Our story began one afternoon as I (a single parent at the time) sat having a cup of tea with my mum. She informed me in no uncertain terms that I had to ‘get out more’ because I was ‘never going to meet anyone at the school gates.’ I replied, saying I wasn’t looking to meet anyone, I was perfectly happy how I was. A week later, her blunt advice still ringing in my ears, I met Philip, at the primary school our respective children went to…at the school gates no less.
There followed a beach proposal, Philip on bended knee in the sand, with a sandcastle and a ring on top. We married in a tiny wooden gazebo on the top of a hill overlooking the sea, and moved to Helstone, a small Cornish village a heartbeat away from Port Isaac, Rock, Padstow and Polzeath.
Many years ago I got a Law Degree at University, followed by a career in Sales Management before having my children. Philip has a Civil Engineering Degree and a Masters in Engineering and worked as a 3D Computer Simulation Consultant. But we were embarking on a new life together and relished the opportunity to change everything, and follow our dreams. Both of us love nature and especially the sea, and, having both harked from the landlocked midlands originally, we adored the coastal lifestyle we were lucky enough to be leading. It was natural then that we should throw ourselves into a job that was all about the coast.
Queue Coastal Home, a business that allows us to share the magic of the North Cornwall coast and our beach-living life with others, through our products and our social media offerings; others who may be considering the same lifestyle, or who simply want to bring the beach in to their daily life, a reminder of the good times.
We draw our inspiration from the coastlines of Great Britain, choosing our products carefully to represent the best of coastal living in our opinion, with a focus on hand-made and unique goods. We like to visit as many coastlines as we can, up and down the country, to experience them, roll up our trousers and paddle in the sea, sample the local fish and chips, feel the salted wind whip our hair into knots (well mine anyway, Philip is bald), and meet the talented people there who create unique and interesting items, often from beach-combed treasure…potters, painters, textile geniuses, people who fuse things from glass, and make fabulous creations from wire, all with a coastal theme of course.
These coastal travels are an ongoing (and fun) process, which mean we are always adding fresh and exciting items to our range. We are also working on a selection of products designed by us, and made in Britain, which will be exclusive to Coastal Home. We can’t wait to share those.
Because variety is the spice of life, I also dabble as a writer, and a casting agent and chaperone from time to time too. This involves providing supporting artistes and chaperoning child actors for film and television productions being filmed in Devon and Cornwall. This role takes me to a lot of very beautiful coastal locations around the two counties, of which I never grow tired. How can you ever tire of standing on a clifftop next to Ross and Demelza, with a mine-studded backdrop and the sea roaring below - it doesn't get more coastal or more Cornish than that.
In our spare time Philip and I often take off in our van for a couple of days down to The Lizard, one of our favourite parts of Cornwall, and as a family (we have six children between us) we do lots of walking, on the beach and along the coast paths, as well as swimming, coasteering, snorkelling, body-boarding, toasting marshmallows over beach fires, and our favourite thing of all, beach barbequing, which we do all year round. We gather stories, ideas and photographs from these adventures, to bring to our work…which we hope are reflected in our selection of gifts and homewares, our blogs and social media. Another important aspect of the business to us is our customer service, which we work hard at..we like to keep it personal.
We all experience the coast in different ways. Here are some of ours...
…wading through the sun-warmed water of a rockpool
…eating freshly cooked chips on a bench, with extra salt and vinegar
…listening to the push and pull of the waves through canvas as you drift off to sleep in a tent
...sundowner beach warmth from glowing hot coals, blankets over knees and the seductive smell of sticky barbequed fayre
...listening to the cry of seagulls as they wheel up above, cruising for chip pilfering opportunity
…using your shoe to hammer a stripy windbreak into a rocky beach
...watching sea birds wade through mud flats
…the smell of suntan lotion as people waft by…the smell of holiday
…the invigoration of an ice-cold wave sneaking up from behind and crashing over your head
…warm scones with jam and cream (jam first where we come from…contentious)
…cruising the coastal roads with your bare toes propped up on the dashboard of a dilapidated old camper van
…trying to look cool whilst attempting to balance on a surf board
…losing control as you roll down soft warm sand dunes
…sitting, glass of wine in hand, watching a marmalade streaked horizon as the sun drops out of sight
…tasting the sea salt on your skin as you lick melted ice-cream rolling down your hand
…perfecting your flip-flop walk
…shivering in a deckchair on a wind-whipped beach in your shorts and fleece, kidding yourself you’re enjoying it
…hearing the slap of bare feet on wet sand
…scouring the beach at low tide, for sea glass and cowrie shells
We are all about trying to capture these moments in our products, helping you to bring the coast home.
Happy Coastal Adventures Everyone.
Karin and Philip