and high quality. How do you ensure this happens at Laura Felicity Design?
Each pattern design I create is triggered from inspiration around me whether it’s out walking the dog, a little bit of packaging I have collected, or day trips to beautiful parts of the UK I visit.
I find inspiration in the beauty and delicacy of patterns in a range of different areas, from the softness of nature to the clean lines of geometry. This inspiration follows through in my work, creating unique designs that unite patterns and layers in graceful combinations. My aim is always to design a piece that has an atmosphere of freshness and depth, inviting people into the pattern. And most of all making them feel happy.
This also continues through with whom I work with in terms of making. I always look for the quality of the finished product to make sure the combination of unique design and high quality is achieved.
You recently started running workshops for people interested in creating their own screen-prints. What has been the reaction?
The workshops I run have been great fun, and I have had a fabulous response; to the extent they are now a regular part of my business. It’s great to explain my profession in general conversation, but to have people try screen-printing and experience how I work is great for me.
I enjoy teaching people the traditional process. It’s also brilliant for people to have an insight into the physical work involved; it’s not as easy as it looks!
The workshops have evolved and I now host screen printing, lino printing and other various craft making for organised workshops; including hen parties, baby showers, teen and children’s parties, friend get togethers, and corporate team building.
What makes your business different?
At Laura Felicity Design I pride myself on being a British business, creating all products in-house and with skilled suppliers from around Britain. Shopping with LFD ensures you are supporting UK’s economy, whist purchasing a unique, high-quality product.
Laura Felicity Design is different. Whether you are looking for a complete matching home products; wallpaper, window blinds, cushions, lampshades, beautiful gifts for a loved one’s Birthday or celebration (or yourself!). Or you just want a small enhancement to your home that you simply can’t find elsewhere on the High Street.
You’ll be sure to find something handmade and beautiful from my product collection, or through working with my colour matching and bespoke design services.
Why do you think people should shop with independent businesses like yours?
I think it’s great to support and buy from independents like myself because we are supporting and helping grow our economy both locally and nationally.
Although we are more and more aware that larger companies tend to import their products to cut costs, we are still very unaware the conditions people are working in to make these products, and how much they get paid. It can’t be much when costs can be kept very cheap, especially when you consider the large companies are still making a profit!
With an independent you know this isn’t the case. We enjoy what we do, we thrive on what we produce and it’s very beneficial. You are helping individuals make a living and keep Britain’s businesses going through times when local independents and high streets are in need of huge support.
Design & Manufacturing
You currently specialise in screen-printed products. What inspires you about this area of design?
My screen print passion developed in the years during my degree. I love the effects it creates onto fabric and paper, as well as the handmade result you achieve when printing. It is a beautiful discipline, very hands on, but therapeutic and also satisfying when you see the results you imagined.
I will always have screen printing as part of my business, it’s definitely one of the USP’s for LFD. I have branched out with a digital print wallpaper collection, currently consisting of two designs (Geo and Nest Egg).
Plus all designs I have within my pattern collection are digitally printed onto window blinds, with fabric by the meter also in the pipeline to being released.
What can you tell us about the process of creating these designs?
The process to create one of my designs is fairly traditional. It starts with a trigger, this can be from something I am inspired by, or have seen, which sparks an idea. The idea is then researched, where I collate imagery through photos, Pinterest, magazines, props etc and I start to draw in my sketchbook.
All designs are hand drawn, then scanned into Photoshop and manipulated to form the right size and composition. A new design tends to start off as a wallpaper pattern, then once that has been a successful print, the design is formed to fit onto home accessories.
Once I’m happy with the design, it’s printed onto translucent film, exposed onto one of my many screens and then I can begin to print with a range of different colours I think will suit the pattern. All colours are hand mixed by myself, and I research the colours via swatches from paint cards and magazines.
Your collection shows great attention to detail and quality. What can you tell us about the craftsmanship involved?
It has taken me eight years to perfect my screen print technique, and I’m still always learning about the process. I had an excellent tutor during University who made sure you don’t do things by halves when it came to printing, and this has been tuned into my brain even to this day.
I also think with many ‘hands on disciplines’ like screen-printing the more time and training you put into it, the more you progress as a craftsman/woman. I tend to say to my classes,
“screen printing is not a skill you will learn and perfect in the matter of two hours. It’s a discipline that you develop over time the more you practice”.
I’m also a perfectionist (which doesn’t always suit a screen printer). If I’m not happy with a print I will reprint to get it right ensuring the product it turns into is of the best quality. All mistakes onto wallpaper and fabric are turned into samples or small products though – nothing is wasted if I can help it!
The Laura Felicity Design Collection
Which of the Laura Felicity Design collection are the current bestsellers?
The most popular design is Dotty Bird, especially for the homewares and gift range. In particular the Lampshades and ceiling shades, lavender bags and the Travel Cosmetic Bag collection.
This design in particular is beautiful and calming to look at. And it always brings a smile to people’s faces whenever they see it; for the first time or after numerous times.
What are your personal favourite products in your current collection?
I am biased and love all the products in my collection. Currently my personal favourites are the new Art Prints, which I released a few months ago.
The reason they stand out for me at the moment is because they can transform a wall or shelf space by itself or as a collection with other prints and accessories. Bringing pattern to a space that may need a fresh look, at an affordable price (from £12.00).
Each A4 print comes in a variety of colour options, suiting the Laura Felicity Design colour palette, has been digitally printed onto high quality 300gsm paper, and comes either framed or unframed.
What can gift givers expect from Laura Felicity Design in the coming months?
With the run up to Christmas Laura Felicity Design will be focusing on wellness & relaxation products, including Lavender Eye Pillows, and Wheat Heat Bags.
Note Books are currently in discussion, and the Pretty Flower Lavender Bags are also getting a new make over too, so watch this space.
Thank you Laura!
Find Out More
If you like what you’ve seen from Laura Felicity Design please find out more and see the full collection on the Laura Felicity website.