Behind the scenes at Rachie B Bespoke Wallpapers
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 January 2017
Infinte 3D Ltd, Infinite 3D Ltd., Infinite 3D Ltd.
The saying 'if you want something done properly, do it yourself' has been the founding principle of many a business, and it's certainly the case with Rachie B Bespoke Wallpaper in West Kirby.
Founded by Rachel Williams in 2014, Rachie B Bespoke Wallpapers delivers mural style wallcoverings any way you want them – as long as it’s high quality, that is.
Rachel has had a varied career, but one where making things happen has been a common thread. From her time as a civilian worker for the British army in Berlin in the year that the wall came down to lecturing in IT, she has taken life in both hands and made the most of it. She met her husband Bruce in London, but when his work brought him north, they chose to settle in the Wirral, Rachel working as an IT lecturer until the arrival of her third (of four) children pushed her into the role of full time mum. Even then she found the energy to establish a Labrador dog breeding business!
‘I needed something for myself,’ she says. ‘I looked around at various things, but it was when my youngest daughter, Lonnie, asked for a garden-themed bedroom décor that I found my future business. I looked everywhere for the right wall coverings, but they were all a bit cutesy and naff! I looked into having a mural painted too, but they didn’t deliver quite the polished look I wanted. I found someone who would design some wallpaper for me and have it printed. He came over and I watched him work for a short while, but I really didn’t like what he was doing – so I asked him to move over and I got on his computer myself and put it all together!’
The end result was a charming, beautifully presented, informal English country garden, with a white picket fence and a tempting pathway leading through prairie-planted daisy filled borders – and her daughter loved it. Feedback from family and friends was immediate and very encouraging.
‘People started asking me if I could do a design for them – and my business was born. It was a steep learning curve; it took a few goes to find the right printers for example. My wallpapers are all made exactly to fit the space they are designed for, not in standard sizes you have to cut to fit. I have now found a printer in Macclesfield that prints for some of the premium wallpaper brands. We print on 1.5m wide strips on a very heavy paper, for the very best quality.
‘People can have a design in whatever theme they want. On my website I have some basic designs for people to choose from – football or fairy, pirates or princesses, etc – but really the options are endless. I am currently working on a world map for a client who wants one in her dining room. She came to me because I can create one that fits precisely above her sofa and can add special highlights to show all the places they have visited. It will be set on a grey brick wall background – and it looks great!’
Chatting with Rachel is a lovely experience. She’s passionate about what she does and her warm heart shines through in the anecdotes she shares and the excitement she clearly has for the work she has done and her current briefs. Her joy comes from the pleasure her work provides, rather than the obstacles she herself has overcome.
It’s not only children’s bedrooms that Rachel provides inspiration for. Although she started out promoting her business in this quite narrow field, it has taken her to many and varied places so far.
‘I’ve done bespoke walls for many different rooms, from domestic to commercial,’ she says. ‘I did a woodland themed wall for the dementia ward at Hoylake Cottage Hospital, for example. It is on the third floor and the residents are too ill to leave. I did a soothing woodland design for the wall, with soft lighting and a strip of fake grass below, with a bench for relatives and patients to sit on and the sound of birdsong too. It’s been so lovely hearing what the nursing staff and relatives have to say.
‘I’ve done a Skoda cars showroom, any number of commercial nurseries and even been cited by OFSTED! I’ve done a café and a restaurant and countless bedrooms and playrooms, from tots to teens.
‘People can go on the website and choose a design – I’ve put a collection up there for inspiration, or can call me to chat about any other idea that they have. I create the designs myself and then send them to an illustrator for finishing, or I brief an artist to create me something unique – such as in the case of my underwater themed mural. I was on holiday in Barbados and having dinner at Sandy Bay when I saw some artwork that I loved. I asked who had painted it and it had been done by a lady who lived on the island. I tracked her down and she did me a design!’
It seems that the only limitation is your imagination – something Rachel’s daughter clearly has plenty of, just like her mum.
Lonnie has now grown out of her pretty garden themed room and moved on to a positively galactic theme. She can now be seen floating through space, accompanied by her faithful hounds Chloe, Clara and Dennis, while behind her bed the planets are aligned in a very positive prediction for her future.
‘She asked for her three best friends to accompany her,’ Rachel laughs. ‘It wasn’t easy, but it’s a great example of what can be achieved.’
It seems that Rachel is quite capable of achieving any challenge set, which is an awfully good thing when you want something very special in your home. Her commitment to quality and creativity ensures her lucky clients get the best there is.