Growing up in rural Staffordshire, I spent my childhood surrounded by nature. My parents, in particular my mum, instilled in me a sense of responsibility to reuse and recycle... and I have her to thank for my courage, creative energy and inspiration.
In my late teens I spent several years solo travelling the World soaking up new cultures and lifestyles... before mobile phones and the internet, what freedom! This is when my love for the the coast, travel and a more simplistic lifestyle was born.
I returned to the UK in the late 80’s and spent time living on the South East coast, moving to Cornwall in the early 90’s to live a pared down lifestyle and follow my one true passion which was always creativity.
After several interesting careers I was lucky enough to study with The National Design Academy, qualifying with a Diploma in Professional Interior Design. I then went on to open my own Interior Design company working with Estate Agents ‘Staging’ properties for sale, however I was soon being called to work away in London which, with my love of the coast and simple lifestyle, I knew was not for me.
Finally, I decided it was time to really follow my calling. I was lucky enough to be given an opportunity to take on the lease of ‘The Old Coach House’ in the heart of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. I knew this was my chance to champion small artisan makers, showcasing their creations, and to also challenge consumer attitudes, bringing a whole new shopping experience to my customers.
In April 2014 I opened the doors of The Upcycled Home Co! We were one of the first small businesses to set up within the newly formed ‘Barrow Centre‘.
I knew I had a challenge ahead to change opinions on mass produced, cheap items and consumers take on “upcycling” and the values of “artisan made crafts”. Our beautiful planet was suffering and we were in danger of losing skills that had been handed down, generation to generation.
Thankfully the tide, as it always does, slowly changed. Now words like ‘Eco Friendly’, ‘Artisan’, ‘Sustainable’ and ‘Recycled’ are the norm and I’m proud to be a small part of that shift in attitude.
I continue to use my Interior Design skills, working with Mount Edgcumbe and Classic Cottages refurbishing fabulous historical buildings on the stunning Rame Peninsula and other properties throughout Devon & Cornwall into relaxing, luxury, holiday accommodation that individually reflect their beautiful surroundings.
Ethically Sourced... Artisan Made...
Today I offer customers a carefully curated, bespoke collection of Local, British Made & Global Fair Trade Artisan creations in my “Lifestyle” store. The core of my business is - and always will - be our incredibly talented makers, ensuring they are valued for their skills. My ethos is firmly rooted in upcycling, reusing and ensuring the sustainability of all of our products on offer.
I truly hope you enjoy your shopping experience at The Upcycled Home Co. and that it inspires you to bring a little “Ethically Sourced, Artisan Made” beauty into your life and those you love, and maybe even begin a journey of your own...
Just the BEST shop. Ever.
J. Banks, Derbyshire