The British home and giftware manufacturer, My Gifts Trade has found itself at the centre of a new collaboration between Marie Curie and the British brand, i like birds.
Launching at Spring Fair this week, the new licensed collection will feature a daffodil and Blue Tit design created by i like birds founder, Stuart Cox, exclusively for Marie Curie. Under the collaboration, ten per cent of the proceeds from every piece sold will be donated to the charity.
The charity was chosen by Cox as one that is close to the company founder’s heart.
“Years ago I was made homeless after leading a bit of a reckless life and falling out of touch with my family in Brighton for years,” he explained. “When I started to find my feet again I got back in touch by sending my mum some illustrations, to somehow let her know that everything was alright.
“Two weeks later she was diagnosed with a super rare cancer of the spine and we were told she did not have long left to live. She managed a year, the last part of which was in a hospice, where they managed to turn what should have been the worst days of my life into a beautiful celebration of her life.
The hospice let her go out in a gentle and graceful way, with views of the birds from her window, so it’s a cause close to my heart and not a charity collaboration that’s been plucked out of thin air.
“Within a year I also lost one of my brothers and my dad and the illustrations were stuffed into a drawer because I was unable to look at them. Years later they were found there by a friend who suggested I get some printed as cards so they could sell them in their local café. I went along with his idea and they went through over 1000 in the first month. Paperchase soon got wind of this and approached me.”
According to Cox, the rest is history and today the artist’s recognisable illustrations of much-loved British birds and flowers now appear on an array of licensed products, including the highly successful gift and homeware collection developed in partnership with My Gifts Trade.
The new collection for Marie Curie will include home textiles and accessories, ceramic products and a lovely decorative pin.
Joanna Mazzotta, product development and creative at Marie Curie, said: “I was very attracted to Stuart’s designs. They are simple yet beautiful and the bold fun graphic added a design style we’d not explored before.
“I thought they’d marry well with incorporating the daffodil – our emblem – and tell a story about how important and joyful nature at the Marie Curie hospices are for the patients.”