After a busy summer of pop-up shops and growing online sales, 11 Rugby Road is back for Christmas Open Houses with some new products, great gift ideas and a room full of Christmas Trees. Dan and Adam and co. are looking forward to the flurry of Christmas, but took the time to answer a few questions for the AOH blog.
Our little house is home to 2 guys, 2 kilns and bundles of creativity. The hub for us and our work, 11 Rugby Road started as part of the Artists Open Houses in Brighton and now sells online and through pop-up shops.
Who is showing at AOH Christmas with you?
Adam and I are very lucky to have a creative family. We are supported by Adam’s Mum, Pauline, who is a stained glass champion. My sister, Lauren comes up with quirky yet timeless jewellery gems and my Mum, Janine is crochet crazy. With myself creating graphic prints and gifts and Adam hard at work producing ceramics and illustrations, that makes up the majority of our Open House.
How many years have you been part of AOH Christmas? What drew you to it and what brings you back?
This will be our 6th Christmas Open House. Lots of people don’t realise it happens at this time of year so it’s brilliant that it keeps getting bigger and better. Part of what makes it interesting for us it to make it more than just a gallery and for it to be fun to visit. Every inch of space in our home is utilised to freely explore when we open our doors.
If you have visited our Christmas Open house before you’ll know we like to celebrate in a huge festive fashion! The log fire is burning, there is mulled wine in the candy lane kitchen (which raises money Superstar Arts, an organization for creative adults with learning disabilities) and the front room is packed with over 20 Christmas trees to make it feel like you’re stepping into Narnia.
Do you show at the Spring Festival and if so how do the two events differ?
We love doing both the Christmas and May Open House. During Christmas people often have friends and family in mind when looking around, where as the Spring Festival feels like you should treat yourself.
What have you been up to since the Spring Open Houses Festival?
2015 has been a busy one for us! While Adam and I juggle having day jobs and the creative work we love, this year we also started our online shop to allow people to buy Open House goodies throughout the year and also gives those not local to Brighton to be involved. We also have had two Pop-Up events on down on the seafront and in the heart of North Laine. It’s been a really fun experience and has allowed us to think up new ideas and it’s great to see some Open House regulars coming to see us.
Communicating to the world what we’re up to has been really handy, especially this year when we have has lots to tell people. We try and keep it lighthearted and engaging and having competitions goes down a storm! If you don’t follow us give us a hello on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as the community feel of social media is what makes it great.
Do you have any new and exciting products for the Christmas Festival?
Adam and I have been working with other makers to allow us to have a great range of new jewellery which has had a lovely reaction at our pop-ups. It’s hard not to smile when you see some of the quirky designs!
Any fond AOH Christmas Festival memories? Favourite songs or Traditions?
The charity raising kitchen at 11 Rugby Road has gained a reputation during Open House season for wow-ing with floor to ceiling treats. Endless amounts of candy canes, chocolate and gingerbread with ‘help-yourself’ mulled wine is not just for those visiting as we cheers a busy weekend with a large mug full wine!
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Superstar Arts http://www.superstararts.com