Tucked away in a cosy cottage in a sleepy village in the Cherwell Valley, Stephen and Kym Yorke are planning for a very busy Christmas already.
The artistic couple, who both have backgrounds as high-flying award-winning advertising creatives working on major international brands, swapped the frenetic world of big business to launch their own range of beautiful products to bring customers a taste of a little piece of England.
Their Crumble Cottage range features characters and scenes that Stephen has been drawing for almost thirty years as much loved and cherished Christmas cards for friends and family.
Beautiful, unique textiles
The illustrations follow the story of Rosemary and Sedgewick, bakers who live and work in Crumble Cottage, Upper Crustington, Breadfordshire and are now the main stars of a range of beautiful, unique textiles, homewares, gifts and decorative items.
Stephen said: “Crumble Cottage is a return to a time when life was simpler, gentler and less hectic. Our products really touch people-they get quite emotional. When we are at shows and events and set up our stand it is very cosy and welcoming and people ask us if they can just stay there for a little while. It is as if they want to be IN Crumble Cottage and escape from modern life and the hustle and bustle.”
Stephen and Kym work closely together to create their range. Stephen said: “We’re both art-trained. I gained a place at Moseley School of Art at the tender age of eleven and Kym attended Central St Martins in London, gaining a BA Honours Degree in graphic design. We spent 30 years as advertising creatives before we started Crumble Cottage.
“Every item is carefully designed and produced in England and we work closely with small manufacturers across the country, but our most important collaboration is with Textiles by St Annes, a wonderful mental health charity based in Birmingham. They stitch all our jingling bunting, Christmas sacks, cushions and much more.”
Stephen’s illustrations that have be used for cards for years have also now found their own home-in a collection of stunning books.
He added: “I still create every image myself, starting with a pencil sketch and then on to the tricky bit, pen and ink. It’s all done by hand and each image takes about two weeks to complete. At first I created intricate pen and ink drawings on Christmas cards, but latterly I was inspired to also write my first book, ‘Christmas at Crumble Cottage.”
Kym is still very hands-on too. Her handmade ‘Bunting in a Box’ is one of the most popular products. She is often found in her studio surrounded by thousands of tinkling bells.
Old fashioned values
Kym added: “Love is at the centre of everything we do. Love of family, community and this wonderful country. Crumble Cottage is based on old-fashioned values, often sadly missing in this frenetic world we live in today. So many people love to come into Crumble Cottage as a retreat from the stresses of life today.”
You can find Stephen and Kym and Crumble Cottage at the following events over the next few weeks:
Westonbirt Charities Fair, Westonbirt School, Tetbury. October 24/25
The Spirit of Christmas, (House and Gardens). Oct 30 – Nov 5.
Chiltern American Women’s Club Bazaar. Crowne Plaza Hotel, Gerrards Cross. Nov 12.
Mary Howard Christmas Fair. The Cotswold Airport. Kemble. Nov 14-17.
Country Homes and Interiors Christmas Fair. Stonor Park, Henley on Thames. Nov 23-26
Waddesdon Manor Christmas Fair. Near Aylesbury. Wed-Sun. November 15 –December 10.
Follow Crumble Cottage on Facebook – @lifeatcrumblecottage.com
Visit www.crumblecottage.com for more information and to buy their fabulous products.