Craft Focus - December 2021/January 2022 (Issue 88)

51 PROFILE Designs from the heart Tracey Lavinia Dutton, Artist and Designer at Lavinia Stamps talks creativity, fantasy and the company’s worldwide following Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? Lavinia Stamps is an established British company, founded in 2006. Our company is based in Ruthin, an idyllic market town in Denbighshire, north Wales. I started the company working from a small cabin at the bottom of our garden. Now we work from two industrial units with 12 wonderful staff and have the most beautiful shop. We’re still only a small company but appear to be rapidly expanding, so what lies ahead is very exciting. Lavinia Stamps design polymer stamps − we pride ourselves on designing everything from start to finish, which can be a lengthy process. I initially hand draw each design which can take weeks to complete. The designs are highly detailed and very distinctive which gives them their uniqueness, they’re the cornerstone of our business. Recently, we also expanded into a full range of our own branded products that complement the stamps beautifully. I’m well known for my passion in Fairies and Fantasy which are clearly reflected in our range of products. What’s your background and why did you start the company? I’m passionate about art. I live and breathe it and have done since I was a child. I’ve been fortunate enough to earn a living from my design work since graduating from Derby University. In 1992, Kevin (my partner) and I moved to Ruthin where we set up a ceramics business at Ruthin Craft Centre. I adored ceramics and although loved to throw on a wheel, I really enjoyed hand building with red earthenware using lots of textured elements to create a natural finish to my pieces. This led me to designing my own range of stamps that worked with clay. My customers loved the stamps and so I began selling the stamps individually. When Ruthin Craft Centre was demolished in 2007 it prompted the decision to start a new business designing stamps for the card industry. And so, Lavinia Stamps was born, and we haven’t looked back since! How has the company evolved? We’re always looking for ways to expand our company. We love to challenge ourselves; it’s about thinking outside the box. I absolutely thrive on new ventures. Since taking on the new premises and increasing our team, our feet literally haven’t touched the floor. We engaged a Project Manager which allowed us to branch out and build our own brand in other exciting areas such as stencils, ink pads, paints, papers, glitters, micas to name but a few. We have some very exciting times ahead and will be expanding our range quite considerably throughout the next 12 months. What do you specialise in? Polymer stamps have always been our main focus, although over the last few years our products have evolved, and we’re diversifying into other areas that are proving to be very popular. We’re always looking at a variety of artistic areas in which to expand, this keeps things fresh and moving forward. We love reinventing ourselves so it’s all about keeping an open mind and looking at everything. It’s what makes our journey creative and magical. Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? Lavinia Stamps thrives on bringing out new ideas and original innovations to the marketplace; this is what gives us our buzz. We make it our job to inspire and make things appealing and interesting. 