Once upon a time Hannah Nunn dreamed of having a shop front of her own with a workshop attached. At the time she was working in a shared studio space and selling her paper cut lamps to galleries up and down the country. On her travels to other studios and trade fairs she would always be inspired by other designer/makers who were creating lights and thought it would be amazing to bring them all together in one glowing space and create a specialist craft lighting outlet.
She kept a sketchbook of ideas for a time all the while gathering the courage to bring her dream to life. A beautiful shop, moments from her front door in Hebden Bridge became available and Hannah jumped at the opportunity. In September 2005 Radiance was born.
The idea was to create a craft gallery for lighting designer/makers in the UK but it soon grew to become more than that. The internet opened the door to the world and soon there were beautiful lights and lamps from far and wide as well as 'non-lighting up things' such as accessories, prints, tea towels and cards. Though the emphasis is on handmade we also have some more mass produced items too. As long as everything is made with love and care and has a bit of soul we like it!
After five happy years building up a friendly customer base, getting some great press including features in Homes & Antiques, The Times and the Guardian Gift Guide and launching a busy online shop Radiance was flourishing! It was also bursting at the seams. Larger premises became available in a more central location and Radiance moved shops. This one had a bigger workshop, a storeroom and even a toilet (imagine such luxury). It was very pretty too. These beautiful premises are set in the downstairs floor of the only townhouse left on Market Street and its fireplaces, alcoves and gorgeous bay window creates a really homely feel and lends itself so well to all the products. You can read all about the rennovation from start to finish on the blog.
Hannah continues to create her lamps in the back of the shop and enjoys the balance of creating and sourcing beautiful lighting products to light up the hearts and the homes of her customers! She loves to learn all she can about the people who create the Radiance collection and likes to pass these stories on (to whoever wants to listen). These products have been made by real people and her curiosity into their working practices and their inspirations has brought her a book deal. Hannah has just had her book Illuminate about 'contemporary craft lighting'published by Bloomsbury.
Hannah used to do everything by herself but now she appoints help from her fabulous team! So if you visit you might see the lovely Matthew Easby, her wonderful Dad Roger, her delightful daughter Ffion,her dear friend Anne who does the marvellous job of keeping the place clean and shiny on a Thursday morning and her partner Robert who cleverly crafted this website and looks after the technical stuff behind the scenes.
You may be reading this for some far flung corner of the world (isn't it great that the internet allows you to do such a thing) but if you ever get the chance to visit this small but thriving Yorkshire town then we can be sure that you will love it. Hebden Bridge is a great little place, full of quirky independent shops and great cafes all nestled in a green and picturesque valley with a pretty river and a canal running through. The Radiance blog has a 'Good reasons to visit Hebden Bridge' feature where you can read more about the place. But if you can't visit don't worry; even if you are very far away you can still be part of the Radiance family. Hannah has a mailing list (sign up on the home page) to keep you up to date with all the pretty glowing things that she finds, you can follow the blog or follow on Twitter or Facebook. and if you want to pretend that you're visiting in person then take our virtual tour and have a good old nosey around!
p.s The Radiance shop is 100% powered by wind power from Ecotricity.