Lady with the Lamps
When Tina Holman took up lampshade-making just a few years ago, she had – quite appropriately – a light bulb moment!
Always interested in interiors, she had discovered a craft she was particularly good at and now two-three years on, she is developing her new hobby into a successful business.
The Nurtured Nest is based in Whitstable sharing premises with Warehams Antiques, a well-known establishment on the prominent entry route into the town centre, and is open Thursday – Sunday for sales and orders.
She also works on site. “I iron and laminate the fabric at home, then actually make the shades in the shop,” she says. Fascinated browsers can witness that the products are genuinely handmade in Whitstable.
It was after a cut in working hours that Tina was looking for a new interest, and she enrolled on several workshops at the Painted Pearl interiors shop in Tankerton. Her tutor saw something magical happen when Tina tried making lampshades. “She said it was like a light bulb had come on,” laughs Tina.
Always drawn to colour and interested in design, Tina used to work at the Visual Roars interiors shop at Johnsons garden centre (now called Garden X) on the Old Thanet Way. They now stock her lampshades, along with other local outlets including Home by SP in Broadstairs.
Tina keeps a pile of fabrics in the shop for customers to choose from, or they can bring in their own. “Cotton and linen are best,” says Tina. “Nothing too stretchy or the pattern may distort.”
Her own favourites are tropical and botanical designs including exotic birds, even an animal or two, which are very on-trend. Particularly popular now are her fabrics featuring cockatiels and parrots, and another which includes a gold lemur.
Customers can choose a regular white inner or a coloured one which gives a different kind of glow when the lamp is switched on. Tina can also add various trimmings. She can revamp an old shade, create one from wallpaper to match décor, and make hand-stitched lampshades and whole-unit lamps. She’ll even produce matching cushions.
She offers a bespoke service, but there are plenty of completed hand-made shades and lamps to choose from too. “Someone said my style is contemporary glamour,” says Tina. “I’m happy with that.”