The South West of England is undeniably one of the most beautiful parts of the world. We count ourselves exceptionally lucky to be able to live and work in this haven and wanted to take a moment to tell you about just some of the South West based makers we work with.
When we first started The Botanical Candle Co. we worked with a number of shops, cafes and galleries in our local area. These first few stockists gave us a huge confidence boost and made us feel like growing the business would be possible. While we are still in our infancy, being only 7 years in to our story, we always look to pass on this support to other makers, artists and designers.
Our shop in Shaftesbury gives us a foot in the real world. Having physical shelves to fill with locally made wonders never feels like a chore and seeing customers' reactions to them is one of our biggest joys.
With such a wealth of talent in just a few counties, we are spoilt for choice. The size of the shop limits our range but here we are going to run you through some of the fantastically skilled people we work with.
Printmaker & Designer
Isla Middleton's ability to capture the wild character of plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables is remarkable. Using recycled paper stocks and eco friendly inks, Isla's distinctive style add richness and life to our shop.
Isla's Seasonal Foraging Posters work well singularly or as a set
Graduating from Falmouth University in 2016, Isla has since worked with household names such as Morris & Co. and Sanderson. The inspiring flora of Devon is evident in Isla's work. The twisting tendrils of honeysuckle and silky smoothness of wild garlic leaves in her foraging posters speak of an artist entirely in touch with nature.
This year we welcomed Isla's notebooks to the range and they've been firm favourites ever since. The wholesome tone of the 100% recycled paper gives these notebooks a tactile quality before you've even picked them up. We like the plain pages which allow for doodles and sketches.
Growing With The Seasons, Isla's collaborative calendar created in partnership with her sister, Bryony, is arguably her best-known work. Every autumn we eagerly await the 12 fresh linocut designs and Bryony's expert tips for a year in the garden or on the plot.
Again, the calendar is printed on recycled paper with environmentally friendly inks in a variety of rich yet earthy tones.
Nicky's stoneware decorations are new to us this winter but the joy they've added to the shop cannot be underestimated. Made by Nicky in her Exmoor studio, each piece is crafted by hand from beginning to end.
We were enthralled when Nicky explained her glazing technique. Using a 17th century Korean method known as Mishima, the slip is wiped back revealing the illustration below which has been carved by hand. Each piece is unique and is the type of family heirloom Christmas decoration that can be passed down the generations.
Farm Soap Co.
Botanical Soap Makers
Farm Soap Co. operate from an idyllic workshop on the Dorset coast. We love to see the herbs, flowers and botanicals they grown and harvest themselves. Seeing them used in the soaps we stock is such a thrill.
We love Farm Soap Co.'s tasteful packaging. Being huge fans of blue and white, the stylish branding with flashes of colour really caught our eye when looking for soap makers. Our favourites are the Dorset Sea Salt and Geranium which both give a thorough clean and gentle scent.
For small gifts the 40g soaps are a snip at £4 but can add so much to a gift box. For a chunkier soap you can upgrade to the 100g size for £10. A great option for big families or beside the kitchen sink for regular hand washing.