A talented designer has built a business selling souvenir gifts from the North East because of his emotional connection with the landmark.
Corinne Lewis-Ward moved to Newcastle from Wimbledon in 1998 to study at the university. She now calls the North East home, more than twenty years after moving from Wimbledon to study at university.
Despite being diagnosed as dyslexic in the final year of her degree, and other medical conditions that impeded her progress, she now owns two successful businesses that harness her passion for the area and her talent for designing.
Powder Butterfly celebrates 10 years of its creation. Gifted Studios provides corporate gifts for events, awards, and special occasions. Her latest work can be purchased online and in tourist shops throughout the UK.
Corinne’s North East imagery includes the Baltic, St Mary’s Lighthouse, and Tyne Bridge. But it’s The Angel of The North that takes center stage in her work and her heart.
“I love this landmark, which is the most visited public art in the world. It attracts around 33 million people each year due to its proximity to the A1. She said that it is a symbol for me of my journey to the North East over the years, as I arrived the week the Angel was installed.”
“I live in Gateshead, and I travel to Durham often. Passing the Angel reinforces my love for the North East. My work is about connecting people with the places they love. I feel part of the fabric of the region. My business is very emotional and makes many people happy because of their memories of the area.
Corinne’s love for the area inspired her first collection based on landmarks in Newcastle and Gateshead. She only uses British producers such as Stoke pottery specialists for her fine bone china products, pin badges, and keyrings made from Birmingham’s Jewellery quarter.
“I only work with suppliers who have a proper heritage or provide the quality I expect. Sadly, I saw a British souvenir in a shop, but it was made overseas. We should link with our manufacturers to make British souvenirs people can take home and cherish.
Corinne’s positive influence from her mother, an occupational therapist in the NHS for 35 years, is what drives her work ethic. Her family’s success has influenced her love for creativity and entrepreneurship. However, she also has to use her internal strengths to overcome her health problems. After living with dyslexia for over 20 years, she was recently diagnosed with diabetes.
“I was diagnosed in March 2020, when we were all going into lockdown. Since then, I have been on a Wellness journey. Although the doctor said it was unlikely that I could reverse it by lifestyle changes, I am happy to report that my blood sugar levels have steadily declined over the past 20 months. I also work with a nutrition therapist to make things easier.
“I learned from my dyslexia that you can overcome many difficulties if you keep your eyes on the good things. I have used this mantra with my diabetes. My mom has an auto-immune condition and inspires me to be resilient in daily life and business.
“She is my angel, and together with my Angel (of North), we’ll continue spreading joy to thousands all over the globe with my unique souvenirs and gifts.”