Hip hip hooray, it’s our 10th birthday!
2016 marks 10 years of Thornback & Peel! It’s been a fantastic adventure that’s seen us launch many new collections and products, open our first shop and collaborate with a whole host of exciting brands. So, with a large bowl of Jelly & Cake in hand, join us in celebrating some of our highlights from the past 10 years.
Moving into our first studio
In the very early days, we simply rented table space at Cockpit Arts, Deptford which allowed us to test and sample loads of products while still retaining our day jobs. But by 2006 we were ready to take the plunge and move into a studio full time. Over the years, as our team has grown, we’ve gradually upsized and we now work in a large light and airy space at Cockpit’s Holborn branch. Our studio is still very much at the heart of our business; a buzzing hub of constant creative activity.
Getting squeegee with it
We started out hand printing all our designs as single prints in batches of 100. We still print many of our products in-house today. A huge amount of time and care goes into making sure the detail in the intricate patterns is crisp and clear. The inks are all mixed by hand to get the exact shade required and printing still happens using a silk screen and squeegee.
We love our puddings at Thornback & Peel and this single print Jelly was one of our very first designs. Over the years it’s been paired with a cheeky pigeon and a towering cake confection – but it’s remained a firm favourite with all our customers and has just been recoloured in an elegant grey for autumn/winter 2016.
Opening a shop
We were thrilled to open our first shop in 2012. Housed in a former grocers, the shop is located in a lovely neighbourhood of Bloomsbury, and is surrounded by lots of other independent shops, cafés and restaurants. It’s become a real focus for product launches and collaborations during the London Design Festival. We were delighted to be selected for The Sunday Times’ Hip 100 interiors shops in London.
Our classic prints
Our Pigeon & Jelly and Rabbit & Cabbage prints have been with us since the start. Pairing the traditional with the slightly surreal has always been our style, and these designs have become a core part of our collections. We launched them as deckchairs way back in 2007 and were delighted with their instant popularity. Relaxing in a proper, hardwood deckchair, the warm sun on your face and a cup of tea in hand, very much sums up what Thornback & Peel is all about.
Our wonderful team!
In the best tradition of Oscar-night speeches, none of this would have been possible without the fantastic support of our team who have been with us since the start. From left to right we are: co-owner Delia Peel, Melissa our Shop Assistant, Louise our Sales Manager, Emma our Studio Manager, Penni our Printer Extraordinaire and co-owner Juliet Thornback. Here we all are outside our Rugby Street shop doing what we love best: celebrating Christmas together, crackers in hand!
Designing our Christmas range
Christmas is our favourite time of year. We start work on new designs in early Spring in order to be ready for press launches in July. We love a good old-fashioned Christmas, with steaming puddings, holly and mistletoe and a bulging sack full of presents (if we’ve been good!). This year we’ve given Father Christmas a bit of extra help by creating our very own Santa Sacks!
Brands who’ve been part of our story so far
Over the years we’ve been privileged to work with some great brands. We’ve hand printed Christmas cards and handkerchiefs for Brompton Bicycles; created two collections of illustrated kitchen and table textiles for The Conran Shop; designed an exclusive range of tea towels for Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop; created the signature Guinea Pig and Pineapple for lifestyle store Smug; recoloured a range of upholstery fabric for sofa.com and an exclusive collection of kitchen textiles for Fortnum & Mason based on their iconic beehives (and Delia’s love of bees!). Many more collaborations are in the pipeline for 2017!
Our lovely press
We’ve been voted “Best Deckchair” by the Evening Standard, our new Pea Pod design made the Guardian Interiors Editor’s Pick, and our tea-towels have featured in more kitchen photo shoots that we’ve had hot dinners!
Over the years, we’ve had some great write-ups from the press who’ve come to know and love our brand… to name-drop just a few, we’d like to thank The World of Interiors, Financial Times, Homes & Gardens, Sunday Times, You Magazine, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Ideal Home, Homes & Antiques, Country Life, House Beautiful and too many more to name for all their kind words and support!
The intricacies of our design process
We are constantly updating our product range and with new products we work collaboratively with the whole team on new designs. This year we launched cosmetic bags, something we’d had on our ‘to do’ list for a while. We spent the early part of this year sampling. We had many team meetings to discuss what we all wanted in a cosmetic bag. Each of the team brought their own bag and explained why they liked it, what worked and what didn’t. We have ended up with a beautiful, hand-printed, handmade bag, lined with grey material which is waterproof but doesn’t feel tacky. The grey and gold zip was a mission, but we got there in the end. We are really proud of this new product and it really suits the little blackbird. We launched it online a few weeks ago and we think we’ve got it right – it’s already sold out once!
The wonderful support we’ve received over the years
Thank you to all our stockists, many of whom have been with us since 2006, and our wonderful customers for your support and enthusiasm, we could’t have done it without you – here’s to many more years to come!