Many of you have asked to know more about the story behind Seek & Adore. It’s funny – I didn’t really think anyone would be interested. To my mind, it’s the artists and designer makers you meet on Seek & Adore – and the unique and beautiful things they make – that are interesting, not the story of how Seek & Adore came to be. However, I’ve been asked so many times I’m happy to oblige.
Seek & Adore grew from frustration. At the end of 2009 my husband and I completed a loft conversion on our house and I was looking for unique and beautiful art and home furnishings to decorate the rooms. I was working long hours at the time (actually I still am!) and I didn’t have time to search out craft fairs or visit galleries. I did search online but found it difficult to find artists and designer makers. They didn’t seem to have a very high profile in comparison to the plethora of high street stores who popped up in my searches. In the end, I resorted to the high street.
At the same time I was doing some consultancy for my brother who runs his own website. He was interested in increasing the range of naturally and ethically sourced products sold on his site. I talked to a number of artists and craftsmen about this opportunity. What became clear is how few avenues designer makers have to sell their work – and how much commission is taken by the intermediaries who help them. I was also surprised to discover how shy artists and craftsmen are about promoting their talents – and how nervous they were about selling online. Artists almost seemed embarrassed to promote themselves, and were concerned that their art might appear in an inappropriate environment.
To be honest, I was surprised and shocked how little profit artists and craftsmen receive for their work. I saw an opportunity to help them raise their profile, sell their work and support each other – whilst also making it easier for consumers to find personal accessories and homewares.
It took me a while to take the plunge and give up my career in marketing to focus on Seek & Adore full time but, in April 2010, I decided it was the only way to get the idea off the ground. It’s been an exciting and challenging year. Talking to designer makers and building a website (with a talented team in India). Each day there is a fresh challenge and new people to meet. I love that. It’s people that make Seek & Adore what it is. It’s been a privilege to meet and work with some very talented artists and craftsmen – some established in their careers, some just starting out. I am constantly surprised by how generous people are with their time. We’re a start-up so “cash is king” and many people have helped by giving their time and skills for free. It’s the shared belief that designer makers deserve a higher profile that drives this generosity. You know who you are – thank you.
So, a year after giving up work,Seek & Adore is live. We have 20 talented artists on the site and I have had the pleasure of paying them for their first month’s orders. It’s exciting to see what we’ve created – and it’s only just begun.
If you know any artists,designer makers or craftsmen who you would like to see selling on Seek & Adore, please let me know. I’m particularly keen to meet makers of bags, stationery, tableware and textiles. Please pass the word on…
Browse our current makers here