Recently I went to Sussex to visit Rosie Simmons and Sarah Comley to find out more about their newly launched business Cloak and Dagger, an online shop selling original art prints. The girls are no strangers to running an artwork company having spent many years building up a successful papercuts business. Cloak & Dagger is an exciting new chapter influenced by their love of Mid Century aesthetics. We had a gorgeous day, full of fun and laughter and it was lovely to hear more about their company, their friendship and to watch them at work and of course, we tried on some pyjamas...
Rosie and Sarah met at the school gates and as their friendship grew, so did their interest in working together. Sarah a graphic designer used to ask Rosie who had previously been an artworker to help her with commissions. As time went on, they had the idea to create something together and a love of papercuts and graphic design led to their first artworks business which was an instant hit. A few years down the line and their new business, Cloak and Dagger is completely different; punchy graphics, mid century influences and wonderfully retro photographs all inspired by their love of Mid Century Interiors. Although the prints are all very different from each other, they hang together beautifully.
What strikes you most about the girls is their quiet industry and genuine modesty. They are incredibly efficient and take everything in their stride. As I sneaked around taking photos, they just carried on calmly, chatting, laughing and getting the orders out. They are lucky enough to work out of Rosie's beautiful home and break off for a simple lunch together every day. It made me think that I must slow down for lunch, it's a way of reminding yourself to appreciate the simple things.
More lovely prints in the hallway of Rosie's home.
Over lunch, I asked the girls a few quick fire questions:
what is the best and worst thing about working for yourself? Flexibility is top of the list. They both love that they can pick up their girls from school, and their work day is organised around their business. Their girls can also hang out together after school. Worst thing....there didn't seem to be one! Even though they don't have a regular salary, it's still worth being your own boss.
What inspires you? Travel, photography, interiors, other designers and art. The great outdoors (Sarah) the city (Rosie). They are complete opposites!
What are your hopes for the future? To have our own gallery or shop and to be stocked in a larger store such as Habitat.
Any advice for newbies in business? It's a good idea to partner up with someone as it shares the load, but make sure it's with someone you completely trust. Working from home keeps the costs low.
Sarah what do you love about Rosie? Her forthrightness, her drive and the fact she is a do-er. Where most people would send an email, Rosie makes a phone call. She just 'does it' and gets on with things.
Rosie, what do you love about Sarah? Her sense of humour. Without a doubt.
The day wouldn't have been complete without a cuddle with Mrs Pumphrey the office cat who gave Under The Cloth a bit of a once over!
Find Rosie and Sarah's prints at www.cloakanddaggerart.com and @cloakanddaggerprints.