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The talented locals behind the Indie Store

As we step back into the real world, it’s more important than ever to support local. In the first part of our Meet the Maker series, we talk to four of our Indie Store businesses to find out what makes them special.

Wallets at the ready! The Spring edit of the Indie Store is live, a super scroll of fresh new fashion, gifts and ideas for your home where you track down the best of local talent across the Muddy counties and here in Devon.

But who are those local faces behind the brilliant brands? In the first of a Muddy Meets the Maker two-parter, Muddy speaks to the men and women behind four fantastic Devon indie businesses.

Karen Skerrat, Exeter Gin

A family affair – Karen, centre, with daughter Lyndsay and husband Mick.

Our business is part of what we feel is the backbone of our British culture and as such it is important that we pay into the system and provide opportunities with jobs and innovation. We are proud to be British and love to fly the flag and shout about our heritage. This pandemic has been very humbling for a lot of us and when someone buys our gin it brings and element of pride and gratitude, we supply hospitality and this pandemic has been pretty tough for anyone in the industry so every sale is greatly appreciated. 

Supporting us supports both local and UK economy therefore I see it as an investment into all our futures.  We are looking to keep improving our eco credentials, bring some new products to market and eventually get our long awaited opening of the gin school!

Mel Botterill, Button Queen Vintage

My work is 100% escapism for me. Utterly therapeutic. I love the random requirements from customers… colour themes, hobbies, places etc, and of how the finished pictures look.  

Vintage stamp world map, £275

I usually get a photo of it hanging in place which I love receiving. It was only about 10 seconds, but seeing a piece of art that was commissioned for a St Ives restaurant on Rick Stein’s Cornwall on BBC2 was so exciting. I had lots of new social media followers after that and a few orders.

Pheasant Vintage Stamp picture, £30

I still get so happy when people buy something.  It all happened quite by accident, and it never ceases to amaze me that people want to buy them. 

Zoe Buttling, Ginger Zebra

When I launched Ginger Zebra in lockdown it was all about helping artists – who are brilliant at their craft but they tend to be less at promoting themselves – to showcase and sell their wonderful work. Timing hasn’t been ideal, but it’s so far so good, and I love it.

Clockwise from top: washbag £16; set of 3 bud vases £12; plant hanger £18.95; Zebra pot cover £18.95.

I’ve just updated the website with gorgeous new cards and gifts for spring, including flower presses, plant pot covers and bright bold colourful bowls, plates and cups perfect for alfresco dining which will soon be here – hopefully! Summer can’t come quick enough for most of us. I’m so inspired by what I do now, and besides I can’t think of anything better than buying and selling lovely things.

Yaniv Zalman, Isla Silver

I’ve always loved making things with my hands and there’s something about jewellery, they way it’s beautifully formed on a small scale, that has always inspired me. Most of my designs are completely spontaneous; sometimes I’ll begin creating shapes with wax or I’ll take a piece of silver and shape or gently beat it; part of the process is letting the metal do its thing.

Faceted Labradorite Earrings in Sterling Silver with Brass details, £47

It’s wonderfully motivating to see people wearing and enjoying the pieces, I love hearing that they are bringing joy.  So much jewellery is given with love, and can become a significant treasure in someone’s life, whether it’s worn every day or just on special occasions.

Pearl & Amethyst Ring in sterling silver with gold details, £82

Last year, strange as it was, did give me more time than usual to focus on new designs, which we have just put online.  I’m crossing my fingers that travel becomes possible again in autumn, so that I can head to my beloved India which is where I source many of the beautiful stones for the jewellery, and also where I keep my much-missed Royal Enfield motorbike!


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