It's lovely to meet you!
The Devon coastline has my heart and I live in Torquay with my husband George and our fur baby, Pickle, in our cottage by the harbour. Based in Cockington Court, my studio is just a stone’s throw from my house, where you’ll find me five days a week for design consultations.
I’ve been running ‘Claire Austin England’ for almost ten years and I count my lucky stars every day to play such an important role in a bride’s day. Born out of serendipity, my business began back in 2012 when I was living in London, armed with a Drama & Theatre Arts degree and a job as an usher in a West End theatre. During my time there, I began to make winter woollen headbands adorned with paper flowers and lace embellishments for my friends, and as their popularity grew, I decided to make social media pages for them.
The stars aligned, as Stephen Fry was in a show at the time, and he kindly tweeted about them to his then five million followers. As a result, my social media pages grew overnight, and I made the decision to set up a website. Spring was just around the corner and I had to think of a way to adapt the original winter headbands into something a little lighter. And so, became my flower crowns!
I knew this was a journey I wanted to explore further and undertook a course at The British Millinery School to carefully learn the skills and techniques of wire work so that I could create hair vines and tiaras. Some time passed and after leaving the world of theatre, George and I moved back to my hometown of Torquay so that I could really pour my heart and soul into the business. I’ve never looked back and from day one I have adored crafting accessories for people to fall in love with, over and over again.
Fast forward to now and I’ve had an array of photoshoots, multiple magazine features and a number of awards under my belt. I am proud to offer my brides a personalised and luxurious experience from my very own studio in the heart of Cockington Court. For me, nothing beats that feeling of seeing my bride’s reaction to her unique bridal accessory, and it really does bring me so much joy!
Get to know me a little better...
My studio is part of a craft centre with 20 other contemporary artists and craft makers and creative businesses! It’s situated behind Cockington Court Manor House and surrounded by 450 acres of beautiful gardens and lakes. It’s also a wedding venue, making it an incredibly inspiring place to work.
For the last 8 years, I’ve always had a part-time job alongside my business but in February 2020, I handed in my notice to go full-time. My last day was two days before the first national lockdown in March.
As well as making bridal accessories I love letting the crazy side of my imagination take over and making statement ‘out there’ headpieces for bridal and fashion photo shoots
I am a massive dog lover and you’ll often find me taking a break around the grounds of Cockington walking my dog Pickle making friends with other dogs
I am obsessed with houseplants and have over 21 in my house which I water every Sunday!
I love musical theatre and try to visit London as often as I can to visit friends, go to a nice restaurant and catch a show
My favourite TV shows at the moment are Ru Paul’s Drag Race (Netflix), This is Us and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (both Amazon Prime)
I met my husband at the tender age of 18 years old when we both attended St Marys University, Twickenham. Both studying different pathways of Drama, our eyes met across the warm up hall in the mornings and later on the dance floor at Oceana Club! We married in August 2019 at Muddifords Country House in Cullumpton. We had a Greenglish wedding (elements of Greek and English) and my highlight was almost 200 people dancing around the Greek band in a big circle in the courtyard!
It really was the best day of our lives and I am so excited for you to have yours.
I can't wait to hear all about your wedding plans and I am more than happy to recommend local and national suppliers to you to make your day that extra bit special.
I look forward to speaking with you!