Spotlight on the Seller: Kemp Arts

Each week we bring you a short interview with our featured seller, this week is Louisa and Wendy from Kemp Arts.

Kemp Arts Yorkshire made ceramics, gifts and art work available from Fabrication Crafts Leeds' Independent Department Store

Business name: Kemp Arts

Makers name: Makers Louisa & Wendy Kemp (mother, daughter partnership)

Describe your style in no more than 3 words. modern, handmade, happy!

What do you sell in Fabrication? We sell a collection of original artwork inspired by texture, travel and cityscapes / skylines. Also collections of ceramics, the ‘people’ range with a focus on family and friendship and a love of gingerbread men! Our hearts & stars collections and circle range are ceramic combined with recycled glass as their centres. We sell gift items, dishes, hanging decorations, keepsakes, candle holders and much more.

Kemp Arts Yorkshire made ceramics, gifts and art work available from Fabrication Crafts Leeds' Independent Department Store

How long have you had your own business and what made you start it? Kemp Arts has been a serious business for quite a few years now. Going into business together has been perfect to fit around family life for me (Louisa) whilst I had children & was pregnant, as they are now growing up it leaves me more time to expand and take on more work. For myself and Wendy flexibility has always been key and ongoing health issues for both can sometimes make a ‘regular’ job tricky. A partnership and understanding of our challenges is a great support.

What is your workshop / studio like? We currently work from our homes………hopefully a fully equipped amazing workshop will come soon…. ( we can dream) for now our kiln is in a garage and most work takes over the house / dining table.

What are your beverage and snack of choice when working? Beverage of choice whilst working has to be a cup of tea, can’t beat it ( and it helps warm your hands! cold hands make it difficult to paint and I find clay work makes them colder too!) Always a coffee for Wendy – she needs the caffeine to wake up!

What do you find the biggest challenge of running a micro-business? The biggest challenge of running a business for me is that you are responsible for everything! I wanted to be an artist, which is great but I’m also a book keeper, accountant, planner, shop worker, PA/ secretary/form filler, designer, social media expert (well I try!) visual merchandiser, stock taker……the list goes on….

If you could go back in time, what would you tell a younger you? If I could go back in time I would tell myself  ‘life is short make the most of everything, do what makes you happy’

What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out? For people starting out I would say have confidence in your ideas and products. Give yourself time (especially selling in a shop) you need to give it a go for at least 12 months to get an idea of products / customer/ selling seasons etc. Don’t be scared to re-evaluate things and adapt.

Why did you join Fabrication, and how long ago? We joined Fabrication because it seemed liked the next logical step for our business. we had sold at craft fairs, exhibitions and events for a while and Fabrication was recommended to us by fellow sellers. They have been looking after us in the shop now for 4 years this September!!!! Its a great shop to be a part of and nice to be around a group of people all running their own businesses too.

If you could buy any 3 things from the shop, what would they be? If I could buy 3 things in the shop……. so hard to choose but, 1- a necklace by CocoWild / Clay blanca by Jennifer Duenas, 2, a wooden table from Margaret Glackin, and 3- wrist warmers by Rowan Tree Designs ( my hands are always cold, think I could still paint wearing these because they don’t cover your fingers!)

Kemp Arts Yorkshire made ceramics, gifts and art work available from Fabrication Crafts Leeds' Independent Department Store

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