It’s no secret that I love collaborations and have been a part of many (with more still to come in the future!). It’s also no secret that I try to source as many of my products and materials to be made here in the UK.
This is a blog about a collaboration between Meg Hawkins Art has with Ric, who handcrafts our beautiful wooden products.
I first met Ric a few years ago at one of the trade shows we were attending. We got talking and spoke about working together. Time passed and nothing immediately materialised. This is often the case, but all of these meetings and conversations are so worthwhile – you never know when inspiration for a new product or range might appear and you think back to having met just the right person to help make it happen!
Around a year passed and we met again at the Scottish trade fair. We chatted again and after familiarising ourselves more with each other’s businesses and discussing the ideas and products we liked most, the journey began.
Ric’s workshop is located on the outskirts of Harrogate in Yorkshire, a few hours from us in Shropshire. Both being family run, small businesses, we have a lot in common and work together well with a shared understanding of the challenges and an appreciation for a high quality, UK made product.
Ric makes all of his woodcraft range by hand. When I was growing up, as a child, my Dad was always working on something involving carpentry, so visiting there and seeing it in process felt like second nature to me – and took me back to my childhood!
We had so much fun, choosing all of the different woods – each with a story to tell about where they were sourced from.
We don’t mass produce our products, so it was perfect that we could choose many to be totally bespoke and unique. Our cheese boards and bread boards are one of the best sellers in the range, and we are always working to choose which designs will work best on which products. These items are made from either English oak or sycamore. We have also experimented with adding resin into some designs.
One of the best things about working in partnership with a fellow small business is the flexibility and personal service of both being able to bounce ideas and discuss options.
Ric "Working with Meg is great, she is continually looking at developing the image and product range, trying something new. She trusts me to develop her ideas into first class branded products benefiting from both our skill sets"
As Ric has now been working with my watercolours for a while, he’s really got to know them and is able to suggest and work with me to decide which designs will suit which products.
You may be aware that me and my daughter Coral have recently launched Country Gift, a sister company to Meg Hawkins Art. We’re already excitedly planning to have a range of products made by Ric for this too.
It’s important to build relationships with businesses that have the same outlook as you and listen to your ideas to work together. We can all support and help each other to grow.
We’re so excited about future designs and seeing what appears on the drawing board next!