Posted on February 11 2015
Rio, can you tell me a bit more about yourself, Literary Emporium and why began designing/making? When I graduated from university with a degree in English, I didn't have a career planned out. Instead I knew that I wanted to run my own business. I worked in the charity sector for three years, and whilst it was rewarding, I dedicated my evenings and weekends to making jewellery and designing cards. Eventually, I decided to try to turn my hobby of designing and making jewellery into a business. I chose a literature theme for my shop as I'm a huge book lover, and my degree in English was put to good use with researching ideas. I have now expanded my literature jewellery and card range and also offer lots of different literary themed products including bags, cushion covers and other accessories.
Which designers/artists do you admire? I'm lucky enough to live in an area that is home to lots of creative talent and I really admire local designer, Mary Kilvert www.marykilvert.com, who is also based in Frome and illustrates beautiful products with her signature sheep designs. I also love fellow SEED artist, Alice Shield's fun range of ceramics.
What are you working on right now? I'm currently trying to expand my stationery range and I'm designing a range of notebooks, which will feature typographic literature quotes. I'm also working with other designers who will create work under the Literary Emporium brand and most recently I commissioned illustrator, Jack Slater to design a range of Valentine's cards. I really want to work with more young designers to bring in fresh ideas for Literary Emporium and showcase their talent.
Tell us your favourite joke? Shakespeare walks into a bar, the bartender says "You can't drink here, you're bard!
How do you relax? Running a small business does not leave a lot of time for relaxing but I find that creating new designs and researching literature quotes helps me unwind.
Where's home, and what are the biggest pleasures of living there? I'm lucky enough to live in Frome which is a pretty special place, with its high volume of creative businesses and independent shops. One of the biggest pleasures of living in Frome is to walk into town and have a wonderful choice of lovely cafes and pubs and diverse selection of local shops. Catherine Hill has a real artistic vibe to it and is home to lots of quirky vintage shops; you never know what you're going to find there.
What's your favourite day out? My favourite day out is definitely spent at Frome Independent market which is held on the first Sunday of each month. The market always has an amazing atmosphere and is packed full of an incredible array of traders, selling handmade, locally sourced products and vintage treasures. I always visit on an empty stomach as you're spoiled for choice with the selection of street food that's on offer.
What has been your finest hour so far? I don't have a specific moment but I'm proud of the fact that I quit my day job to pursue my dream and the dream is still going strong!
Check out the Literary Emporium product page on Seed.