En­ter Donna Wil­son’s world of knit­ted wood­land crea­tures, cloud cush­ions and char­ac­ter­ful ce­ram­ics. Four­teen years af­ter launch­ing her suc­cess­ful brand, she’s ex­pand­ing her reach with her first bed­ding and bath col­lec­tion

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style The Britlist -

How it all be­gan At the Royal Col­lege of Art as a textile de­sign stu­dent, Aberdeen­shire na­tive Wil­son started knit­ting and sewing a cast of colour­ful and quirky crea­tures out of lamb­swool, in­clud­ing ‘Cyril the Squir­rel Fox’ and ‘ Wolfie’ the shy spoon col­lec­tor. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, she started sell­ing them in small bou­tiques across Lon­don. As she puts it: ‘they’re some­thing that I’ll prob­a­bly al­ways do be­cause they’re re­ally close to my heart. I love hav­ing the con­trol over de­sign­ing the fab­rics, and the craft of mak­ing them’. Her big break A dis­trib­u­tor in­vited Wil­son on a trip to Ja­pan to present her wares. She re­turned to Lon­don to a swirl of or­ders and hasn’t looked back since. There was never time for a busi­ness plan. Over the years, the brand has ex­panded or­gan­i­cally, with Wil­son’s east Lon­don stu­dio re­main­ing a hub of cre­ativ­ity, along with a net­work of crafts­peo­ple across the UK – there’s an el­derly woman in Orkney who has knit­ted thou­sands of ‘Cyrils’. Her lat­est ad­ven­tures Wil­son’s first bath and bed­ding col­lec­tion, pro­duced and dis­trib­uted by Por­tuguese tex­tiles group Texnorte In­dus­trial Ltd, is hit­ting the shelves. It fea­tures re­versible du­vets, bath tow­els, cush­ions and pil­low­cases, all sport­ing the de­signer’s sig­na­ture geo­met­ric pat­terns, trees, sausage dogs, doves and rain­clouds, with her trade­mark quirk and charm (£75 for a sin­gle du­vet set). That’s not all Wil­son’s been work­ing on, though. She has also launched her own bi-an­nual mag­a­zine on crafts and cre­ativ­ity ac­tiv­i­ties for kids, MYO (Make Your Own) – sub­scribe now my­ocre­ate.com – and con­tin­ued to fo­cus on push­ing the bound­aries of her knit­ted wares. In fact, she is be­com­ing a bit of home­ware em­pire (don­naw­il­son.com).

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