Sam Wilson, Sam Wilson Studio
Sam Wilson lives in a stone cottage just outside the Cotswold town of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. Her home studio overlooks hedgerows brimming with blackbirds – the sort of scene to be found on the lino prints she creates and which adorn the homeware collections in her high street shop. ‘I’m so lucky to live in this countryside,’ says Sam, ‘and I aim to capture its essence through my work.’
Sam moved here five years ago, with husband Mark, her partner in the business, son George, 14, daughter Molly, 12, and Labrador Maggie. She worked as a freelance illustrator for 15 years, but rediscovered a passion for printmaking when they moved to Chipping Campden, inspired by its Arts and Crafts museum.
Sam began selling postcards and tea towels decorated with her prints through small outlets, including the museum. Next, she tried trade fairs and was overwhelmed with orders. Looking for premises to house the increasing stock – 200 shops and stockists now buy from them –Sam came across a shop on the high street for rent. ‘I fell for its old-world charm,’ says Sam.
‘It was intended for storage, but we sold out on the opening day!’
The Award marks how far they have travelled. ‘Just two years ago I was still selling from table tops – it feels like a dream.’