Wonderfully individual gifts, artworks and accessories entirely hand-made using vintage papers and maps. All the materials we use are British and hand-made too.
Amelia Coward started the company after several years of working in the commercial textiles and furniture industry. Having studied textiles and weave at Central St Martins and the RCA she was keen to get back to do something handmade. So she began the meticulous process of learning about the paper in the same way as she had previously learned about yarn.
Her main aim was 'to create something from nothing'; making use of discarded maps, vintage books and unloved pieces of furniture then allowing the paper itself to suggest its own application.
Inspiration of the business:
People really connect with maps and locations hold such special memories for us all. Everyone wants to give us their old maps – it’s hugely pleasing that maps which have been stored away in lofts or garages will be re-used to create beautiful gifts rather than simply being thrown out as rubbish or recycled into a cereal box.
Behind the name:
Bombus terrestris is the Latin name for bumblebee. Our small, but lively studio is always busy.
Long-term aim of the business:
We aim to expand the current product range into textiles and beyond – cushion covers, bed-linen, tea-towels... We also plan to expand into wholesale, whilst always retaining our detailed, personal approach to each piece we make and sell.
Our most successful range is the Vintage Map Heart.
You choose the location for the heart, which we source from our vast collection of vintage maps. If we don’t already have the location in our archive, we will source it especially for you.
We use pieces of actual vintage maps, never copies so each one sold is unique. The maps have natural folds; some may have age spots; all have wonderful colours and textures that modern maps simply don’t have.
Inspiration behind our signature piece:
In 2007 The Director of Bombus, Amelia and her partner Joe moved to Kent from London. Amelia made Joe a Valentine’s card, using a heart shape cut out of a vintage map of the area they were moving to. With this simple card, she realised she had created something rather special that could be developed into a commercial product. She had designed something that people could really engage with.
Three top sellers that will be in the shop:
|Vintage map heart|
Vintage map butterfly card
|Vintage letters and numbers|