Graduate’s hand-made crayon business in line for top award
A business set up by a costume design graduate from The Northern School of Art has been nominated in a new category of awards created by the founder of the Notonthehighstreet website to showcase and recognise the very best creative small businesses across the UK.
Rebs Hope’s business The Crayon Bug has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Newcomer’ Category in The Independent Awards 2020 which have been set up this year to shine a light on small independent businesses just when they need it most.
The company was set up by Rebs last summer when she began making making handmade shaped crayons from the kitchen in her Pembrokeshire home.
“I was looking for a creative outlet and having had children of my own it made sense to fill a niche that I could see,” she explained. “I wanted to provide high quality, beautiful crayons that kids would love to colour and play with but that adults would also be delighted by, as well as being environmentally considerate – all my packaging is 100% plastic free and recyclable.”
“Fifteen months later and my Instagram page has nearly 11k followers, I sell on the hugely respected Not on The High Street website as well as my own website and I have just been shortlisted in the ‘Best Newcomer’ Category in The Independent Awards.”
Rebs, whose maiden name was Phillips, studied on the BA(Hons) Entertainment Design Crafts degree in Hartlepool between 2006-2009 at what was then Cleveland College of Art of Design (CCAD) – prior to the School’s name change to become The Northern School of Art.
She added: “I chose to study Entertainment Design Crafts as the variety that the course could offer really appealed to me. I have always been artistic but have found that my skills do not lie in simply drawing or painting, but rather in creating in 3D items with an array of materials.
“I chose to specialise in costume design in my final year and was pleased to finish the course with a first class honours degree. The highlight of my time at CCAD was creating 18th Century French costumes including underwear and wigs for my final year.”
Since graduating, Rebs has held a number of creative and organisational roles such as visual merchandising and store management for fashion retail. Alongside running The Crayon Bug, she currently works remotely from her home office for a landscape gardening company in London doing project management and drawing up designs.
Her advice to anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps by studying a creative course is to “follow your passions. There is no reason why you cannot end up with a career in a creative field, but you may have to think outside the box to find it.”
There is a £10,000 prize for the winner of the ‘Best Newcomer’ Category in The Independent Awards but Rebs notes: “I would really love to win this award for the prestige as well as the prize money.”
Adding: “I currently work out of my garage and kitchen but am saving up to build a workshop in the garden, so if I won the money I would use it towards that!”
Spearheaded by Holly Tucker MBE, founder of Notonthehighstreet and Holly & Co, and UK Ambassador to Creative Small Businesses, the The Independent Awards 2020 are supported by NatWest, Three, Dell, Royal Mail and Pinterest.
Winners are decided by an expert panel as well as by public vote. To vote for Rebs and The Crayon Bug visit: https://holly.co/campaign/independent-awards/newcomer-award/#nomination-47721 Voting remains open until 15th December.
To find out more about studying costume design at The Northern School of Art visit: https://northernart.ac.uk/study-with-us/hartlepool-campus/degree-fda-courses/ba-hons-costume-interpretation-design-2/