Laura Crow - the Macclesfield artist behind the vintage design shop, Goodnight Boutique

PUBLISHED: 00:00 03 October 2013

Laura Crow

Laura Crow

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Laura Crow from Kerridge overcame ME and now has a design business inspired by the Cheshire countryside she loves

A selection of postcardsA selection of postcards

She’s not yet out of her teens but Laura Crow is already running her own thriving business, inspired by the little Cheshire village she calls home.

The 19-year-old who lives in rural Kerridge outside Macclesfield (‘There’s nothing there’) is the driving force behind a vintage inspired shop Goodnight Boutique, which can be found on the prestigious Not on the High Street online store and it is there she will be selling the new range Great and Small featuring charming black and white drawings of wildlife.

Astonishingly she had already launched an online boutique and used the internet as a stepping stone to another retail outlet she runs at the legendary Afflecks Palace in Manchester city centre.

‘I used to collect pieces from vintage markets and sell them online but I had so much that our living room couldn’t hold any more so I got the idea of having a shop in Afflecks,’ says the softly spoken Laura, who when she isn’t working at Afflecks can be found at home drawing her delightfully quirky Great and Small menagerie.

Clearly, Laura has an entrepreneurial spirit but it transpires it isn’t just her age that makes her achievements so remarkable. During her teens she missed vital schooling as the result of the debilitating condition, ME.

She reveals that as a pupil at Tytherington High School, she was forced to take a break from her education before A Levels.

‘I had three years off school because I had ME but they were very good about it at school and I ended up going to Macclesfield College to do art’ she says.

‘I did A levels then did a gap year and that’s when I started my business and it has just gone from there. I always used to do baking and when I started to get better I began baking cupcakes and this developed into making things, so I got an Etsy shop online and sold jewellery and upscaled vintage. I still sell online but I wanted to develop my art.’

She explains that it was animals she saw outside the window of her little cottage who provided her inspiration.

‘Great and Small’ features my own original black ink drawings inspired by the British countryside and all the wonderful creatures you can find living there.’ she says.

With postcards, pocket mirrors, gift tags, notebooks and much more, Fox, Mouse, Pig and all their pals hope to get to know you and brighten up your day with their witty slogans and charming expressions.

‘As a long-time devotee to all persons endowed with fur, feathers and whiskers, I was inspired by rural surroundings of my little cottage - sheep live next to one side of the house, pigs on another - to capture a little of the animals’ secret stories and adventures taking place just outside my window. I bring my illustrations to life by editing in bold colour and adding the slogans so graciously provided by the animals themselves.’

This idyllic environment is shared with her electrician boyfriend who she says is her ‘complete opposite’ being far more practical and less whimsical and her pets, an elderly cat called Duke and two rats Dorian Gray and Mr Darcy who she ‘always wanted ever since she was a little girl’.

‘I think people often feel I am older than I am, as I have always liked doing things my own way I guess,’ she adds.

‘But now I have found something I want to focus upon. This is completely original and I definitely want to pursue it in the future. I have already completed a Christmas range for Not on the High Street and have done a range of Christmas cards featuring reindeer, robins and Christmassy things and in July I had a stall at the Cheshire Gun Dog Show with cards featuring British Dog Breeds and lots of dog related items.

‘Great and Small celebrates the wildlife of our lovely land and I hope it will inspire adults and children alike, to go outside, walk through woods and fields, stroll down country lanes, and appreciate all the creatures you spot along the way!’

You can check out Great and Small at www.notonthehighstreet.com/goodnightboutique

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