In 1993, my mother Angie and I began hand painting table mats in our Sussex home to sell at a local art event held each year during the Arundel festival known as the 'Gallery Trail'. Due to the popularity of the product, we decided to try our luck and see if we could have similar success selling our mats at trade shows. We were delighted to discover that they were to sell just as well to the trade as they were to the general public. However, our euphoria was fairly short lived as we found that we were a slave to our painting stations. Now, I say 'we' but my mother would have a fit and rightly point out that it was in fact me! I was 20 at the time and had far more important things to be doing than hand painting table mats each and every day and I made the decision to stop - a decision I went on to hugely regret!
At this point, my father's business was over run with work and he needed extra help. I would help him when he needed it from time to time which seemed to be more and more often until I seemed to slip into working for him full time. This was to last for 18 years in fact! We both kept up our designing over the years with us being keen and able artists. We also had a portfolio of properties that we had developed during that time which ignited our passion for interiors all the more. My mother and I would often try to imagine what the table mat business would have turned into today with a great deal of sadness. Now equipped with the required maturity and dedication that I previously lacked, together we decided to finish what we had previously started. In 2011, with our expertise in the plastics industry and our passion for design in tow, GiGi Designs was born!
Although our products are no longer hand painted these days (less chance of my being a flight risk this way!), they are all still hand finished and all adorn their British made flags! Our product range is continually expanding and my mother and I play an equal part in product design and development - we take a huge amount of pride in everything we do. We use unique methods of manufacturing and the highest quality responsibly sourced materials, this along with our pure passion for what we do, ensures that our brand will continue to strive.
The GiGi brand is now synonymous with luxury products that enhance a home rather than blend in to it - we intend to make that our mantra for years to come!