Fay Martin is the founder of Fay’s Studio, where she creates her distinctive illustrations and turns them into beautifully unique greetings cards. As an ambassador of The Princes Trust, Kelly mentored Fay this summer, as part of The Prince’s Trust ‘Tomorrow‘ Campaign. The campaign saw six young people, who overcame unemployment with help from The Trust, paired with established industry leaders to create products to be retailed nationwide.
Kelly has worked alongside Fay for six months, where they have gone on to develop their unique Tomorrow Cushion & Throw, which was unveiled on QVC UK this week.
You’ve been working with The Prince’s Trust as part of their Tomorrow campaign , how has this whole experience been?
The ‘Tomorrow’ campaign has been really great to be involved in. Firstly to be asked and selected by Kelly was amazing, a once in a lifetime experience. Kelly’s support has been brilliant, although she has many irons in the fire, Kelly has always made time for me. Visiting Kelly’s design studio was so inspiring as this is where she commits so much time to pass on her knowledge to others. The design process has been really fun and a fantastic opportunity for me to develop my designs for interior products.
It has also been great to follow the journeys of the other Tomorrow campaign mentees and we have all been supporting each other which is lovely.
It has been great to be a part of something of such worth and purpose, and to give back to a charity that was there for me when I really was in need.
Prince Charles even took the time to write to me, wishing me success and thanking me for my part in the Tomorrow campaign!
How have you enjoyed working with Kelly Hoppen as your mentor in the campaign?
From the start Kelly was a dream to work with. I am so inspired by her get up and go attitude, her focus and drive, and her warmth and compassion towards young people in business. Kelly’s focus and professionalism is something I continue to aspire to and one day I hope to be able to mentor business start-ups, especially in design.
Designing with Kelly was really easy, sometimes when two creative minds come together it somehow doesn’t work, but we hit it off straight away and it was such a pleasure because Kelly’s focus and expertise made my job easy. Studying Kelly’s books gave me an insight into Kelly’s design roots and as the illustrator for the products it was good to channel Kelly’s style whilst adding my own flair.
Your new products designed in collaboration with Kelly were released on QVC on November 19th, how did it feel to have them finally unveiled?
It was wonderful to finally be able to reveal the products to the viewers, which we’ve kept secret for so long. Every time I saw the cushion and throw they looked different under the lights and that’s the great thing about the design and the materials that were used.
When I launch a product I feel the same anticipation and excitement of Christmas morning. I was so proud and pleased of the results and it felt great to know that viewers were ordering whilst we were live on the show. It was a great feeling to know that all the hard work had gone into something really positive and the proceeds were going back to the charity closest to my heart.
With Christmas coming up it must be a busy time for you, what have been your favourite designs you’ve prepared for the festive season?
In the greetings industry we design seasons ahead. I have already started the planning and designing of my Christmas ranges for 2013 because in just a couple of months buyers are already sourcing products for their stores for next year. For next year I have added more relation cards for Christmas. I am always thinking about Christmas because it is such an important part of the design calendar.
This year my Christmas single cards are selling well, gingerbread men are always a festive favourite. Also my snowmen, robin and reindeer cards and Wife and Husband cards always sell quickly. My pocket-sized cards do well, customers look for something different and come back time and time again for my quirky and unique designs.
Looking forward, what have you got in store for Fay’s Studio in 2013?
In February I will be exhibiting at Spring Fair International a trade show at the NEC in Birmingham for my third consecutive year. Here I meet buyers from home and abroad, and make new contacts for design licensing. It’s nice to meet customers face to face and have the opportunity to talk about the products on display.
I am branching out further into export too, with my ranges making their way to Australia via a distributor based in Victoria. This is such an exciting venture for me, launching my cards into a different buying market.
I am looking forward to further growing the business, developing more product ranges and expanding into licensing my designs for wrapping paper, stationery and gift ware.
For the rest of 2013, who knows?! I am always surprised by what the business brings. I am really spurred on by the events of this year and hope to continue to inspire others and with more exciting and unique products branch out further in the UK and overseas.
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helped Fay develop her business. For more information visitwww.princes-trust.org.uk/tomorrow. To find out more about Fay’s Studio please visitwww.faysstudio.com
Fay’s Studio specialises in quirky and unique hand illustrated greetings cards, made in the UK using the finest eco-friendly board and envelopes and biodegradable packaging.
You can find Fay’s cards online and in a variety of independent shops and well known high street retailers in all corners of the UK. Fay has also designed greetings cards and gift bags exclusively for Next and won ‘Young Business of the Year’ in the Stroud Life Business Awards 2012.