November 27 2014 Latest news:
Monday, March 3, 2014
An illustrator from Norwich has had her designs stocked by five shops in Norfolk, leading to sold-out products and plans to expand.
Tessa Killingbeck, 31, from Junction Road, set up the greeting cards company, Killing B, in December.
Around 200 cards sold in two weeks in only three shops and she is now stocked in Elm Hill Craft Shop, Brambles, Fabulous Frames and Warings Furniture Store, as well as another shop in Wells.
The illustrator, who studied French and history at the University of Nottingham, said that although she had drawn since she was a child, she wouldn’t consider herself an artist.
She said: “I did an Art A-Level at the Hewett School, but I’m not trained. It’s not technical at all. I don’t worry about perspective or things like that, but it seems to look quite nice anyway.”
Miss Killingbeck’s grandfather, Robert Walker, was a former editor of the Norwich Evening News. She uses his 1920s black Remington typewriter for her card designs, the same machine that he carried in the war and wrote plays on to entertain the soldiers. She describes her grandfather as a “prolific and great man”.
Another member of the family also has a part to play in the business – rescue wire fox terrier Tobin.
Miss Killingbeck describes him as “the ardent worker who ensures you receive your Killing B stock in fine, crisp condition”.
She added: “I got him from a rescue shelter around a year ago. He’s an amazing dog.
“I’ve drawn my animal characters since I was a child. Bevy Dingle, an airedale terrier, was the protagonist of the crew.
“It’s great to now have Tobin, a real life ‘Bevy Dingle’ long-snouted hound living with me.”
Expansion is next on the cards for the ambitious illustrator and she has been looking to the continent for her next venture.
She said: “I hope to grow my business online, to Europe and further afield. I’m trying to contact loads of places. I’ve started in London, walking around the streets finding independent retail outlets. However, it’s a quiet time of year, so lots of people have so much stock already.”
Killing B also offers wedding stationery and commissioned items such as invitations, all of which are personalised.
Miss Killingbeck also plans to publish books. She is currently writing about her animal characters fighting global warming and working for animal rights.
Prices for the products range from around £2 to £5 and are available at www.killingb.co.uk.
For more information follow Miss Killingbeck on Twitter at @BJDingle