As a child up I simply loved drawing and spent hour upon hour creating little worlds from my imagination. I was endlessly entertained by picture books and anything illustrated for children - puzzles, cards, textiles, wallpaper; none went unnoticed. I was also captivated by nature, taking an interest in gardens, flowers and animals from a very young age. (A little more about that here...)
Upon realising I probably wasn't going to make it as a professional athlete (my other childhood passion), I chose an artistic path, enrolling on a degree in Illustration at Loughborough University, where projects given to the class ranged from making a life-sized 'body map', representing your personality, to creating a new language without using letters. For me, illustration was really all about escapism and feeding the imagination, and always had been - it followed that I decided to focus on illustrating for children, where my love of drawing had started years before.
After a number years happily illustrating children's books, creating engaging characters and dreaming up worlds for them to populate, I hit upon the idea of creating beautifully illustrated and imaginative, yet contemporary, wallpaper for children's rooms. Some time spent designing textiles for children's home-ware had provided a chance to practice making complex repeat patterns and I soon saw endless opportunities when working on this larger scale. A number of people mentioned to me how well they remembered their childhood wallpaper from the 1970s or 1980s; there is no reason why such memorable and magical wallpaper can't be created now, with a contemporary aesthetic, to inspire young imaginations.
The logo of the little Wren bird actually originates from my grandad Harold Renn's old London-based business Renn's Shaped Ply. My great grandad, Arthur, before that had been a piano maker in London, and as an expert in shaping wood to create musical instruments was asked during WWII to work on the making of a wooden fighter jet - the Mosquito. The factory went from making pianos to planes but after the war Arthur returned to his first love. His son, Harold used the knowledge of shaping wood to start a furniture business, Renn's Shaped Ply, in London's East End. I am told he was very sociable and well-liked by the diverse staff - one of the Kray twins worked for him briefly before embarking on a life of crime! The business, close to Brick Lane in East London, closed in the 1970s but fortunately some printed examples of the logo remain and it's wonderful to be using it and the Renn family name for my own business.
110 Hampstead Road