Hello Geronimo is almost the very definition of a cottage industry: Vicky Cockell works at the kitchen table of her Dulwich flat, using buttons, beads and other embellishments (either vintage, found or current) to create simple yet striking pieces of artwork.
Previously an interior designer at large London agencies, Vicky decided it was time for a change last year: “I had a desire to be creative and actually make something with my hands. I had become pigeonholed in what I was doing and got so fed up with staring at a computer screen that I decided I’d try to teach myself some new skills.”
After experimenting with a variety of techniques and materials she settled on decorating cushions and framed images with buttons and beads, creating witty slogans and silhouettes of animals and other easily recognisable images – such as a map of the British Isles complete with carefully placed buttons: look closely and you’ll see a badge with an Underground logo representing London.
“I made a few wedding gifts for some friends that went down well, and with encouragement from those friends I developed the ideas further. On a very, very cold November day I sold four pieces from a market stand in central London, which gave me a huge confidence boost.”
The confidence seems well founded: a few months on, her pieces are now sold through retailers like Graham And Green, Not On The High Street and The Terrace Shop at the South Bank Centre, plus her own site www.hellogeronimo.com.