Sarah Curtis makes lush stuff for wedding and christening gifts
Shabby chic is the look of the moment for all the most stylish homes and one that designer Sarah Curtis has embraced head on in her new career.
After having her work cut out for her at home with four children to look after, the Cheltenham mum decided she needed something entirely different to do to occupy her rare child-free times.
With her artistic eye and flair for design, Sarah hit upon the idea of creating framed prints of memorable words, picked out in different fonts and colours.
"I did some for friends and family to give as wedding presents and when other guests saw them they wanted to know where they came from," said Sarah, 39. "It was then that people suggested I should do them as a business and that's how Lush Stuff was born."
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Since then Sarah has diversified into lots of other lush stuff, including printed T-shirts, cushion covers and bags, stationery and a range for babies, including babygros, blankets and announcement cards.
But it is her framed prints that have caused the biggest stir and orders are mounting up as quickly as she can turn them out.
"I started a Facebook page and put up photos of some examples of the prints but I could never have even guessed at what a reaction I got," she said.
"They really seem to have taken off and orders are coming in thick and fast."
People often chose prints for family members or friends, with a list of words of their favourite or memorable things. Ideas include names of children and spouses, favourite holiday places, food, music and poems.
As well as ideal wedding presents, the prints are given for birthdays and anniversaries and can be done in different colours to match the wall on which they will hang.
"I only do two types of frames – black and white – and white is proving the most popular," said Sarah, who is mum to Emily, 15, Luke, 14, Lillie, four, and Jess, just 16 months.
Her fledgling business is a bit of a family affair as she gets her pictures printed at her husband, Kevin's, family business in Bristol.
Eldest daughter, Emily, has inherited her mum's artistic eye and sometimes helps her create new designs and fonts for the prints.
"With four children it is sometimes a struggle to find the time to do anything other than be a mum so I find myself working on orders late at night, when they're all in bed," said Sarah.
"It's hard doing that sometimes when I'm feeling tired after a hectic day being a mum but I do enjoy it.
"I love being a mum but I did want to do something to focus on for myself and this works really well for me and my particular circumstances."
Sarah has always been artistic and studied art at college before working in retail as a visual merchandiser and window designer.
Now word is getting around and Sarah has done orders for people as far afield as America and Brazil.
"Now I have found something that I absolutely love doing. It is both my hobby and now my job," she said.