I am Charlotte (Lottie) Blake, 33, an upcoming stationery and homeware designer, with a background in art and surface design. My business, Charlotte Blake Design Studio, which I set up in 2011, has evolved over the years. Starting as a wedding stationery designer, I have recently widened my portfolio to include a range of prints, cards and notebooks, which I sell at fairs, and through my online shop (Charlotte Blake).
After an art foundation, I studied Contemporary Textile Practice at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Over the three years of my course, I fell in love with print and surface design, which I ardently pursued.
In my final year of university, I came in the top three in the ‘Design Wales Ffres Awards 2008’ run by IKEA, which sought new designs to be used for products across their stores. This success continued when, newly graduated, I was given the opportunity to exhibit my work at the New Designers exhibition at the Business and Design Centre in Islington – an achievement that every design graduate dreamed of.
For a number of years, I worked in customer service for Laura Ashley, and briefly a company in Somerset, which specialised in coaster and placemat designs. While this experience was valuable, what I really desired, was to sell my own designs.
Then this opportunity came in 2011. After being asked by friends and family to design their wedding stationery, I decided to launch my business, Charlotte Blake Design Studio, and was later nominated for the prestigious Welsh National Wedding Awards (awarded in the top three). From there, Charlotte Blake has continued to grow around becoming a mother to my two beautiful children.
My collections are largely inspired by nature, and the man-made objects that surround me. My designs are developed from intricate drawings and paintings, combining vibrant colours to create unusual patterns and texture. From floral-inspired prints, to geometric drawings - Charlotte Blake designs are perfect for ‘that something different’.
Nowadays, a typical weekday includes looking after my two children, packing and sending out orders, catching up on accounts, drinking tea, working on a digital design, drinking tea, photographing products for my online shop, experimenting with new designs and doodles, and drinking more tea!
More than anything, I try to shake off the preconceptions of how designs should look. My approach is somewhat childlike in nature - letting the imagination take over and not being afraid of how a drawing may turn out. In my Coventry-based studio - anything is a possibility.
If you are interested in featuring Charlotte Blake in your magazine, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.