Little did designer Jess Hogarth know that a first year university project would become a business plan for a career that is using Robin Hood’s Bay as its inspiration.
Over the last 12 months, since ditching her job in another studio, she has been working from her bedroom at her parent’s cottage which overlooks the stunning Robin Hood’s Bay coastline.
She has been designing and drawing and putting together (and in some cases ripping them up again) the images that have gone on to form her first range of products which were launched at the British Craft Fair in Harrogate in April.
The striking images of the famous Robin Hood’s Bay rooftops now feature on cards, tea towels and mugs and are being sold in various gift and craft shops around the country including Whitby bookshop and Coast Cafe Bar. They can also be found further afield at Helmsley and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as well as select shops in Northumberland, Scotland, Lancashire, Norfolk and Derbyshire.
She also got six orders for her products at the Harrogate trade fair in a market which is hard to get into.
Jess, a former pupil of Eskdale and Whitby Community College, said: “I was absolutely thrilled about that, with it being a recession some suppliers come to the show and don’t order, they wait to see if you are still there next year and if you are still going, you are a safe bet.”
It goes without saying that living near Robin Hood’s Bay you can’t fail to be inspired by the quaint village centre, the rugged coastline and the rolling countryside and Jess is using every ounce of what inspiration is readily available on her doorstep.
She said: “I loved growing up here and feel so lucky to have grown up here - not just because of how beautiful it is but because there is such a sense of community, everyone is just so friendly.
“All the work for this started in my first year. I did a project based on Robin Hood’s Bay and when I left my job I thought, right I am moving back, why don’t I do the coastal thing?
“So many people are producing coastal themed work but I think my drawing style is individual with a bit of a different take on it. One thing that has always been important is that I have an experience of a place, it helps the creative process if you have an experience of what you are drawing or designing. Pretty much everybody in England has visited on holiday at some point so in that sense it has worked really well for me.”