Cumbria Crack

New use for local fallen trees

Tracey Johnson and Lisa Jackson (Photo Robyn Lee)

[B]est friends and neighbours Tracey Johnson and Lisa Jackson are co-owners of The Sugar Shed who are enjoying a successful start to their new business. The Holme based company makes personalised home and giftware from sustainably sourced fallen and sustainably coppiced ash trees. They are the only company in the UK to retain the original tree bark on their items and as a result are selling well both online and through regional retailers.

Business owner Tracey said “It’s been astonishing really, we’re sending out pieces to new customers every day! Our favourite part of the process is when a piece arrives to us from our local printers and we package it up just knowing how much someone is going to love it when they open it. It’s quite a personal process because we get to see special moments from people’s lives, wedding days, engagements, their children, even their pets!”

Derwent hooks

Taking inspiration from their rural surroundings and long muddy woodland walks, the inventive pair have also created a range of homeware items that encapsulate their modern country lifestyle. Favourites include personalised coat hooks, with the family pooch’s lead even getting pride of place with their own one too!

Lisa Jackson explained the creative decisions “Our children and dogs are such a huge part of our everyday life, even our hubbies sometimes get a look in, so It just made sense to create pieces that we would want in our own home. The sustainability and authenticity is really important to us and I also think customers today are much more aware of the provenance of what they’re buying. Knowing that our products are of beautiful quality is important but equally the fact they are sustainably sourced makes a big difference too.”

The fallen and coppiced ash trees are sliced into ‘cakes’ which is the term that initially spawned the name, The Sugar Shed. Local ash is chosen because its light colour and dense texture allows for the high quality printing which is especially important as the women choose not to print white ink to allow the natural grain to shine through. With the perfect blend of natural materials, clever design and personal memories for Tracy and Lisa, life is sweet.

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