St Albans provides inspiration for designer's gift collection

Hannah Sessions with her St Albans collection of mugs, postcards, tea towels and other stationery

Hannah Sessions with her St Albans collection of mugs, postcards, tea towels and other stationery

Archant

A hand-drawn poster featuring St Albans' many pubs has helped launch a collection of mugs, tea towels and notebooks inspired by the city.

Hannah Sessions, the 33-year-old designer and artist behind the collection says she is excited for the future as the buzz grows around her quirky designs.

She said: “I only started it in the summer, really. I was doing an online art course and I came up with the map and took it into Raindrops & Roses and they were like, ‘wow, we love this’.”

One of Hannah’s designs – a hand-sketched map of the city – features a few of the city’s independent gems, such as the Pudding Stop and Pots of Art.

“This is the first time I’ve ever had a design and seen it through and got it printed and marketed it and sold it – and it’s going down really well,” Hannah explained.

After a few of shops in the city jumped at the chance to stock Hannah’s ‘St Albans Collection’, including the Smokehouse Deli on Cell Barnes Lane, she began running a stall on market days.

She said: “Market stalls have been amazing, because before I was just selling in retail shops. But to have a market stall you have one-to-one interaction with the general public.”

The collection, according to Hannah, is picking up momentum “just in time for Christmas”.

Born and raised in Kenya, Hannah moved to England after university. She later studied textile design in London, at Central St Martins, before going on to work for various book publishers and big-name brands, including Mothercare.

She explained: “I learned that corporate stuff isn’t really me. What I’m happiest doing is freelance work. I don’t churn out designs – that’s not what I’m about.”

Alongside her freelance work, Hannah also works part-time in Pots of Art on Holywell Hill.

To purchase items from the collection, click here or head down the the Christmas market on December 5 and 6, where Hannah will be running a stall.

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