I thought, as it was Hogmanay, and we are staring down the barrel of a new year - all the while still dealing with the stresses of this one - it would be a perfect time to take a little sit down, and take stock of all the amazing things we have done, seen and achieved with abigail*ryan this year...
Hope you enjoy this little recap - and, stay tuned for the end, where we reveal some special news that we are especially proud of!
The year started with us working very hard on producing the products for our exciting collaboration with Jo Malone London... many weeks of hand sewing, cutting and machining took place to bring this in on deadline. We had our lovely intern, Grace, helping!
Meanwhile, I was busy creating the illustrations for our line of Napkins... I drew Roses, Hellebore, Cosmos and these overblown Tulips! Lots of hours of concentration and fun.
Our Avocado Hydrangea tea-towel was featured in the Sunday Times! Such great press...
We spent just over a week intensively designing our new line of Wallpaper, with the drawings I had been working on. In early March, our first proofs arrived for sign off - exciting! FINALLY, we decided on our four colour-ways... Maraschino, Margarita, Flamingo and Powder-Puff. We decided to give them slightly retro cheeky names. We love them!
Finally, after almost a year of planning and work -
and Charlotte Stockdale was unveiled in Selfridges London & Manchester exchange in a special boutique area, called Charlotte's Corner. The lovely JM team flew us to London to celebrate with them, and we had an incredible champagne high tea at The Berkeley (the fashion tea!)... such an amazing experience!
Our collaboration received amazing press, featuring in The Financial Times How To Spend It, the Guardian, Living etc, Elle Decoration, Mollie Makes, Irish Tatler, House & Home and Ireland's Homes Interiors and Living...
In April, our handmade Wedding featured in Mollie Makes Wedding special... it was so nice to finally
Our napkin sets arrived in April, too - so perfect for Spring/ Summer tables...
After lots of hard work and planning, including a trip over to our factory in England to sign off the printing, our debut line of Wallpaper (produced with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland) finally arrived, and it was an amazing and surreal moment... so exciting.
Our wallpaper was also featured by Holly on Decor8 blog!
Our amazing press continued with a lovely piece with us in Image Interiors & Living shot by the lovely deputy editor, Nathalie Marquez Courtney (watch out for a special piece with us in next months issue!)...
In the summer, we added this little chap, Hamish, to our wee family. A friend for Angus, and my gift from Ryan to celebrate turning 30. He makes us so happy, and we had an amazing summer of friends, cooking, gardening and celebrating the sunshine! 2013 was a beautiful summer!
We did a big interview with the lovely Kimberly at AO at Home blog... we loved her layouts, and it was such fun answering her questions!
We had an amazing location shoot with Brideen and Deci from Photography by Brideen to photograph our new Wallpaper and Fabric collection... it was a long and exhausting day, but the results were incredible and we had such fun working with these two. You can see some of the finished images, here.
We were just delighted!
We had some incredible career high news, and we celebrated with drinks and an amazing dinner at Coppi. It was Belfast Culture night, and was such a special evening for us and the city was buzzing... we had a few of these cocktails! ;)
Our collection was featured in The Craft House at Hartley Hall, a special project by lovely interior designer, Maureen Collins. We loved what Maureen did with our wallpaper, lining a vintage wardrobe, and unholstering a chair with our new fabric line... gorgeous!
We celebrated our first Wedding anniversary - the year had flew by - with a beautiful meal in the Merchant, where we had our reception. It was such a happy year, and it just keeps getting better! We're so lucky.
In October, we spoke at the Thrive conference at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, which was great fun. We also added a new stockist for our Wallpaper, wallpaperdirect.com who created these fantastic room sets with our designs!
In November, we were selected for Scotland Re:Designed, which celebrates the best of Scottish design talent in textiles and fashion, and spent a week in Edinburgh at events hosted by Campari, Harvey Nichols and the show was held at the Assembly Rooms... it was a fun week, and we were very well looked after by the lovely SR:D team!
November also saw the opening of our friends Patricia and Catherine McGinnis's incredible concept store, Maven, in Belfast. Bringing together brands that have never been sold in Northern Ireland before like Marimekko, Muuto and Hay, with local design talent such as Donna Bates Parlour Lighting, and us (!)... it makes for the most beautiful shopping experience. I know 2014 is going to be incredible for them!
In December, we took the leap, and moved in to our FIRST STUDIO (I have been self employed, and working from home since I graduated in 2005!) - housed in the historic Linen Mill, Conway Mill in Belfast. It was a huge upheaval, but we are now almost there with our unpacking and studio beautifying, and... well... it's going to be marvellous. Just LOOK at our happy moving day faces! You will see lots more this coming year from inside abigail*ryan HQ! ;)
We took a few days off to celebrate Christmas... hasn't Hamish grown (he's almost as big as Angus)?! And we had a very nice time indeed...
SO, here we are staring at the New Year, and thinking about all the other lovely things it's got to hold for us. We will be attending Home at Earls Court in January, so we are straight back in to the studio after New Years Day... and we have lots of exciting plans to hatch while we are in London. Exciting stuff.
But, before I go and sign off for the year, I wanted to share that very exciting piece of news from earlier in the Autumn. I actually cried... it meant so much, as a creative person, to have our work recognised in such an incredible way, that it really affected me. Our Mum's were very proud, too! ;)
Our debut Wallpaper, Cosmo Maraschino (below, on the wall) was acquired for the permanent collection of the Wall-coverings department at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum at The Smithsonian in New York. Their wall-coverings collection is the largest and most important in the United States, and incredibly, Ryan is the first Irish designer to be added to the collection... I am so proud of us, and of him!
We are just over the moon, and felt that this was the perfect piece of news to close out our 2013 with!
Wishing you all an absolutely incredible start to 2014, along with Health, Wealth and Happiness.
2013 was very kind to us, and we hope 2014 will be full of more fantastic things for abigail*ryan and for you all!
We would like to thank our friends, family, loyal customers, colleagues, business mentors, buyers, lovely members of the press and journalists and everyone who follows us for your continued support - it's YOUR help, and word of mouth that is helping to grow our little brand in to something very special.
Happy New Year.
Abigail & Ryan
(Angus & Hamish)