Modern luxe homeware and accessories, designed, printed and handmade by sisters @abigailwilki and @isabelwilko in their south London studio
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#marchmeetthemaker Day 17 – Customers and Feedback. Markets are the place where we get to meet our lovely customers face to face. It's always a thrill to chat to people about our designs and see them go away happy, though the weather can bring its own challenges! We were glad to be inside on this freeeeeeeezing snowy day (not unlike today!) for the Ministry of Making market in Peckham last Christmas.
#marchmeetthemaker Day 14: Dreams and Plans. One of our main goals when we started The Ray was to have our products stocked in beautiful, fun and interesting shops, filled with covetous products from brands we love. Last year the marvellous and incredibly stylish @gltch.be in Antwerp became our first stockist ( @gltch.be)
#marchmeetthemaker Day 13: Work Clothes. It's warming up a bit now, but in deep midwinter our studio clothes are layer upon layer. High ceilings and huge open spaces make the studio lovely and bright, but incredibly difficult to heat! And we both have a collection of old bits and bobs that we can wear while printing, so that we can smear ink everywhere with impunity.
#marchmeetthemaker Day 8: Flatlay. Our business started with pleather makeup bags embellished with foil that Abi made at fashion school in Buenos Aires - they were a huge hit at our first craft fair and we decided to get a studio and have a go at making some more! We moved on to designing and printing repeat patterns on natural fabrics, with designs inspired by our love of mythology, folklore, and symbolism and pattern in natural forms.
#marchmeetthemaker Day 5: Photography. Over the years we've tried all sorts of methods for product photography, all of them involving cutting corners, not having the right equipment and using random objects in the studio as props... We finally pulled ourselves together and have now reached a pretty good place with photography, using a digital SLR camera, a proper white backdrop, natural light and some specially chosen props! Finding your personal brand through photography is a long and arduous journey but worth it when you get there. We are still learning all the time, most importantly from the community of #makers online whose brilliant branding and photography inspires us to try harder.
A belated #marchmeetthemaker day 3: how you started. We're not the first and surely won't be the last who got into making as kids, crafting clothes and accessories for our dollies - they were tricked out in all the finest leftover upholstery fabric we could find, and very swish they looked too! Dad bought Issy a mini silkscreen kit at 12, and the twin forces of print and design started to merge. We started The Ray three years ago with the goal of combining our loves of design, sewing and printmaking to create modern luxe homeware and accessories.
Our very own @abigailwilki is on the new @layers.podcast episode, Beginnings, talking about making her own wedding dress and her style resolution for the new year! The podcast also features Kate O'Donnell (www.transcreative.uk) talking about building a wardrobe from scratch after transitioning. Listen at audioboom.com/posts/6583842-beginnings
Photo credit: @danabermuda