I grew up with my sisters and brothers on the family farm in Bedfordshire and look back with great fondness on days seemingly spent surrounded by chickens and cats and with “Botha” – our black labrador.
Many years later I fell in love with Cornwall, and discovered that Britain’s south-westerly tip has a character all of its own. Coming from an inland county – the fact that it was not just a county but almost an island was exhilarating for me. I love the ancient creeks and secret coves, rugged cliffs and wide sandy beaches. The Cornish landscape has definitely forged a special place in my heart since the family made our move to begin our adventure here in 1996.
Since founding Sweetpea & Betty in 2010 with my sister Tricia I’ve been able to indulge – and share – my love of vintage romantic style, beautiful gifts and mirrors & chandeliers. When Annie Sloan agreed that Sweetpea & Betty could become stockists of her unique range of chalk paint – that was it, I was thrilled – and delighted to be able to offer these quality products to my neighbours and friends in Cornwall.
I have done alot of work for charities and particularly for Penhaligon’s Friends – a Cornish children’s bereavement charity. I ran (slowly) in the London Marathon in 2002, have completed the London to Brighton bike ride, thrown myself out of an aircraft for a charity parachute jump, been paragliding & micro-lite flying with my brother. Perhaps that’s why my sister Tricia teases me (gently) about having my head in the clouds! I love chocolate, walking on Cornwall’s glorious beaches & headlands, am known for baking especially delicious cakes… Perhaps that’s why I consider this my motto – ‘A great many things can be resolved in kindness, ever more with laughter, but there are some things that just require a cup of tea & piece of cake’.
I have since pursued my interest in antique jewellery, decorative arts and interiors, trading in antique jewellery for gentlemen for a number of years,and stopping only recently to embark on the Sweetpea & Betty adventure in Falmouth with my sister Mags.
It has been a marvellous experience setting up Sweetpea & Betty. Not just being surrounded by the beautiful vintage pieces from a bygone era, or working with the glorious artist pallet of Annie Sloan Paints, or the extraordinarily friendly and interesting inhabitants of the Falmouth area, but the sheer fun and pleasure of working with my little sister. A consumate professional, but with a “funny bone’” – the best.
And Our Wonderful Support Team
Completely out of the blue “YOLO” has joined our team. He’s an adorable 8 month old yorkie cross bichon – very fluffy & very cuddly.
Val is a talented illustrator & jewellery maker – with a wonderful eye for colour. Val assists Mary run the painting workshops along with her gentle manner and dry sense of humour.
Lizzie creates the very quirky ‘all jumbled ducks’ for our shop including quirky pen & ink illustrations for greetings cards. Lizzie’s most recent addition to Sweetpea & Betty are her mixed media cushions – see the Diamond Jubilee ones, plus Lizzie now takes commissions – a unique gift for any occasion: births, naming ceremonies, weddings & birthdays.
Our very own IT Guru! Does all our website ‘stuff’. Busy developing our new on-line shop – watch this space!
Louise – our ‘virtual PA’ is quietly working behind the scenes to keep us organised!