I set Alice Peto up in 2012 and launched at Decorex in 2013. The idea came to me in 2011 at home in Scotland with my father, I was doing the washing up and none of our plates would fit or go in the dishwasher. I really felt there was a niche for nice fun everyday China, made in England. I wanted to bridge the gap between formal and informal, classic and contemporary and as an illustrator and designer you are always looking for your next project.
It was incredibly important that we were an English company using English craftspeople. It was a long journey finding the right people but we got there and are thrilled to be working with a company based in Stoke-on-Trent, the world capital of ceramics!
I am inspired by nature and my surroundings, I try not to be influenced by fashion as I want all our pieces to be timeless and always beautiful but yet useful. The process starts in my mind as a colour then a shape and lastly an illustration. ‘Birds’ was my first collection, I wanted a beautiful colour pallet that complimented each other and from there I created each whimsical character. The Oasis collection evokes the romance of distant lands and the gold rim a touch of elegance. The 'English Garden' collection, is inspired by quintessentially English blue and white china. I wanted to recreate this traditional china with a modern yet hand drawn softness.
I think what sets us apart is everything starts as a piece of Alice Peto art. I also oversee the whole process which means I am able to keep the china true to what I personally love.
Alice Peto products are unique because of their bold colours and playful silhouettes but yet on wonderfully crisp white English China.
I get my inspiration everywhere, from playing with my children to researching artists or travel, the bird collection was born from a childhood of parrots in the kitchen and guinea fowl in the garden, whereas the Oasis collection came from a trip to Morrocco and the colours and smells.
It’s just so exciting at the moment, what a year we’ve all had but I feel we are stronger than ever and new products coming in all shapes and sizes and some we’ve never tried before... watch this space.
Start with a wonderfully bright tablecloth, I actually buy fabric by the metre on Portobello Market depending on season and then dress the table from there, flowers everywhere and then hand paint little place cards.
You can never have too many saucepans, you will hardly ever have breakfast in bed and buy lots of glasses and plates - go busier on the side plate design as fun to have a pop of colour.
I just love the personal and incredibly friendly approach The Wedding Present Company gives. You feel so at home when you walk in. The girls are just heaven, you want everything in the showroom and before you know your laughing with your head back, drinking a yummy cappuccino or champagne while choosing your favourite jug or vase.