Monday, 9 August 2010

Daisy Lane

Ta-dah! I have been teasing you for a while with sneak previews of my new range and here it is at last.

Daisy Lane is based on a batch of vintage greeting cards I found at the Daylesford Bazaar back in March - do you remember them?

I fell in love with the illustrations of girls tending their gardens, and I decided to try and track down the artist, who turned out to be a lady called Sue Adams. Sue was a greeting card artist for Phil Taylor Cards in Sydney for over 20 years, from the 1960s to the 1980s.

During this time, Sue created thousands of her very charming illustrations. They decorated greeting cards for every occasion, wedding invitations, gift wrap and gift tags (but never swap cards, at least not officially).

In the 1980s, changing fashions meant that demand for the 'cuties' (as they were known in the card company) declined, and Sue eventually moved to England, where she still lives and paints.

My detective work led me to Mark Taylor, the son of Phil and Mary Taylor, who started the company in 1960 on their kitchen table. These days Phil Taylor is Australia's largest family-owned greetings company, but it is still very much run as a family business, and Mark invited me to visit their offices in Botany, Sydney, to view the Sue Adams archive. As you can imagine, I couldn't get on a plane fast enough!

I had a lovely day taking tea with Mark (and eating sandwiches made by his dad!), and hearing about how Phil (an artist himself) met Mary and about what it was like to grow up in such a creative family. It reminded me a lot of Lark, our own family business.

Mark then disappeared and came back with a pile of small suitcases containing the original artworks that Sue created for the cards. I can't really put into words what a joy it was for me, being obsessed with vintage children's illustration, to get to rifle through thousands of wonderful artworks. I was amazed at how each one is different from the next, and the endless creativity that Sue poured into the works that she was creating day after day. I think it's pretty clear that she loved her job!

Mark and his family have been carefully storing the 'cuties' (and the many other illustrated ranges that they produced) for the past thirty years, hoping that one day people might like them again. Of course that time is now here, as I pointed out!

Fast forward a few months and several trips to Sydney. With the help of the Taylor family and Sue Adams, I have been VERY luckily allowed to design a children's gift range using the original archive. I have been wanting for some time to launch a collection for Lark that is inspired by the Holly Hobbie/Betsy Clarke character products that I collected as a girl - simple and sweet things that don't require batteries (or a knowledge of celebrities and dating).

So taking inspiration from Sue's illustrations I have created Daisy Lane. It will grow into a whole collection of sweet gifts from bubble bath to secret diaries. The kinds of things we all loved (and still secretly do) and that we want our children to love too.

Daisy Lane is launching at the Kids in Style show this week. We are starting with some very wonderful products...

Posters (for your bedroom), beautiful and a large 50x70 cms

Sweet accessories of all kinds, costing just a few dollars of your pocket money

Letter writing sets, for when SMS just won't do


Sweeties in pretty candy stripe bags, containing special treats like Lemon Bonbons, Juicy Lips and ABC Candy Letters



And swap cards! Yes, we have received so many requests from Lark customers to bring back swap cards that I couldn't resist. Now you can collect Daisy Lane cards along with your vintage swappie collection. There is a very cute old-style album, and 24 different cards (with many more to come over the next few months).

Daisy Lane is 100% Australian made. I have been working with some wonderful manufacturers, including a 150-year old printing company and Melbourne's oldest soap maker, on lots of exciting products that you will see over the next year. Phil Taylor are also going to be re-releasing some of the original greeting cards in 2011, yay!

This last week has seen various dramas and nail-biting moments as the first Daisy Lane products started arriving, just in time for the launch. It it always very emotional to see your ideas turning into reality, isn't it? The first products will be available in a week's time from our website and from some of our lovely stockists, this is just a special sneak preview. I'd love to know what you think.

I'm off to finish preparations for Kids in Style. If you're coming along please pop by and say Hi, we'll be at K109 in Hall 1.

45 comments:

Tiges and Weince said...

Wow so much background work. They are gorgeous, but I must say I am even more impressed you kept this a secret for so long. Good luck with your collection.
Kylie

Tails from the dog house said...

These are beautiful,I want some pieces for myself what a fabulous sweet story love it!
The names perfect congratulations!

Betty Jo said...

AWESOME!!(in capitals).
I want one of everything.
I may not make it to Kids in Style this year, but all the best. I predict a sell out of Daisy Lane.
xxliz

yardage girl said...

A great idea! As a child from the 70's and early 80's when this type of thing was all the go, I'm so happy to see it again. My lockable Holly Hobby diary was one of my most precious things! Will definately pop in and see you this week. Nic

Lulu froufrou said...

I'm in love - everything is so special.

Selina said...

They are lovely!

Danielle McDonald said...

I can't believe there's a revival in the swap card trend! I was such a collector and I am sure I have some of Sue's cards somewhere! What a great project. Good luck.

Shan said...

s so so adorable... i had holly hobby all over my room as a child so these are bringing back memories.. can't wait to get some for my little girls... well done

shan x

MoederKip said...

*sigh*... for a moment there, I was 7 years old again.
What a wonderful opportunity for you - and you've done an amazing job bringing it to fruition.
Can't wait to get my hands on some of these sweet goodies :-)

Sarah said...

This is all so beautiful...i love it. brings back childhood for me and those little candy bags are really fun. all the best with it!

Make mine Mid-Century said...

That's a wonderful story! Congratulations to you on your hard work ... those illustrations are fabulous ... and I bet the Taylor family is thrilled to see them come alive again.

midge said...

what a beautiful idea to revive all of those amazing artworks. i remember them from my childhood and couldn't agree more on the notion of returning to less complicated times with pretty gifts for girls untainted by images of celebrity that is way beyond their years. hooray for enjoying simple pleasures. good luck and good on you

sean the prawn said...

Thankyou so much for bringing back such sweetness to grace another generation of little people...i must by something for my daughter..takes me right back to my girlhood.

moose and bird said...

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! I am officially in love! This is an absolutely amazing range of products. Perfection with a capital P! Have fun at Life In Style. x

Jenni said...

a really moving post Allison, I have strong, fond memories of these illustrations & spent many hours copying , then making up my own characters as a child. A beautiful illustratpor absolutely deserving of a second lease of life.
Fantastic iniative, all the best with it!

kirsty said...

my heart skipped a beat when i saw that you have also made swap cards! joy!

BOB & MABEL said...

They are simply divine and bring back so many memories. I still have Mum's original Holly Hobbie fabric and use it now..... love it all!

Jay @ Finki said...

Just gorgeous, I'll be visiting the online shop as soon as it's updated. I just love that you told us about the Taylor's and how you researched the artists and sought to create a working agreement with them. They must be tickled pink that you got in touch with them and when they bought that suitcase out...my gosh. I would have cried with delight. Well done...I can't wait to see it all.
and gosh I wish i could help with designs...I was so tempted to move to Ballarat when you said you had a possie open up, Alas I'm stuck in Melb for a while ( : Best of luck and I look forward to watching it all evolve.

leslie said...

wow! congratulations, allison, these are just lovely and so "you" : ) good luck with the show, although i don't think you need it!

Ali said...

oh my gosh! so delightful and gorgeous! congrats on keeping this a secret! well done! ;)

Jacki said...

Congratulations! They look so adorable - I can't wait to get my hands on some! Good on you for making this happen!

Jess said...

What an absolutely beautiful idea.. I love the drawings, they take me right back to my childhood swap card days :)

I cant wait to see these available in Melbourne.

My Messy Room said...

Congratulations, it all looks so sweet and magical... just what you hope your children will fall in love with!

Can't wait to see it instore this Christmas! xx

Mel @ Skye Rocket Sews said...

Congratulations!!!!
What a wonderful collection and a fabulous story.
Can't wit 'til these are available!
Mel.xx

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

I felt emotional just reading this post! How wonderful for the original artist that her works have found you and the magic and sweetness is being passed along.
And of course as a mother of a Daisy, the name is spot-on! What a lovely surprise! I have been most curious as to your big news and this is beyond what I was hoping for. xx

bee said...

Congrats Allison!! What a completely fabulous idea - I just adore these illustrations! Well done on all your hard work, isn't it just the best when it all comes to fruition?! CAN'T WAIT to get my hands on some swap cards!

凱v胡倫 said...

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Kim said...

Soooo gorgeous! SO many childhood memories are spinning around my head. These are going to be so popular.

danielle said...

these are so cute- cant wait to see them in the shop...great work!!

Mon Alisa Design said...

Oh I love it!! So exciting! x

Megan.K. said...

Allison this is just fantastic!!! I love what you have created, and the sound of what you will create into the future withy this... and also - what a wonderful story - so very beautiful, full of integrity.

Yay to you and to Sue Adams and to Daisy. Just brilliant.
x

Elise said...

I have come over after corresponding with Mandy from Belle and Boo who let me know you will be stocking some of her new creations very soon.

I am delighted to have discovered your gorgoeus blog and shop.

Congratulations on Daisy Lane. I can hardly wait to own some of your new products. I have my eye on some of the accessories and those swap cards are gorgeous.

Robyn said...

What a wonderful story of a wonderful artist! She must be thrilled that her work will be inspiring us all again.

Danielle said...

Hmmm those swappies are divine!!!! Everything looks fantastic Allison. Great job putting it all together and bestest of luck at Life Instyle (not that you'll need it!!!!) x

Anna said...

Congratulations Allison, the collection is gorgeous... I saw on the babyology website that there mayb be linen in the future??? Can't wait (especially if there's single bed sheet sets for my girls!).

Lovely.. and such a lovely story.

Crayon Chick said...

Congratulations! All that hard work for such a gorgeous line, I hope the launch is fabulous and you enjoy many happy successes with Daisy Lane! (what a great name!) x

Rochelle said...

Wow, that is just a fabulous sweet sentiment. For the oldies and youngies alike. I choked up a little reading that. I love the images. I used to have Hollie Hobbie and Sarah Kay stuff. Now I have a daughter. Would love to give her the best of both worlds....keep up with the technology and a little bit of the olde worlde girl.

Shelley Trbuhovich said...

allison, you are brilliant! absolutely fantastic, i have no doubt that daisy lane will be a very, very successful venture. just love it. a great post.

Little Shop of Handmade said...

This range is just sooooo super cute. I cant wait to pop it n the shelves at Little Shop.

Raelene said...

i Love this! Can't wait to buy some of the posters to decorate my girls room.

zigsma said...

How absolutely lovely! I remember birthday party invitations from the 70s. Looking forward to revisiting the cuties.

AnastasiaC said...

Allison this is SO wonderful - Congrats!! loved reading the story behind the gorgeous illustrations and the company!...darling vintage illos, i used to buy things like this as a girl too! im so happy they worked with you to create this sweet new range!! Yayy!!

giftboxology said...

swap cards!
i love it!

Exquisite Accessories said...

Just blown me away, how fantasticly talented you are I love it all good luck with everything!! :)))

Jennifer Chapman said...

Hi,
I saw these gorgeous cards in a Sydney shop the other day and love them. I think they will be perfect for my wedding invites.
Do you have any of the wedding or couple cards that are blank inside? I'm having a vintage, garden wedding and these really sum up our theme.
Jen