About Us

heather drawing style

FURZE COTTAGE  |  HOLLY  LANE  |  BULL  HILL   |  LYMINGTON   |  HAMPSHIRE  |  SO41   5QZ

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founded in 2001 by Heather Marten

As a child growing up in 70’s Britain, my ‘hero-toys’ were a Spirograph, fuzzy felt, a kaleidoscope an etch-a-sketch and painting by numbers. Looking back I can see that I‘ve always loved arty stuff and stationery….

I grew up in Twickenham, and after college began working in marketing and product development in the beauty industry. I was only 26 – and thought I had loads of experience - when I started my Beauty PR company – something I now think is completely crazy – I had just bought a house – on my own, so was solely responsible for the mortgage and really, I knew hardly anything about PR, let alone running my own business. But within a couple of months I had a handful of fee paying clients, and I set about getting to know all the beauty editors and journalists. I was not a natural at this, I’m pretty shy really and found the PR life daunting at times….

When I was 30 I got married and moved to the New Forest which was inspiring. Even now, 20 years later, I am still struck by its beauty every day…

In my late thirties I sold my beauty business and got divorced – both events crystallised a new direction. Although I’ve been loosely involved with design most of my life, it wasn’t until I was 40 that I found what I really liked doing – which was designing and producing beautiful wedding and special event stationery – which I am still doing 12 years later. I have this romantic notion that in years to come, a young woman will be looking through her mother’s treasured possessions and will find a faded copy of her wedding invitation - and it will be one of mine.

So now I get to design every day, sometimes I wonder how I will find inspiration, and quite often I stumble on it accidentally – happily my life is full of serendipitous moments! I LOVE typography, thick quality card, beautiful letterpress, discovering gorgeous new ribbons and embellishments... most of all I love creating something elegant and stylish that the bride and groom will treasure, and makes guests feel excited about the event they are being invited to.... I have a team of brilliant retired ladies who love to come to my studio for a latte, a girly gossip, and then get down to the serious business of tying bows or lacing up cards to add the finishing touches to our stylish stationery..

A couple of years ago we launched our greeting cards brand - English Graphics - well actually, launching a new brand in the recent economic climate has been a bit like pushing water up hill. There have been moments when I’ve just wanted to give it all up….. but we now have approximately 100 stockists throughout the country, we have distributors in France, Canada and Switzerland. We are also sold by several online retailers and I feel the corner has been turned and we have hit our stride....

I loathe cards that are middle of the road, anything that has a schmaltzy cartoon-cuteness, or covered in sentimental words. I like strong, contemporary images - I design cards to be inspiring – to have a feel-good factor. Some are witty and some are pretty. And some are just totally gorgeous, sparkly and girly… but in a good, fashionista kind of way!

I come from a family of entrepreneurs - my younger sister, is a wonder to me - her company - myshowcase.com - is in the middle of a billboard campaign in London, having recently taken the space on ‘the piccadilly curve’, the most prestigious advertising space in Europe... my brother has a brand of probiotic chocolate called Ohso - and is sold in places like Harvey Nicols, Whole Foods and Boots here, and also in America and Australia .... My father was a corporate man, and for 20 years lived in Manhattan, where among other things he was president of Revlon.... so I have a lot to live up to!!

I am very happily re-married and we live in the New Forest, close to the sea, with our 2 rescue Westies....

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