Celebrating 10 years of wrendale - Hannah's favourite moments so far...
There have been so many amazing moments over the past ten years and I certainly would never have guessed ten years ago that we would be where we are today when I was nervously knocking on the doors of our very first stockists. I feel so grateful that people have liked my artwork enough to allow us to make a business out of it here in Lincolnshire. Here are a few of my highlights from the past decade of Wrendale…
Our first order at Wrendale
I can remember quite soon after I had designed the first few greeting cards for Wrendale, the owl design ‘What a Hoot’ was included in a What’s New section of a greeting card industry magazine. I was so excited to see the design in print, and even more ecstatic when a lovely shop owner called up to enquire about the cards and to request a catalogue. I can still remember exactly how it felt - I think I was dancing around the kitchen for about ten minutes! We didn’t even have a catalogue so I printed off a few pages with the designs on and sent them off – it must have looked awful but it didn’t stop them from placing an order!
The Henries Awards are known as The Oscars of the greeting card world and when we first launched Wrendale, it was my secret ambition to win one – I was in complete awe of all of the fabulous companies that had won in the past and I was so desperate to be amongst them. I entered with The Country Set in our very first year and was completely overwhelmed not only to win Best Art Range but also Most Promising Young Designer. We have gone on to be finalists for countless awards since then including Gift of the Year, Calendar awards and we’ve won many too. It’s always a thrill to win an award for our products – we all put so much into everything we do and I feel that it’s wonderful to get recognition for the whole team but nothing will compare to our name being announced at that first awards ceremony.
The Royal Worcester Collaboration
I was approached by Portmeirion to license my artwork to them at our second ever trade show – I was so excited to be working with such a wonderful and well established brand and it has been a fantastic partnership over the past ten years. Initially they picked six designs and launched six Royal Worcester mugs. I can remember when they first launched them at a trade show and Jack and I went to see them on display – six little mugs on a shelf in their huge showroom packed with all of their wonderful products and brands – we were so proud!
The partnership has gone from strength to strength over the years and there are so many exciting new products in the pipeline as the relationship continues to grow.
Hannah at the Mitsukoshi department store in 2017
I remember having a ‘pinch yourself’ moment when I was signing products at the Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo and there was a huge line of people waiting to meet me. I’d done a talk (with the help of a translator) about Wrendale and the response was so overwhelming. I met so many wonderful people and found it incredible that despite the language barrier and cultural differences, the love of animals is so universal.
FLYING OUT TO TRADE SHOWS IN America
Hannah visiting Atlanta Market in 2017
One of my greatest pleasures at Wrendale is meeting our stockists. We are so fortunate to have wonderful customers, many of whom have supported us since the early days and who do a fantastic job of displaying our products and introducing people to the brand. One of the highlights of my year is visiting the trade shows in the US and meeting some of our stockists from ‘over the pond’. It never ceases to amaze me that my artwork can be found all over the world and there is always so much enthusiasm and love at this trade show. I absolutely love hearing about the responses of their customers as they come into the shop and see our products, and some of the absolutely heart warming stories behind purchases – I will always feel so privileged to be a part of it.
WWF Charity Auction
One of the biggest achievements for me is having the opportunity to support charities that mean a lot to us. In 2019 we were all shocked by the devastating bush fires that raged across Australia and the terrible impact that had on their wildlife. We all wanted to do something to help the rescue efforts that were being mobilised so I painted a new design featuring a koala and her baby. We set up an auction site and raised a total of £21,000 for WWF Australia who were providing emergency care for injured wildlife and putting together recovery and restoration teams.
RECEIVING A Queen’s Award
Hannah & Jack visiting Buckingham Palace and receiving a Queen's Award in 2019
In 2019 we were awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for excellence in International trade. This is such a prestigious award and we felt incredibly lucky to be given it. Jack and I were invited to Buckingham Palace for a reception in honour of the winners and we hosted a party at home to thank the Wrendale staff, long standing stockists and suppliers. We’d planned a lovely summer garden party and it tipped it down with rain but it didn’t matter – it was a wonderful experience and we felt incredibly lucky.
A THANK YOU FROM WRENDALE
I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to every single person who has supported us on our journey over the last decade. We are excited to see what the next 10 years will bring for Wrendale and with lots of amazing new products in the pipeline, we hope you will continue to enjoy following our journey.