Tiles, torrential rain and a chicken shed…
Indigenous was hatched on a mountain side in Spain – but the story really started a few years before, hunched over a small desk in my uni digs. I based my dissertation on Spanish building materials. I’d spent a lot of time in Spain, where my parents lived, and I loved the local rustic architecture.
My exams were behind me, the summer stretched ahead and I noticed some terracotta tiles drying on a mountain side. I decided I’d bring some home to England. My first order was washed down the mountain in a torrent of rain but, not to be put off, I persevered and placed another order. The following spring – 1998 – I put down roots in an old chicken shed near to Wyck Rissington. Not the most glamorous start but a home for my growing collection of ‘indigenous’ products. I used my uni research to set up the business and soon attracted a local following of customers that wanted to create a wholesome, rustic look; to bring some Mediterranean sunshine into their own homes.
Our shop on the edge of Burford, in the Cotswolds, followed in 2003 and our team grew. I was joined by my wife and mum to our three children, Clare, who I also met at university. Our journey was truly underway.
Sourcing new products and designs is still one of my favourite things. I’m also involved in the design of many of them and, today, we work with artisans and designers from all over the world. We’re all passionate about nature and natural materials, about texture and form; handmade, hand-finished and unique. Our designs are our treasures, each individually chosen. Today, they span from tile to tub; some are style statements that grace grand homes and businesses, whilst others bring a spot of cheer to a homely kitchen. I hope that you enjoy discovering them as much as I did.