Meet the Maker #3 – Nancy & Betty Studio

This week we have the pleasure of meeting the highly creative Hannah from Nancy & Betty Studio. This is high-quality craft and a brand born out of true passion and artistic talent.

Hannah started Nancy & Betty Studio after finishing her fine art degree and selling her beautiful cards in Liberty. More stockists later and after many requests; Hannah starting producing her designs onto wrapping paper, napkins, gift bags and crackers among many other darling objects you can buy from the studio. If you are at all into tablescaping – the trend that has hit the nation hard in the past few years – you’d be a fool to bypass this brand this Christmas (join one of her workshops at the fair). Hannah herself has already planned her Christmas table layout, ready to host 17 members of her family on Christmas Day. Amongst informing us about the sustainability of her products and how she will plant one tree for each box of crackers sold, we really get to Meet the Maker as Hannah tells us all about her delightful Christmas traditions and her favourite way to spend a Sunday. We can’t wait to see her and her team at the fair this year. 

Hi Hannah, thanks for joining us this week! Firstly we want to know; do you have a favourite product at the moment from your brand? 

The matchboxes are new for this year, I think they’re just wonderful – a great hostess gift, stocking filler or perfect for your mantlepiece. There are 120 green tipped long matches in a box with our Green Holly or Oak Leaves & Acorns design. Tie a ribbon around a couple of candles with the box of matches and you have an instantly delightful little gift.

Tell us about one of your bestsellers and why do you think that is? 

Our new Forest Friends Christmas crackers (for children) are new for this year and one of our bestsellers so far. They have the most adorable little faces and are a bit more subtle for Christmas or a more relaxed look – I’d team them with the Oak Leaves & Acorns family Christmas crackers. We are also totally in love with our King Winter Berries crackers – complete with double velvet bows and presented in a wooden box, theses enormous crackers are bound to make an impression.

Amazing! Why do you think people should buy from Nancy & Betty Studio? 

Our crackers are handcrafted with care in England by our team of skilled elves – our crackers are the very best, customers include royalty! The crackers are eco-friendly; made from sustainable paper stock, no plastic, recyclable and we plant one tree for every box of crackers bought. We have lots of designs and sizes to choose from and to make your table the best dressed this Christmas.

Why and when did this brand begin? 

Nancy & Betty Studio was founded in 2009, a few years after I graduated from a Fine Art degree – we started with greetings cards, which Liberty picked up really early, shortly followed by Urban Outfitters and Heal’s. The cards were a way for customers to buy my artwork, from there stockists requested the designs onto wrapping paper and so our collection began to expand into what it is today – Christmas crackers, wrapping paper, paper tape, gift bags, cotton napkins, placemats and coasters, tree decorations and matches. We are now a team of 14 and based at The Old Piggery, which backs onto an orchard in the Kent countryside.

How are you spending this Christmas? 

My husband and I are hosting Christmas along with our two children. We live in a Victorian property (a former nurse’s accommodation) with 12-foot-high ceilings, last year we got a 10-foot-high Christmas tree for our hallway on 23 December from the local garden centre. We’re hosting family this year and there will be 17 of us, so probably not so much room for a huge tree, we’ll have a smaller one this year. I’ve decided on what themes the tables will have and I can’t wait to dress them on Christmas eve – one of my favourite things to do.

Do you have any Christmas Day Traditions? 

I’ll start with Christmas Eve – a leisurely day making gingerbread biscuits whilst listening to Classic FM. In the afternoon, almost the entire village goes to the local church for a short carol service. Then we watch a film (usually Home Alone) and start food prep for Christmas Day. Christmas Day is relaxed and involves opening stockings, breakfast, opening presents under the tree and then all the family arriving. Lunch is served around 1pm and then at 3pm watching The Queen’s Speech – for the first time, this year, it will be The King’s Speech! Then we put on the wellies and go for a countryside walk to burn off some of our lunch! The rest of the day is spent playing games, doing jigsaw puzzles, napping or chatting. We’ll probably watch a Christmas Special in the evening, like Call the Midwife.

Now for the silly but highly important question…what’s the best part of a roast? 

That’s a very hard question, I love it all! The stuffing, roast potatoes and good gravy make an excellent roast.

What’s your favourite way to spend a Sunday? 

Having a long lie in, pottering around the house, baking bread, going for a long walk in the countryside and cooking a chicken pie.

That sounds perfect! And finally, what’s your favourite or funniest memory from Christmas? 

Spending time with family, we all get on really well and have a great time together. About 10 years ago, just after Christmas Day, my husband and I flew out to see friends in Norway – we went sledging, cross country skiing (made a campfire and cooked sausages) and saw the Northern Lights (we went very north for a few days) – that was all very magical!

We hope this insight into the brand has added to your excitement this year to meet another wonderful stallholder gracing our fair in November! 

Thank you Hannah for your time and for sharing with us this week.