Blog 11: XV HQ April: over and under the sea!

Blog 11: XV HQ April: over and under the sea!

Dear lovely followers, a big wave hello from all at XV HQ! Our April diary has us surfacing to draw breath, as we’ve spent the last month chopping along both above and below the waves. On weekdays we’ve been working on several new projects, then racing around the Solent waters at weekends, on the fab Jitterbug J111 . We’ve also been learning what goes into bespoke embroidery design – because let’s face it we do love a challenge.

As a result of all that hard work and planning, our three latest ventures are almost ready for the big reveal. The first one is a brand-new office, with our names firmly sandblasted onto the glass. We say ‘names’ because this is a shared space across all our companies: XV Stripes, XV Sew (embroidery) and XV Consult.

It’s important that all of our ventures operate out of one hub to ensure we’re keeping a cohesive view on all we do, but also for practical reasons. The storage space can be shared, as can the kettle and kitchen. It also helps that our office is next to the gym: no excuse!

Major news coming out of this new office is the huge progress we’ve made towards opening our first shop. Yarmouth is the town, and yes we’ve signed the lease: whoop! Now to work out shelving, storage, display solutions and everything else. It will all be well worth the planning just to see customers walking in, choosing products in real life, feeling the fabrics, comparing colours and appreciating our designs up close. You will all be so welcome.

Last on our ‘new things’ list is the gorgeous Sew View range, which is finally approaching completion. In collaboration with Wildlife Trust, this underwater series has a rich colour palette with a local to XV HQ coastal creature theme. Think drifting seahorses, cheeky seals, sun-dappled seaweed and rich anemone pinks.

There’s nothing more satisfying than nurturing a process from start to finish, and this venture followed more than one thread. The idea came from a colour mistake, as sometimes happens. When our manufacturers produced a blue and blue range for us it was such a departure from our classic blue and white stripe that we parked it. The next time we had to think about a new palette, that blue on blue came back in force and formed the base of the new range. It reminds us of the blue hues from our HQ waters.

Working with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, we spotted photos on their website of a cheeky seal and knew we had to include him. Izzey’s tree obsession (shared with her dad, who painted them) was behind the idea of the dappled sea kelp forests. And we love (and want to protect) our local seahorse population, so dotting them through the range was important.


And the stunning marine botany? Anne from our XV Sew company has a diving friend whose amazing underwater photo collection included vegetation and creatures in beautiful underwater tones. The final element was adding our wonderful designer and artist Vicky into the equation et voila: a beautiful new collection born.

The Sea View range comes out later this year; our shop opens very soon; and our new office is already up and running – where did we pack that kettle?

Stay tuned for news of more new ventures by bookmarking our page, and do write in with your enquiries, suggestions and comments.

All the best, Team XV.

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