I'm very proud to add british designer Donna Wilson to the list of Violet and Percy brands. Here's her story...
Donna Wilson has been designing, manufacturing and distributing her curious creatures, luxurious lambswool cushions, knitwear and ever-expanding collection of home accessories since 2003.
Her designs are made with the finest fabrics in the most vibrant of colours. Chances are you’ve already encountered some of them in your day-to-day life and travels. From a bright blue Badger Cushion nestled on a sofa in London to a Bear Plate plate at the dinner table in Tokyo, Donna’s products pop up in every corner of the globe.
In the beginning
Donna Wilson’s story starts in rural Aberdeenshire, where she spent her childhood on her parents’ farm.
We used to have an old hen house that became a cabin of craft… a place to hide from adults and have adventures. I would create sculptures from branches and twigs, make mud pies and serve them in old pots and pans.
A love of nature
Through these early experiments, she developed a love for the natural landscape, wildlife, and of course, making things – mostly from textiles using handcrafted techniques like felting, sewing, knitting, and wrapping. When she was old enough, Donna packed her bags and set off for London where she honed her home-taught talents at the Royal College of Art. It was there that she knitted her very first creatures and began selling them to local shops in the city.
Fifteen years and several hundred thousand spools of yarn later
Donna’s cabin of craft has been relocated from the hen house in Aberdeenshire to a busy studio in East London that’s filled to the rafters with her curious creations. Along the way, her creatures have been joined by a whole host of other products including contemporary furniture, homewares, textiles, clothing, and even confectionery collections that you’ll find in over 30 countries around the world, loved by thousands for their charming warmth and familiarity.
The importance of craftsmanship
It’s fair to say Donna’s studio wouldn’t be where it is today without its network of talented craftspeople who help to bring her products to life. Keeping UK manufacturing and crafts alive has long been an important part of Donna’s work and she is proud to say that each Donna Wilson product is, wherever possible, made in the UK by people who take great pride and care in their work.
Awards, exhibitions and collaborations
Over the past fifteen years, Donna has been named ‘Designer of the Year’ at Elle Decoration’s British Design Awards, exhibited a solo show of knitted sculptures and paintings entitled Endangered Species at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, created a line of childrenswear for UK retailer John Lewis and most recently her own line of womenswear.