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Who or what inspires you most in your work? Things that excite me; colour, travel, our national heritage, certain designers like Chanel and also vintage finds.


Your work is available from the best names on the British High Street. How did you first get your work in front of buyers and what is the hardest part of supplying to retailers? Most of the High Street names first came to me at trade exhibitions such as Top Drawer. Fortnum & Mason were the first store to buy from us, followed by Liberty of London at the first Country Living Fair I ever did. The worst thing is when the buyers with whom we have established good relationships, move on and you have to start again.


Is ‘handmade’ a lifestyle choice for you and if so why? Yes it is, but I know it’s a luxury that most people can’t afford. To make it accessible to everybody,


12 | ukhandmade | Summer 2012


we now make many products in collaboration with other companies for the bigger market.


Running your own business is extremely hard work so how do you balance your work and home life and what do you do to wind down?


Business and home life are totally intertwined. Wind down comes on holidays but I still take my laptop and sketch book.


Not only have you created a fabulous Jubilee collection, you've also designed a gorgeous Olympic collection for this year. How did that come about? Were you invited to design the range and how hard is it to design items in conjunction with such a massive event as the Olympics? Since London first won the bid 7 years ago to host the 2012 Olympic Games, I have wanted to be a part of it. Nearly 3 years ago, we were approached by LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the


Olympic and Paralympic Games) at a trade exhibition and we then started our own bid to be official licensees. It hasn't been easy - in fact it's the hardest thing we have ever had to do.


Are you working on anything else exciting that you can tell us about? Yes, we are working with great companies and in the process of producing more home wares, such as oven to tableware, kitchen textiles and scented candles. I’m most excited about the bed linen, which launches in July. There will also be teddy bears.


For more information, visit Jan’s Website: www.janconstantine.com


Images courtesy of Jan Constantine


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