My story all started with a fountain pen, a post-it and a 9 to 5 desk job.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and in my particular case I needed to invent a profitable outlet for my creativity as an escape from the suffocating anaesthetic of a beige office job.
I was sat in the office one day feeling totally uninspired when I picked up my fountain pen and started to sketch on a post-it what turned out to my first CLAOS design. I came from a creative background with a degree in the arts but so it wasn’t unusual for me to procrastinate by drawing but this particular design was different. I can’t explain why but I poured an extraordinary amount of time and care into producing that sketch. So much so that I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, so I took it home that night, digitised the image and applied some really vibrant colour. I continued to illustrate over a 12 month period and eventually had a portfolio of over 750 designs but I wasn’t sure what to do with these. So I set up a design business and CLAOS was born.
I had always been interested in interior design and so I began to explore opportunities to use interior products and furnishings as blank canvases to showcase my artwork. I went to various design trade shows such as 100% Design and Tradex (to name a few) together with some national craft fairs to get a better understanding of the market and the evolution of colour trends. Once I had settled on my final 50 designs I wanted to use, I began by printing my designs onto fabrics which I would then use to create cushions. I had learned to sew many years before so this seemed like a natural progression, however I still wanted a different medium to work with.
I remember I was in Sorrento, Italy with my partner when the idea suddenly dawned upon me to investigate the possibility of making lampshades using my own designed fabrics. I did my research online and I found Needcraft. I knew almost straight away that Needcraft would be the ideal supplier to work with. They offered manufacturing packs, parts, all the equipment you could ever require and support all the way. For me however, the leading decision to work with Needcraft was their focus on safety and ensuring that all required fire regulations in their components and materials were met. So I ordered the parts and spent months perfecting my craft.
Our lampshade range at CLAOS is now our most popular product.
As a creative person, there really is nothing quite like the opportunity to design and showcase your final works. Our most popular ranges are our Arbor and Pride ranges which were not only a joy to design but are some of our most vibrant and colourful collections. The success of the Pride range was more personal to me than the others as I created it after a trip to San Francisco to celebrate LGBT culture, history and heritage. The history of the rainbow flag is fascinating and it provided a wonderful palette of colour upon which to base my designs, so I was incredibly happy to find out people loved them as much as I do.
Confucius said “find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life”, and he was so very right!
The lovely smiley face of Chase from Claos Interiors.
Our first male lampshade maker on the blog!
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