Homegirl London pays homage to RawXclusive. The woman behind the brand is award-winning artist Rebecca Anne Winter. She started her company back in January 2011 and makes Cushions, Bowling Bags, Wash Bags, Purses, Kitchen Accessories, Prints and Gifts adorned with hand sketches of animals; cats, dogs, stags, chickens, hares, zebras and many more. It’s not all animals; there are some glamorous chairs, candelabras and spoons.
Her technique involves transferring her simple yet sophisticated images on to sumptuous wool and crisp linen using digital and hand-pulled screen printing. I caught up with Rebecca to find out more …
Q: Why call the company RawXclusive
A: Raw is the initials of my name (Rebecca Anne Winter) and the Xclusive bit came because when I started the company I made products which were exclusive, one-off designs. I took the ‘e’ from the beginning of Xclusive because it looked better without it when designing the logo.
Q: Tell me about your design background.
A: I studied Textile and Surface Design at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University. Following university, I worked for de Le Cuona, a high-end interiors company.
Q: Why set up your business?
A: It started as a hobby, following my degree I wanted to keep producing my own designs. I set up a website and it just went from there. Each sale gave me more and more confidence to keep growing and creating.
Chairs Cosmetics Bag, £19.95
Q: Where are you based and why?
A: West Dorset, I moved there to be with my partner and absolutely love it. With the rolling hills of Dorset that go down to the sea – it’s a breathtaking view that I see every day and it’s so inspiring.
Q: How many people work at your company?
A: There are 2 of us in the office, but we have 7 fantastic manufacturers across the UK producing our products. The designing and joyful paperwork is done in Dorset!
Q: Describe your design style.
A: Simple and sophisticated.
Birds Cosmetics Bag, £19.95
Cat Cosmetics Bag, £19.95
Q: Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
A: It really can be from anywhere. Sometimes an idea can pop into my head, other times it can be months of sketches and studies before a new collection is formed.
Q: Tell me about your collections.
A: Our latest collection ‘Animals’ is very much based on the Dorset countryside. Looking out of the studio I am often in sight of the resident deer, foxes and hares bounding around the place.
Boxing Hare Oven Mitt, £17.50
Egg Cosies, £7.95
Q: What’s your fascination with animals?
A: I’m from a farming background and very much a country girl at heart. From always having animals around me, they are very much a large part of my life and I like to show that in my work.
Q: Tell me about your bespoke service.
A: We’re currently working on our new website which will incorporate our new bespoke service – watch this space!
Q: Which designer do you admire and why?
A: Jen Rowland. I think her work is just beautiful, the quality of the screen printing and the imagery used are fantastic. I love her cards too, especially the owl.
Q: What’s the best thing about owning your own business?
A: The design freedom you have.
Q: What one piece of advice would you pass on to someone wanting to set up their own business?
A: Don’t think it will be easy – it’s hard work but rewarding! Do your research and ask a lot of questions. Sometimes it can be daunting but don’t give up.
Q: What’s coming up for the rest of 2013?
A: We’re very excited to be launching our new website in the Autumn, along with our new range of gift ideas in time for Christmas. We are also working on our new fabric collections for SS14 and introducing our long-awaited fabric books for the Interior Design industry.
In terms of prices, the products start from £2.50 for a greetings card up to £49.95 for a piece of fabric by the metre. You can buy from Raw Xclusive plus over 160 stockists worldwide.
Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of RawXclusive, special thanks to Rebecca Winter.