Rachel began designing in 2001 whilst on maternity leave from her teaching job as Head of ICT at a Bristol Primary School. She started by creating collage artwork from hand-made papers. Demand for her work led to home sales and local exhibitions. From here, she branched out into the gift packaging and stationery industry, which she remained in for a number of years.
Rachel started out using paper cut-outs, photography, and ephemera. In time, she began working with illustration. Most recently Rachel has been designing for textile, product, home and packaging. Since 2001, she has exhibited in many trade and retail shows from London to San Francisco. Her work has sold throughout the United Kingdom, America and Australia, and has been featured in a variety of UK Magazines. Below are just a few samples from each period.
2001 - 2004
In 2001 Rachel was creating paper collage artwork for sale at exhibitions and in galleries. It was during this time that she started making hand-made paper cards to sell alongside her artwork. After two years of making each card by hand, she moved to litho printing. This had the benefits of allowing her to scale the business, improve quality and give more time for the creation of new designs. Rachel increased her business outlets. She had a desire to incorporate her designs on gift wrap sheets, so Rachel started adding gift wrap and gift tags to match her greeting cards. She decided to sign up for her first trade show in London and started gearing up for further expansion.
2004 - 2005
Rachel's first trade show was a great success. Her trade outlets increased considerably within a very short space of time and it wasn't long before she was selling throughout the United Kingdom, America, and Australia. Wendy and Emily both started working in the studio to help with the day to day orders. They also accompanied Rachel on trade shows. Rachel signed up to more trade shows and set to work on new designs for future ranges. Her first website was built and launched, so she could sell to trade outlets online. During this period, her artwork medium still consisted of cut and torn (hand-made) papers, which was litho-printed for products.
2005 - 2007
A busy period of production, trade shows and processing orders. Rachel continued to create new designs from hand-cut papers. After being asked by many if she sold to the retail sector, Rachel decided to add a retail section to her website. In a search for more retail openings, Rachel signed up to a then, very new retail company called Not on The High Street. She remained with Not on The High Street for several highly productive and happy years.