In an age of an eternal conveyor belt of mass production, owning a piece of “one-off quirkiness” can be a blessing.
For Carly Kassube and Glen Pattison, it is also a vocation.
Their shop, Mr G & Miss C on West Street in Horncastle, is a hub for them to design and construct individual furnishings and bespoke décor which is shipped around the globe.
The pair’s enthusiasm for their previous jobs was beginning to expire and a devout interest in making things, coupled with the good timing of the availability of a shop in Horncastle, led to them deciding to follow their passion and create a business.
Carly also had a great-grandmother who was a milliner in the town. It is almost as if her spirit guided her towards a creative path centred specifically in Horncastle, a place also known for its vibrant and “quirky” nature.
Carly decided from an early age that she wished to follow her great-grandmother’s footsteps and fashion hats but she also specialises in whimsically unique articles.
Glen is the more practical side of the business.
He completes the technical work, crafting the wooden bases for Carly’s enchanting bell jars holding delicate arrangements of flowers, or helping structure elaborate displays by constructing, for example, hat-stands out of old drills.
Their work has spread in a variety of directions, attracting interest not only from eccentric events such as the Lincoln Steampunk festival, but also from abroad, including Germany and America.
A lady in Ohio has recently purchased a headdress which she saw online and immediately fell in love with due to its extravagant individuality.
They have also sold some of their trumpet lights to a person living in London and even an MP in Tunbridge Wells has bought some of their products.
They believe it is their larger pieces which seem to be most frequently sold to far-away places.
Carly and Glen also have a permanent space in the Isle of Man gallery for their upcycled engine pieces, an incredible achievement for two self-taught creators.
Carly also has a great enthusiasm for painting. She says if someone presented her with a blank canvas and told her to express her creativity, she would adore the challenge.
She used to live in Spain where she painted glass as a hobby and, for three months of the year, she would help with exhibitions and painted huge oil paintings on canvas.
It was in Spain that she was presented with an opportunity to paint for the set of Eastenders and even sold to the director of the show.
Carly has also sold some of her paintings to the footballer Jack Charlton, the brother of Bobby Charlton.
Although she still loves painting, Carly admits her direction now is in more quirky items, and in discovering new angles for her millinery passion.
Her hats are made to order after a preliminary consultation to take into account clothing, jewellery and hair.
As a rule, the pair aim to create only original items and try their hardest not to repeat any objects.
Their materials are supplied from many sources, including original vintage pieces from France and America - and from old clothes which Carly says have a greater range of colour and pattern than simply buying fabric.
She especially loves using ancient velvet jackets and leather gloves which she crafts into butterflies for her bell jars.
The pair also receive items like tail feathers from local huntsmen which are used in American-Indian-style headdresses.
They even acquire pieces from friends who no longer have a use for them.
Carly admits they never switch off from searching for new substances and materials to work with.
The work station at the back of their shop is glittering and gleaming with old objects; a ‘rainbow’ of silk flowers fall from the walls.
Carly and Glen’s plans for the future mainly concern pushing the boundaries of their work.
They want to create stranger, larger, more theatrical pieces .
The duo also want promote themselves online in order to encourage an increase in commissions for doing the occupation they love.
*Juliette Bretan is a sixth form student at QEGS and this is the latest in a series of articles she has written for the Horncastle News. Look out for others over the coming weeks.