Homegirl London pays homage to Chase & Wonder. Makers of a rather wonderful and whimsical range of finely designed products with bundles of British personality – home accessories, prints, stationery and greeting cards. The company was founded by Faye Pearce and David Aspinall in late 2010 when they realised their dream of designing high-quality British made products using traditional printing techniques. They’ve actually known each other since they were children and having relocated from London, they are now based in a converted cowshed in rural Worcestershire where they’re happy beavering away making their fine and dandy goods. I caught up with David to ask a few questions …
Q: How did you meet?
A: Faye and I met at Cransley School in Cheshire aged 5. Fast forward quite a few years to my 23rd birthday where we shared a kiss and the rest is history – we’ve been together ever since!
Q: Where did you study?
A: Faye went to Edinburgh University to study Fashion and then to the Royal College of Art. I travelled the world and then studied Graphic design at Central Saint Martins.
Q: What made you decide to set up your business?
A: We both graduated in 2007 and I found a job at The Brooklyn Brothers as a creative while Faye worked at Anthropologie in Philadelphia USA. After nearly 2 years of transatlantic flights, we decided to pool our creative forces and create Chase and Wonder in August 2010. Whilst we were waiting to move into our new premises in Worcestershire (which we managed to do so in Feb 2011) we designed our first ever screen prints and to be honest haven’t looked back.
Q: Describe your design style.
A: Faye and I set up Chase and Wonder with the simple aim of creating finely designed, hand-printed products with British personality.
Cushion Collection, £55 each
Tea Towel Collection, £12.50 each
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: We are inspired by P G Wodehouse plays, imaginations of past imperial splendour and sensibilities and the wish to ride above modern life – it’s much more fun in the clouds!
Q: Tell me about your ranges.
A: We almost always start with a print and our ‘They Ride Above it Range’ is no different. This was our first ever print and it came from the thought that we should all elevate ourselves from the seriousness of life on occasion, as I’ve mentioned – it’s much more fun in the clouds!
They Ride Above It Examples
We also have a range that is entitled ‘Sophisticated Animals,’ we love the idea of anthropomorphic images, with the animals living secret lives, this carries through with some of our other designs – Dandy Lion, Foxy Lady, etc.
Dandy Lion Limited Edition Print, £40 Unframed
Foxy Lady Limited Edition Print, £40 Unframed
Our stationery ranges of the Writing Sets and Card Sets are proving to be popular, we wanted to design writing set as getting a handwritten letter through the post is one of life’s pleasures. We use traditional techniques – letterpress and screen printing to achieve the final result.
A Gentleman’s Writing Set, £28
The Sophisticated Animal Card Set, £18
Q: Tell me why you made your products in Britain.
A: We’re very proud to produce all of our designs in the UK, which means we do a lot of it in-house. We have our own screen printing bed and utilise nearby companies skills to help us make our products. Wherever possible we try and use traditional printing techniques, which we feel gives our products a hand-finished feel and also means we can ensure everything is of the highest quality.
Q: Tell me about your studio and life in Worcestershire.
A: We didn’t have a lot of money (most of any savings we had gone on flights!) and so any property had to be cheap. London was out immediately! Eventually, we found an old cowshed near my parent’s place in Worcestershire, it was rough around the edges, but with a lot of work, we managed to make it in a studio we are proud of. We used lots of old reclaimed materials to make desks, shelving and much more besides. We even used some old cinema seats on a sofa and also our office chairs. Living in rural Worcestershire is quite a difference from our old lives in London. We actually now enjoy the peace and quiet and of course, the morning commute is much more pleasant! The area is full of natural beauty, which always provides inspiration on our many country sidewalks. There’s also a rich food heritage, so we enjoy cooking local produce or eating in nearby restaurants. We do travel around quite a lot to see friends, so have a good mix of rural relaxation and city fun!
Chase & Wonder’s Worcestershire Cow Shed Work Space
Q: What’s new for 2013?
A: We’re currently working on many new designs including lots of new screenprints, cards and a few more surprises! Ready to be launched in May.
To find out about Chase and Wonder check out their website Chase and Wonder Link. Their products are also stocked by prestigious shops and institutions such as Liberty, Fortum & Mason’s, Bluebird (Chelsea), V&A, Anthropologie, The Conran Shop, The National Theatre and many more besides. Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Chase & Wonder, special thanks to David Aspinall.