December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
A Hingham woman has achieved a lifelong dream of opening her own studio.
Lizzy Whitman has opened Bond Street Studios in the village, along with a host of creative partners.
After meeting at a local antiques fair in February 2011, the studio opened as a pop-up shop in Lizzy’s garden room and as demand grew, the women decided they needed a bigger base to work from.
Lizzy, along with her husband Gary Mann and a builder, spent 18 months transforming a Georgian dairy in Bond Street, close to their home, which opened on Wednesday.
The studio is also home to African basket weaver Zena Rowland, silversmith Moira Venn, who also showcases her work at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Marion Baker and Angela Jones who both make textile gifts, handbag maker Ali Jenkins and Jeanie Anderson, who creates men’s accessories.
The studio also has a courtyard where Sue Huckle’s ‘posh plants’ are showcased.
Lizzy trained at the London College of Fashion and worked with Zandra Rhodes and other couture designers before she qualified as a nurse. She specialises in shift dresses made from vintage or upcycled fabrics.
Although she spent a proportion of her career as a bank nurse, Lizzy always harboured a love for fashion and fabrics and spent her weekends selling her designs at London markets including Camden and Portobello.
She moved to Norfolk 17 years ago and spent the first 10 years commuting to London.
“I love Hingham and I think it has a lovely community spirit.
“A friend of mine told me about a shop that opened in Norwich and said I should show the owner some of my designs. They loved them and they sold really well,” she said.
Lizzy then decided to sell her work at Hingham Antiques fair where she met other artists and designers and they decided to work together.
“We are always looking for more designers to come on board. We are looking for people with standards who have a high quality to their work,” she added.
Almost everything in the studio is made in Norfolk by local designers, who take it in turns to man the shop.
Bond Street Studios is open 10am until 4pm, Thursday to Sunday.