It all began in 1984, when Emma was working in London soon after leaving university. One day, she was hunting for a birthday present for her Mum. She wanted to give her two cups and saucers that would say ‘I love you. I miss you’. She went into a china shop and looked around, hoping to see some china that would capture the warm and welcoming spirit of her mother’s North Oxford kitchen. But in those days, the Great British high street seemed to have only two offerings: dainty and formal or robust and decidedly unromantic. Emma suddenly had a vision of the dresser from her mother’s kitchen. She imagined it here in the china shop, laden with a wonderful array of colourful, mismatched pottery. It was clear that the only way to make the vision a reality would be to start making china herself. But she had absolutely no idea how – or where.
A casual conversation with a friend pointed her in the direction of Stoke-on-Trent. And so, Emma Bridgewater, the classic modern pottery brand, was born. Over the last three decades, they’ve remained true to the spirit of that original, inspirational moment: the necessity of getting the thought and design absolutely right. They believe everyday kitchen china sits right at the heart of our lives, and that each cup, bowl, jug, and plate holds our personal stories, reflecting shared moments, enriching us as we eat and drink together. Each design starts as a deeply felt personal response to what we love in the world around us. But they only know they’ve hit the spot when you love it, too. In recent years, they’ve expanded beyond pottery. You can now enjoy their designs on glass, tins, picnicware, stationery, wallpaper and fabrics, as well as their own collection of candles and home fragrances. The conversation Emma had in her head with her mother back in 1984 goes on. Only, now, they hope, you’re part of it, too.