Monday, 29 June 2015

In support of local artists …..

Tabitha Mary's Embankment Suspension Bridge print - image from the website

Back in March, I took my little ‘Evie and Lola’ business to Westoning Spring Market. It was a lovely event with lots of fabulous small businesses showcased – most of whom I have followed since, with interest.

The one that stood out to me the most was Tabitha Mary. A collection of really beautiful, modern illustrations of iconic places in the UK. I loved the style, and it fits in well with postcards I have been collecting on our caravan travels, with the intention of decorating the caravan with them, as a kind of log of our travels.

Back at that fair, I admired the art, but was disappointed that none of the pieces were of places special to our family. I made a note to myself to keep an eye on the website, in the hope that Tabitha would add a print that was relevant to us.

A few months later, I heard that Tabitha was exhibiting at one of my favourite, and certainly most frequented, cafes in Bedford – Pavilion in the Park. (whilst on that subject, if you life anywhere close to Bedford, you must go there!  it's beautiful both in the day; for breakfast, lunch or coffee, or even better; go along to one of their excellent Supper Clubs.  You won't be disappointed - I promise).

But back to Tabitha's collection … I loved every print, as I knew I would, but just couldn’t choose between the newly commissioned Bedford images.  So, I did what I almost never do; I spoke up, and asked for what I wanted. I e-mailed Tabitha, explained about my postcard collection, and asked if she could do postcard sized prints for me.

Tabitha Mary's Bedford Park print - image from the website

Of course, Tabitha was incredibly lovely and helpful, as most owners of small businesses are. She explained that she would print four images to a page, and directed me to her website to choose the ones I would like.

While on the website, I spotted the Kilimanjaro print. This immediately brought back memories of seeing that very view, from a hot air balloon, on our honeymoon, five and a half years ago. So along with the postcards, I had to order a customised version of that too. It was supposed to be a gift for my husband on our 6th anniversary, but when it arrived, I couldn’t wait that long, and gave it to him right away instead!

Tabitha Mary's Mt Kilimanjaro print - image from the website

So my point in this story is twofold; support small and local businesses – they are usually extremely happy to go the extra mile for you, and if you want something, speak up and ask for it. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

I was inspired to write this after reading this lovely post from Katie Gregory - another Bedford blogger, who also asked for what she wanted, which ultimately added to my choice of beautiful Bedford artworks to be displayed in my caravan. Go and have a read. Then check out Tabitha’s website and blog for yourself. And maybe even commission a piece for your own town!