Ever since the Punk Exhibition came to the Sunderland Winter Gardens & Musuem, it proved a huge hit in the North-East but one brand caught out eyes.
Beautifully handmade bags were displayed in the centre of the exhibition with a few other items from designers around the North East.
BIG DAISY KISS Boutique ran by Emma Ford, a self taught accessories who specializes in alternative and Victorian/Gothic styles was approached by the organisers of the exhibition to have their designs displayed to sell.
Big Daisy Kiss has been running for over six years and opened their doors for the first time in Sunderland on October 1, 2015.
BDK offers a variety of products from home decorations such as candles, skulls and cushions to hats, bags and jewellery.
The store is set to move location to Frederick Street, right in the heart of Sunderland and SAINT caught up with owner Emma Ford to tell us more about her boutique.
“I’ve always wanted to own a curiosity shop, full of weird and wonderful things and thought it would be a good idea to include that with my handmade accessories.” Emma says: “Sunderland doesn’t have many groovy little shops anymore and people still like to go shopping so I figured, why not!”
“I’m obsessed with Victorian style Literature, I read my first Edgar Allen Poe poem (The Raven), when I was around five years old.”
Her main inspiration came from her grandfather, who describes as having great taste in stories and tales: “He sent me on an adventure into the past and I’ve loved it ever since. It make a significant impact on how I grew up and the things I would be drawn to and interested in. Mad scientists, unique inventions, art, nature, Life/death and of course people. I’ve always been inspired by artists who aren’t afraid to break the mould. The weirder the better.”
With handmade products becoming more and more popular over factory processed products. Emma has always had a passion for making her products all on her own:
“Some people are shocked at how much I charge for things because I don’t think they see how much work has actually gone into it, or understand the overheads of running this type of business.
But I find the people who do love handmade, really love it and go out of their way to support independents such as myself. If you know that an item has been made by one person, from start to finish and not handed off down a production line, it has a piece of the artist permanently embedded in it. You can’t see it, but it is there. Hours of concentration, planning, designing and not to mention executing it in a way that you know your customer will get value for money and be able to enjoy their item for a much longer time. We are the designers, makers, photographers, marketers, quality controllers and lots more. I think most people appreciate that.”
With the competition for small boutiques rising, Emma continues to tell SAINT how important it is for small businesses to be unique:
“They need to have items that their customers just can’t get anywhere else. There’s a lot of seriously talented people and some fairly unscrupulous ones who steal your ideas. So originality is key in everything. Even down to how you photograph your items. You need to set yourself apart.”
“I know lots of very talented folks, so it did give me a platform to help them out a little by selling their items for them too and getting their businesses out there on the high street, instead of just online, where you can’t really tell the quality as well as if it were right in front of you. We also try to get new stock in all the time, to keep people interested and not let the stock get stale. Most of our artists have done very well here so far.”
With the success of the Punk 40 British Library exhibition, Big Daisy Kiss was approached by organisers of the exhibition for her designs to be displayed:
“Although we aren’t technically Punk, we have a couple of hardcore punk artists here who I knew would suit the exhibition perfectly. We just kinda worked around what they had to show and tried our best to blend it all together.”
We think that the designs fitted perfectly with the theme of the exhibition.
With the plans to move to a new location, Emma hopes to expand her business and have boutiques in Edinburgh and York to “blend in with the stunning Gothic architecture and fabulous Scottish folks! They love our stuff in Scotland, so it seems we may do well there.” She adds.
So, what are the plans for the future of BDK?
“We are hoping to do the Big North Tattoo Show at the Metro Radio Arena at the end of April, but it all depends on our weekend coming up and how much dosh we can scrounge!”
Check out the Big Daisy Kiss website for more amazing products.
Visit Big Daisy Kiss at:
10 Olive Street