Style Curious

02/09/2008

Laura Wellington and her curiously quirky designs.

Talented young designer Laura Wellington was born on the south west coast of Wales and did a foundation course in art and design in Swansea before heading off to Leeds University. She initially studied art and design, where one of her modules was in millinery. However, she switched courses to study design at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she graduated with first class honours.

Laura says that, ever since she was a child, “the boxes were one of the best bits about presents – I used to love sitting and making things from them, it gave me hours of fun”. When she started her foundation degree, she was sure that she wanted to do graphic design, but her tutor was very perceptive and noticed that she had a flair for 3D design. She was steered in this direction and says that “as soon as I was able to use the tools and play with the materials, I was hooked.”

Laura is, by nature, a very curious person, “I’m sure my mother would use the word nosy, but I much prefer curious. I love to watch people and things: I’m a very tactile person and if anything looks curious I have to touch it and if it moves, I’m intrigued to know how it works.” Her ideal customer is also someone who appreciates unique, quirky design, she explains: “a person who likes to enjoy the more curious things in life – an individualist, someone who wants to stand out from the crowd”.

Laura epitomizes the ShopCurious ethos of ‘style with brains’ with her clever approach to design. One of her key aims is to recycle, repurpose or reinvent. She says,“The process of repurposing something old into new is an exciting prospect and increasing the longevity of an item is a key factor within my designs. I want to create items that encourage an individual style. I like to take humble things that have been forgotten, or abandoned and revive them with unique transformations. The re-use of waste is not only sustainable, but can be very intriguing and quirky. My designs are environmentally aware and use recyclable materials to create functional, eco-sensitive and totally unique items.”

As well as being something of an eco-entrepreneur, Laura also likes her designs to be stylish and contemporary. “There is often a dull, bland image associated with products that are recycled, reused or sustainable”, she explains, “the purpose of my design is to do away with that view and demonstrate what is possible with some imagination. I am really inspired by the materials I work with and these can often cause a design to evolve.”


The hats she’s designed under her Stampgeek label for ShopCurious are certainly inspirational (click onto the photos to take a look). Using stamps left to her in her grandmother’s will, Laura has created a collection of unique, funky, fashionable, highly collectable, wearable works of art.


So what are such a gifted designer’s likes and dislikes? Laura lists her favourite places in London as The Design Museum, the Oxo Tower, Carnaby Street, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Camden and Farringdon to name a few. “I love that you can jump on a tube and be transported to places that are so completely different to each other, each offering their own unique experience,” she says. “My favourite place in the world would have to be the beach. I grew up on the beautiful Gower coast and am generally happy when I am near water, wherever it is in the world.” Her ideal dinner party companions are quite an eclectic bunch: Peta Levi, Verner Panton, Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway, Lichtenstein, Jamiroquai and Joan Rivers.


As for her creative plans for the future, Laura explains that, as a designer, she has many hats (pardon the pun!): She’s working on new seasonal lines for Stampgeek and is just starting to manufacture some of her lighting designs. Laura’s also been accepted to exhibit at 100% design and is taking part in a major charity event called Heart & Design at Christies, where she’ll be exhibiting alongside some of the biggest names in design. And she’ll be launching an exciting new range of quirky and individually re-vamped old furniture for ShopCurious. Look out for Laura Wellington’s curiously quirky furniture at ShopCurious soon.