25 August 2021
Meet the Maker: Pavilion
In our Meet the Maker blog series, we profile the independent creative businesses behind some of our product ranges in the British Library Shop (both online and at our St Pancras, London site). This month, we meet Jan Vincent from Pavilion, a design-led studio producing colourful greeting cards, gift wrap, notebooks and more.
Pavilion was launched by Jan Vincent and Robert Wood in January 2018, after 18 months of designing and building their first collection of cards. Since then, they have expanded their ranges by adding new product types such as notebooks and gift wrap, and launched new partner brand affiliate:107 in January 2021.
'The inspiration for both Pavilion and affiliate:107 comes from far and wide, I think that’s really evident when you look at the products – our backgrounds are in fashion and womenswear print design so we love pattern making and floral prints, but we also love modern graphic and abstract art which is a huge influence too.'
The business is run from their home in Norwich, where they have a room for designing and admin, and have recently converted a spare bedroom into a stockroom – as Jan says, ‘with lots of shelving to keep us organised’! Each season they launch three-four new ranges so there’s lots to keep track of, and they’ve also added new products such as pencil sets, which are one of Jan’s favourite items:
'One of our latest products is a six piece pencil set which we are really proud of – this was a big leap of faith for us to add to the collection as it was designed and developed during lockdown, and we had to work remotely with our manufacturers to create the set.'
As with so many independent makers and creators, Covid-19 has impacted Pavilion’s business with sales quickly dropping, as well as work outside of the brand going on hold, so they took the decision to close temporarily. This gave the duo time to focus on developing their partner brand affiliate:107, which they’d wanted to do for a long time. They’re now seeing business pick up again, and are looking forward to attending a trade show in September, as well as launching more new designs.
'We feel very honoured to be included in the selection of products available at the British Library Shop. We knew that the shop was an award-winning store that sold many brands that we love, so to be stocked there makes our hard work worthwhile.'
Although Jan confesses he is more of a creative mind, and Robert is the business mind behind Pavilion, he offers this advice for anyone starting out with their own small business:
'Plan and research before you set out on your business venture. Use every resource that is available to find out as much info as you can about how to set up and how to go about launching.'