an interview with Abigail Bryans

What inspired you to create your business?
I began Abigail Bryans Designs ten years ago. I found myself in the position of being on my own – with my three very small children and needing to earn a living. I looked at various jobs that would possibly work around school hours, but knew deep down I wanted to use my creativity to make gifts. Over the years I had pottered and painted things and sold them to friends, from mini photograph frames to furniture. It was a friend that said ‘don’t be frightened to fail’. Hearing those words spurred me on to make a business work with something I love doing.

Describe your product range and what makes it unique?
Distressed wooden signs with warm and quirky sayings. The signs are painted in a vintage cream, distressed and waxed and hung with a piece of twine. Each one is unique and can also be personalised. I also make necklace hooks and key rings that can be personalised and painted in the same style.

What is your best selling product?
The ‘Champagne is the answer’ and ‘I must remember to put my wife before the football’ are my most popular signs. I have also had so many fantastic requests of personalisation from customers. They always make me smile!

What is your home like?
I live in a four bed roomed terrace house in south London with my three children and a lovely lodger. It is a busy and compact work place, juggling homework and sign painting around the kitchen table. It is a place of laughter and life.

What impact has had on your business? has totally transformed my business. It has taken the onus off me for marketing and has reached a much, much bigger audience that I would never have been able to do. I have felt so supported by them and encouraged. They have been amazing. It has been totally one of the best decisions I have made regarding my business! As the recession was hitting other places, by sales through kept on coming in, which was so encouraging.

What are you lusting after on
Such a good question – what am I lusting after on; many many things! Everything! But definitely the Union Jack Chair by Foxbat Boutique. I can just see it sitting nicely in front of my desk!

What are your ambitions for the future?
What are my ambitions – I would just love for my designs, which originated from something so small to be sold around the world – and to be enjoyed everywhere, from here to Australia! And for me to still be able to make them all! I would love a gorgeous little workplace where all my dust could settle away from my kitchen! Sadly my garden isn’t big enough to build something – but maybe one day – watch this space!!

  • Comment by Carol

    I have purchased Abigails signs for lots of my friends and they always are great presents and make people smile….very important in these difficult days!! Keep painting Abi!!!

  • Comment by Debs

    Abigails signs always bring life and laughter into the home . The best present for all ages .

  • Comment by Vcitoria

    I love Abigail’s signs – especially the one about George Clooney.

  • Comment by Selina

    I love Abigail’s stuff, people always make admiring comments when they see my lovely signs hanging in my kitchen – and ask, ‘where did you get that? I love it!’

  • Comment by Fergus

    Abigail’s signs always bring laughter into our house, they are great!

  • Great unique gift ideas. Does Abigail have a unique sign for my wife saying something like “Quiet Please I’m Power Knitting” as I keep interupting my wife when she is counting stitches.

  • Comment by abigail Bryans

    what a good idea stuart!!! yes you can request anything!! and knitting is so ‘in vogue’ i should do one!

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