Kent has some truly breathtaking places to visit but it is also home to some wonderful local businesses.
If you haven’t already discovered Bombus, we’d like to introduce you to some of the beautiful bespoke art that they create for homes all around the world, and their story.
The Story Behind Bombus
Amelia Coward is the designer behind the gorgeous découpage art created at Bombus. With a background in textiles and weave at Central St Martins; followed by postgraduate study at The Royal College of Art, she explains here how the inspiration for Bombus began:
‘I came across a box of old maps in the family garage and was immediately drawn to them for the patterns, textures and colours, not dissimilar to fabric that I was more used to working with. I came up with the idea of using a specific piece of vintage map to make a gift and judging by how well it was received, I soon realised its commercial potential.
I’m a collector or all things beautiful and have amassed boxes upon boxes of paper and fabric, photos, books and magazine as reference and inspiration for future design use. These are all stored in the Bombus stock room.
These days I’m also an avid Pinterest user. You can view see my pins here: pinterest.com/bombus.The floor of our stock room breathes a sign of relief that any additions to the collection are now digital!’
They are now a team of 12 and working out of a dedicated studio space in a converted Oast House on a farm just outside Faversham in Kent. All the frames are also handmade in Kent.
The Bombus Ethos
Amelia explains that the Bombus ethos is one of making something out of nothing. With the advent of GPRS and Sat Nav fewer and fewer people are using paper maps these days. But people still love looking at maps (just as long as they don’t have to use them to find their way!). We upcycle discarded maps into bespoke art. We try to make use of every last bit as well; from the left-over pieces of map we cut some out as smaller hearts as decoration for gift tags, and even the really scrappy little bits left over is made into confetti which we sprinkle in with our packaging, which makes it look and feel very special.
Their Signature Product: The Bespoke Map Heart
Their bespoke map collection reflects the idea that everyone loves maps and certain places hold special memories! Customers can choose their own map location for their print. Bombus have approximately 15,000 vintage maps of all over the world in their own collection at any one time. Their map room is floor to ceiling, wall to wall maps, maps and more maps. Their oldest maps were printed in the 1920s!
What’s Next for Bombus?
They’ve recently started selling in Australia, on a curated marketplace hardtofind.au.com, and they’ve been selling on etsy.com and notonthehighstreet.com for quite a few years already. They are keen to get some of their designs onto textiles and have already started designing cushion covers. Bombus have also recently stepped into the weddings market and are now busy designing wedding stationery; accessories for the venue and gifts for the bridal party – click here to see their range!