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Meet The Maker: Make & Matter aka Chloe Cohen

Welcome to the first Meet the Maker of 2018. This time we’re introducing you to Chloe, designer and creator of Make & Matter.

Chloe produces exquisite concrete and jesmonite planters as well as small homewares. I spotted these planters when browsing around PRICK over a year ago. Since then you can now find Chloe’s work all over Bristol. But let’s get to know the process of how Make & Matter began.

Before starting Make & Matter, Chloe has had a lot of hands on experience within her field. Starting from a young age, Chloe recalls how her mother would involve her in casting their bodies in different materials.

Chloe also worked for a top designer, Oreil Hardwood for 10 years. She was apart of a small team that would create her furniture in cast resin. Although Chloe may use different materials from her ‘mentor’, you can see the skill and years of practicing these techniques in her own work.

 

As well as gathering experience and techniques from her time working with Hardwood, Chloe has also worked in many workshops and studios. Taking all this knowledge and with an interest in handmade and small batch production. Chloe wanted to explore the wider production opportunities that the UK had to offer. After winning a competition by The Southbank Centre and the Observer, which helped her set up production in Stoke on Trent producing some of her ceramic designs.

Not only has Chloe achieved all this, she also runs a successful jewellery business. This stemmed from making her own engagement ring in which she fell in love with the process. Each piece was inspired by meaningful points in her life, her marriage and the death of her grandma. But noticed that she was sat writing emails and doing other aspects of the business which she didn’t enjoy as much. Which brought her to starting Make & Matter.

 

When starting this new venture, Chloe wanted to make everything herself from start to finish. This also gave her the chance to develop and experiment with using different materials, processes and ideas. It also gave Chloe the freedom to work more on what she loves. Rather than focusing on admin and sales.

Even with the mountainous amount of experience, Chloe is still learning parts of the industry she hasn’t been apart of yet. Now selling to smaller independent retailers, she’s noticed the difference in business between companies. Where it’s more supportive, informal and forgiving. The business is growing organically with Chloe adapting and changing small bits of the business she knew she would be able to change later in the process.

 

I think we can all agree on how beautifully created Chloe’s cement and jesmonite planters are. You really appreciate the time and effort that is put into each one. If you’d like to get your hands on some, head over to Make & Matter’s Etsy Shop or pop into The Might Quinns Flower Emporium or Old Market Plants.

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London’s Top Plant Shops

The main reason for going to London was to carry out some market research and checking out how the top places in London are doing it. In my last blog post I wrote about Palm Vaults, (it’s awesome check it out) but we also visited lots of collaborative stores that incorporate plants into their interior or ethos.

Conservatory Archives

This place is picturesque and I could have spent a lot more time photographing the inside. Before you even get through the door there’s an entourage of tall palms outside, once inside everywhere you look there’s a plant! Filled to the brim with a large variety of houseplants, cacti, succulents, tillandsias, that’s just a fraction of it all!  

The Conservatory Achieves isn’t just a shop to buy plants, it’s a showroom. It showcases the impact plants can have on people. If you take a look through their Instagram you can see they’re much more than that, installing large pieces of plants displays into businesses.

PRICK

Prick is London’s first ever cacti specialist shop. And from the outside the large cacti in the window draw you right in. Owner, Gynelle knows a lot about this subject and has just written a book. As well as a variety of cacti and succulents to purchase, there’s a supply of beautifully crafted planters. It’s where I found out about Chloe, the beauty behind Make & Matter.

The store is extremely light making you feel relaxed and helps you envision how they’d look in your home. Don’t be scared away from the pricing of the larger species, some of them are hundreds of years old, making them much more of a collector’s item or if you’re looking for that statement piece.

Cuemars

Cuemars is a collaborative space that fuses a passion for plants, interior and fashion. It’s full of quirky and interesting products with a main focus towards botanical themed home decor.

Working alongside their friends, you have terrariums next to handmade leather purses, practical clothing and other beautiful items. There’s artwork to browse through with foliage dotted around the shop. It’s lovely, it’s got everything to brighten up your interior.

Botany

Botany is a little hidden away gem. With plants outside it’s not hard to miss. Another collaborative space that is a blend of plants and skin care, home decor and even some stationary.

There was a Scandinavian feel to the store with it’s big blankets and rustic pots you could easily fill your home with. They truly want to create a space that is beautiful and as relaxing as possible.

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London: Palm Vaults

Palm Vaults is the coffee shop of my dreams. The food was so beautifully prepared and presented. With rainbow coffees and an interior that takes you away from a bustling city.

I’ve been following Palm Vaults on Insta for a little while. I was drawn to the hanging plants from the ceiling, the pale pink tones and the decor gives you a feeling of being in LA in the 80’s. I was intrigued by the lattes I saw and the colourful display of cakes and breakfast goodies. When I was planning this trip to London I had to make time to visit. Boy am I glad we went there.

Palm Vaults is mainly a vegetarian cafe, with a lot of the food being vegan and free from options too. Perfect if you’re like me and you have a shit ton of intolerances. It meant I could fully relax and not have to worry about if the food I’m eating might get contaminated or they didn’t hear my order correctly.

Firstly we had to get coffee down ourselves. (It was 10am and the caffeine headaches were already starting). Palm Vaults have a large range of speciality coffees, but with a twist. Not only did they only serve their coffees with a wide range of non-dairy alternatives, they had a whole menu of colourful and tonic lattes. I had to get one, I went for the Red Velvet. This consisted of espresso, fresh beet juice, cacao, agave, vanilla & steamed coconut milk. It was beautifully sweet and well balanced. There’s subtle hints of all the flavours coming through without any being to overbearing. The biggest down fall? The presentation, I was hoping that the latte would have been more rich in colour but looked a little muddy. Coming from a barista background I like to see well texturised milk to create latte art, but we can’t have everything can we?

Next the food. I’m a massive fan of banana bread, especially if it’s vegan. With a couple of topping to choose from the one that made my mouth water was the almond caramel & cacao nibs. I was expecting it to be super sweet and sickly but it was so incredibly more-ish. The sweetness of the almond caramel was balanced out with the bitterness of the cacao nibs.

The decor was one of the main reasons for the visit. They have a variety of hanging plants dangling from the ceiling, the pastel pink tones reflected well with the exposed brick wall and the mirrors really opened up the space. I really loved the interior, the plants could of done with a little more TLC but being a cafe they may not have the time to care for them as much as they should.