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Up & coming – Wiggles & Florence

Susan Robertson, Owner of ceramics company Wiggles & Florence, takes inspiration from her drawings of gardens and houses

When did you launch your business and why?
Wiggles & Florence was launched at Top Drawer in September 2012 after being made redundant from our jobs, which involved marketing and designing for a Portuguese lighting company.

What's your career background?
My husband and I both worked for Laura Ashley for many years both in the shops and at head office in mid Wales and London. We then moved onto the lighting company, where we marketed and designed lighting.

What makes your products different from others in the marketplace?
The designs are of a garden theme - flowers, hedgerows and vegetables, all on fine bone china.

Can you tell us a bit about your collection.
At present we have about 17 designs spread across mugs, teacups and saucers, plates, jugs, sugar pots and teapots. We also do the award-winning Kitchen Garden collection in real melamine placemats and coasters, as well as the coloured mug designs.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration for the designs comes from the pictures of gardens and houses I draw for clients. I decided to incorporate some of the elements from the drawings onto china tableware to make it a more commercial enterprise.

What's your best-selling design?
It's hard to say, as some clients favour the white ware while others like the bright coloured mugs. The Kitchen Garden mug collection of four vegetable designs is a consistently good seller though. We've also just launched Snowdrops in two colourways, which have been extremely popular with country estates that have snowdrop walks.

Do you exhibit at any trade shows? If so, which ones and why?
We exhibit at Top Drawer, Home London and Pulse, and this year we're going to the Glee gardening show as we supply a lot of farm shops and garden centres, as well as country houses with gift shops.

Are you looking to explore other products or just ceramics?
We're looking at related products, possibly candles with the designs on the glass. We're also looking at an architectural range as we do a lot of bespoke work drawing buildings for clients that are then fired onto the mugs. These are usually used for promotional purposes.

In what types of shops are your products stocked?
Our products are stocked in the RHS, Twinings, galleries, bespoke shops, farm shops and garden centres.

What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently working on a herb design as well as drawing Gregynog Hall in Wales as a commission.

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