The Drapery Tunbridge Wells is a family business which specialises in designing and making the finest quality soft furnishings. Co-founder Katie Andrews (pictured above, right) explains more…
“I’ve always been passionate about design. After leaving college when I was 17, I was lucky enough to train as a graphic designer in an architectural/planning/urban design practice in Central London. But after 13 years of my career in London, and then having my second child a little over three years ago, I decided a change was necessary.
I wanted to find something I could do that would work around my children’s routines locally, but also to do something that I was passionate about and enjoyed doing. I have always had such a huge interest in interior design, so taking on one aspect of this made total sense. Starting with soft furnishings, my sister Carly and I researched the relevant training courses and off we went.
We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our training. There was no doubt about it, we were absolutely certain that this was the way forward for us and decided to start up a business. We absolutely love working with different fabrics, how patterns work well together, trims and borders, different textures, and using all this to design bespoke, handmade, curtains, Roman blinds and other soft furnishings.
Our business has taken off hugely from the very first day of starting up. We are so amazed and grateful by the support we’ve had locally. We have even been commissioned by local commercial businesses as well as residential clients and have had opportunities to collaborate with other amazing interior design businesses in and around the area. We love seeing the excitement on our clients’ faces when we present our ideas to them and then see the finished product in their homes.”
Emily Brown Photography is a lifestyle and wedding photography business based in Paddock Wood which specialises in custom portraits using natural light and local surroundings. Emily tells us more…
“When I was in year 10 my dad got sick – he had oesophageal cancer. He was ill for almost two years and sadly passed away when I started year 12, at the beginning of my A Levels. I had chosen to study history, drama, psychology and English, but near the end things went downhill rather quickly and I missed quite a bit of school. When I went back I struggled to catch up with history, as I had missed too many names and dates, so I decided to change to photography to add some creativity to my week.
Having always been a lover of the visual arts, this ended up being my best A Level subject and enabled me to go to my first choice university, King’s College London, to study film. Originally the plan was to get my degree under my belt and then do something film related, but I really missed the hands-on, creative side of holding the camera, so I started coming home at weekends to photograph friends in the beautiful Kentish countryside.
I continued to do this the whole way through my degree, but meanwhile was increasingly asked if I photographed weddings and realised that people really wanted to pay me for the thing I loved doing the most.
So on the day I handed in my dissertation I booked my first paying client and the rest is history. It seems that the universe thrust me down a path that I didn’t expect to go down, but I really feel that it’s the path I was meant to be on. Now I get to spend my time capturing life’s special moments, witnessing so much love and happiness, and I couldn’t ask for a more fulfilling job.”