Homegirl London pays homage to Martha and Hepsie. These sisters bring you a colourful collection which is full of character and charm. You’ll just love their adorable hand drawn motifs with distinct personalities like the Mischievous Magpie and Majestic Macaw. These cute and cheerful patterns adorn everything from homeware; cushions, lampshades, placemats and coasters, fine bone china mugs to stationery, costume jewellery and more. These products make ideal gifts for women and anyone who appreciates happy homeware. I caught up with the sisters to find out more about Martha and Hepsie.
Martha and Hepsie – meet the owners
This business is owned by sisters; Martha Copinger Binns and Hepsie Goddin. Before setting up their venture, Martha graduated from Nottingham Trent with a BA (Hons) in Textile Design. She then worked for Lisa Stickley and Gisela Graham in production and design, before returning to her home town of Sheffield. Hepsie graduated from Brighton with a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Business Studies. She bagged placements at Matthew Williamson, Copperwheat Blundell and The Bureaux before carving a career out in Marketing for the jewellery company Kit Heath.
Hepsie Goddin and Martha Copinger Binns
Martha tells me how the idea of working together really started– “Hepsie drew on my head with a biro when she was two months old. We like to see this as a premonition that we would work together in the future, rather than an act of sibling jealousy! Fast forward quite a few years and we were both a little frustrated in our 9-5 jobs. Whilst Hepsie was on maternity leave in 2011 we registered the company name. Initially, it was our therapy come hobby which took place after our work and when the kids were in bed. We started to like the fact that we had complete autonomy and could set our own briefs. Then in 2013 we were both made redundant within six months of each other. We took this as a sign that we should turn our hobby into our actual jobs.”
Bold Blue Tit Fine Bone China Mug
With house renovations and taking care of the children, it took the sisters a little while to get everything sorted out but they eventually got there through hard work and determination. They reminisce – “During 2013-14 we focussed on building the foundations of the brand. We developed our product portfolio to make sure we had a good offering to show at the trade fairs. We attended a course at the School for Start Ups to gain insight into running a business. We also became a partner at Not on the High Street which was a good outlet to sell our products.”
Mischievous Magpie Cushion
Luckily their studies and work placements stood them in good stead to run their own business. They elaborate – “We’re both creative and have degrees in design and our careers gave us experience in different sectors of the industry which has helped our roles evolve. Martha is the illustrator come designer and looks after production. Hepsie handles the marketing, web and PR elements of the business. This is quite ironical because when choosing her degree, Hepsie did state that she didn’t want to do much reading or writing! Other than those boundaries, we work together and seek each other’s opinion on most things.”
Puffin Billy Wall Art Print
The sisters were brought up separately in different parts of the country and have each returned to their roots, Martha to Sheffield and Hepsie to North Devon. They tell me – “The wonders of technology enable us to run a business together from different parts of the country. We Skype, WhatsApp, phone and text daily! To be honest, the distance helps us to have a very good business relationship – no slamming doors here, just the odd silence on the phone (rarely)!”
Martha and Hepsie – view the collection
They describe their work – “Our designs are playful, bold and colourful. The majority of our collections feature birds at the moment which probably has a lot to do with us looking out of the window! The motifs are hand drawn by Martha and we like to focus on the characters of our subjects to bring out their unique personalities. You’ll find the Mischievous Magpie, Bold Blue Tit, Majestic Macaw, Swoop Owl and Puffin Billy. The Puffins are inspired by Lundy, the island of Puffins, off the North Devon coast. Aside from these beautiful birds we also have the Urban Fox, Brown Bear plus Smile Camera, New Baby and a few others. Our work has a sense of humour which reflects our lives and the fact that we are always laughing.”
The product lines include homewares; cushions, lampshades, placemats, coasters, fine bone china mugs, wall art prints and cotton fabric. Stationery comprises of notebooks, greeting cards, note cards and gift tape. They also make a few jewellery items; badges, necklaces, earrings and pocket mirrors. Everything is manufactured in the UK either by local craftspeople in Sheffield or Devon. The jewellery is made by Sheffield jewellery designer Sour Cherry, the cushions are handmade by a seamstress in Devon and they make their own lampshades.
The sisters admire many designers, they tell me – “Orla Kiely is great. However, we really appreciate the work of our peers who started at the same time as us and are going on to do great things. A big shout out to Cecily Vessey for her quirky monochrome architectural illustrations, Kangon Arora for her colourful India inspired patterns and Blank Inside – we love the way Liz combines beautiful paintings with her northern wit.”
Martha and Hepsie – buy the products
If you love these products you can buy from their website: Martha and Hespsie Link. They also have a shop at notonthehighstreet.com. To give you an idea about prices – cushions are £50, lampshades from £50, mugs £12 and stationery notebooks are £3.75.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: M&H. Thanks: Martha Copinger Binns and Hepsie Goddin. Disclosure: This feature includes the following affiliate partners – notonthehighstreet.com (if you click through from my website and purchase items from the affiliates I will earn a small commission).