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Designer Jody Myerscough-Walker on having her own specialist fabrics company

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 September 2014 | UPDATED: 10:00 01 September 2014

Archant

Jody Myerscough-Walker always knew she wanted to be a designer. Now her dream has come true with the creation of Bon Maison, her own specialist fabrics company

Jody Myerscough-Walker has clearly inherited the creative gene from her grandfather, the famous architect and abstract artist Raymond Myerscough-Walker, and she was always destined for a career in design. When she was small, Jody sat for hours creating houses for her Trolls and Barbies out of cardboard boxes. “My finest creation was a hair salon for my Barbies,” she says, “with egg cartons for the sinks.” As she got older she progressed from cardboard boxes to decorating her bedroom, much to her parents’ delight.

Art and Design was a strong subject for her at school and it seemed natural for her to choose Winchester School of Art to extend her studies.

“Art & Design has always been my main passion and I couldn’t really see myself doing anything else. My art teachers at Brunton School For Girls, Brian Wyatt and Terri Hogan, were a massive influence on me pursuing my creativity.”

Not feeling that a career as an artist was quite for her, Jody wanted a more practical application of her skills and interests.

“My interest in design has always had an interiors slant. I love designing patterns and then seeing them transform onto fabric, which people can have in their homes. It always makes me proud to go into a room and think ‘wow, I drew the design you have on your curtains’.”

After graduating, Jody worked at Etre in Winchester and loved choosing fabrics for design schemes from companies such as Harlequin and Zimmer & Rohde.

After learning the ropes, it seemed natural for her to develop her own fabric brand.

“I got approached by Grand Designs Live and in 2010 launched my first collection at their London Show. Things have continued to develop and progress since then to the point where I now run Bon Maison full time.”

Her parents live in France and it is there where Jody finds she is most creative.

“It gives me distance from my day-to-day life and a chance to escape and relax. When you’re in that mindset I find creativity flows more freely.

“I will go for a walk with my Dad and discover something interesting. Then I’ll sketch down some ideas and think about colours I have seen and like before working out how these will combine. I am obsessed with bright, neon colours so I will find colour inspiration in lots of unusual places.”

Jody runs Bon Maison from her home studio and works with other local businesses to turn her fabrics in to items for the home.

She relies heavily on word of mouth to promote her business, and uses Twitter to connect with other designers. Now ready to grow her company, Jody would love to have a shop in the city she has grown to love.

“An amazing neon fabric emporium where people can choose fabrics, custom designed seating and lampshades whilst enjoying some tea and homemade cakes.” Sounds like the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

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Name: Jody Myerscough-Walker

Business name: Bon Maison

Length of time in business: 4 years

Number of employees: Just me

Ethos: Printed fabrics and home accessories with a hint of neon. Hand designed in the UK.

Location: Winchester

Contact: www.bon-maison.co.uk

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