Introducing Cherith Harrison

ARTIST PIC Cherith Harrison
CH Linear Logo e1689248141512

This month, Parkwood Springs is thrilled to unveil its latest addition - the remarkable Cherith Harrison! After admiring Cherith's work for quite some time, we are delighted to collaborate and introduce you to our new range of products. You can explore the collection here, which includes a launch bundle offering our partners a comprehensive selection of gifts sure to delight your customers.

Before we delve into the exciting range, let's take a moment to get to know Cherith and discover what inspires her creative journey.

Greetings, Cherith! Your immense talent as an artist and designer is evident, but could you share a bit about yourself and your business?

Based in Peebles, in the Scottish Borders, I operate my business from the comfort of my home, alongside my husband, Gregg, and our lovely children, 4-year-old son Arto and 1-year-old daughter Ottie. In 2012, I embarked on this creative venture, recognizing a gap in the market for British and iconic animal-themed homewares. My approach brings a contemporary and illustrative alternative to the once-saturated UK gift market of standard tourist souvenirs.

When I initially established my company, I was juggling a full-time position as a graphic designer at an Edinburgh-based agency while also dedicating my evenings to nurturing my business. It involved managing manufacturing, stock, retailer contacts, and, of course, the ever-thrilling design process! I even utilized much of my annual leave to participate in trade and consumer shows. The hard work and exhaustion were undeniable, but witnessing my products grace store shelves brought an exhilarating sense of fulfilment.

Atlantic Puffin Products Showcase Banner

What drives your passion, and how do you incorporate it into your artwork?

Undoubtedly, my greatest passions revolve around nature and wildlife! Observing animals and studying their interactions with their environment, noticing their human-like tendencies, truly captivates me. Additionally, I enjoy the art of pattern-making, drawing inspiration from nature to infuse my designs with a touch of natural wonder.

Your art holds deep meaning for you. Could you share what it represents to you?

Indeed, though drawing is part of my profession, it also serves as my sanctuary. Call it cheesy, but it's true. We all need an escape, some run or bake, some meditate or read; for me, it's drawing. It becomes a form of mindfulness that centres me. When creating artwork for my products, I aim to bring the outside world into people's lives. By capturing the serenity of nature and wildlife in my designs, I hope to offer customers a piece of the countryside wherever they may be.

Highland Cow Love Products Showcase Banner

Could you describe the materials and techniques you predominantly employ in your design process?

When working on new collections, I often use pen or pencil to create multiple drawings, which I then scan and colour-correct using Photoshop. The drawing part is swift, while assembling all elements on the computer to form the complete design takes time, though it's undoubtedly enjoyable. I have also explored using my iPad for designs, particularly for bespoke projects. However, given the choice between the two, pen and pencil on paper will always win my heart.

As for my sketchbooks, they are far more carefree and host a medley of mediums. I frequently utilize watercolours and layer them with coloured pencils and pens.

Over the past 12 months, what has been your most cherished artistic experience?

Among my most cherished experiences was crafting the Wild Isles range for RSPB and WWF, featuring a stunning starling and oak leaf design. I also found immense joy in collaborating with Deans Shortbread to create Scottie Dog-themed designs for their packaging. Additionally, I embraced the opportunity to draw the late Queen Elizabeth II for a special commemorative range I introduced last year. Although I rarely delve into human portraiture, I thoroughly enjoyed the process when presented with the chance.

Trusty Highland Cow Products Showcase Banner

Outside of your work, what does a typical day in your life look like?

My days are delightfully relaxed. On non-nursery days, we savour lazy mornings, and my children and I often visit the allotment together. Trips to our local library and cherished moments with our grandparents, who are conveniently close by, fill our hearts with joy. Weekends are often spent hanging out with cousins, indulging in brunch outings, and enjoying trips to the swimming pool. Hopefully, Gregg can play 9 holes of golf and catch up with a friend over a pint while I enjoy some solitary moments for drawing or catching up with friends sans kids. In the evenings, a bottle of wine and a film provide our entertainment, and though we used to be particular about our film choices, we've become more relaxed, valuing shorter films that allow for quality time together. As parents of young children, our social life is relatively quiet, and if we have an evening event planned, it takes me about a week to mentally prepare for it, considering Ottie's nighttime waking habits.

Of the range you currently offer with PWS, which product holds a special place in your heart?

It's genuinely challenging to pick just one! However, I must admit, I'm incredibly excited about the new wooden key rings, available in 8 stunning designs, as well as the pens and notebooks!

Woodland Creatures Products Showcase Banner

Do you have a favourite among your own designs?

Once again, the difficulty lies in choosing only one! The vibrant colours of my kingfisher design hold a special place in my heart, as does the wholesomeness exuded by my woodland creatures' design. Can I cheat a little and choose two favourites? If so, I must say my kingfisher oven gloves and my woodland creatures tote bag are among my most cherished designs.

What lies ahead for you? Any ambitions or goals on your horizon?

There's plenty of drawing and designing in store, both for PWS and for my own online customers. I'm enthusiastic about expanding my stationery lines, so stay tuned for exciting additions! Moreover, one of my significant life goals is to write and illustrate a children's picture book, and perhaps it's time to take the plunge and make a start on that dream that's been on my mind for three years now! Additionally, I am eager to focus more time and energy on commissions and bespoke gifting, an area of my business that has steadily grown over the past few years.

Kingfisher Products Showcase Banner

What excites you the most about working with Parkwood Springs?

I'm absolutely thrilled about offering my stockists and online customers an even broader array of products, and I'm eagerly looking forward to designing more. Assisting PWS in marketing my ranges, creating newsletters to keep customers informed of new releases, and attending various trade shows lined up by PWS are endeavours that fill me with excitement. I'm especially eager to showcase live demos at these shows, a prospect that sparks enthusiasm in me.

Why did you choose to license your artwork with PWS?

The decision to partner with PWS was driven by the alignment of our shared values in producing beautiful and sustainable merchandise that honours the environment and respects the individuals in the supply chain. The partnership is a perfect match, allowing me the freedom to focus on creating new designs while enabling Parkwood Springs to develop and introduce a plethora of new products, keeping both trade and direct customers eager and engaged. Moreover, having previously worked with PWS to produce products, I trust their commitment to maintaining the integrity and authenticity of my brand as we move forward together.

In collaboration with Parkwood Springs, Cherith Harrison's artistry will continue to flourish, bringing a sense of tranquillity and wonder to an array of sustainable and beautiful merchandise. Together, they

embark on a journey that celebrates creativity, sustainability, and a shared vision of promoting ethical practices in the world of giftware.