I did pick up making and sewing sporadically through my teenage years, but as a young carer my priority was supporting my mum with looking after the house, my brother and two sisters. I was very determined at school and knew that a good education would help me to escape the poverty we experienced. I went to university and fell into support work, caring for adults with learning disabilities and then homeless families. When facing redundancy, I decided to begin a career in education at the age of 27. I have always been very good at looking after people and with my drive and determination, progressed quickly through promotions and became an assistant headteacher at the age of 31. I loved my job and worked tirelessly with vulnerable students and created strategies to help and support them to reach their full potential (this is when I began my masters – I am due to graduate in 2021).
However, when I was on maternity leave after having my son Jackson, the need to make came back with a vengeance. I had used wire while creating my wedding flowers and had loved how I could create form and structure with ease. I had visions in my mind of something I wanted to create and my hands made it! Every time Jackson slept, I made and after a couple of months, my best friend said, “you should sell these…”
The name ‘Vivid’ for the business had come to me one day when I was daydreaming at some traffic lights. I knew I wanted to own my own successful business one day (I had had two other attempts which were less than successful!) and felt that the word ‘Vivid’ created a powerful and vibrant image in my mind. Coupled with the fact that my nickname is Vid, a shortening of my maiden name, it was a perfect fit. And ‘Vivid Wire’ was born.
I ran ‘Vivid Wire’ for 18 months before deciding that I had to do it full time. The strain on me and my family with working full time as an assistant headteacher in a rather challenging secondary school and running ‘Vivid Wire’, was taking its toll. I was getting up at 4am every morning before Jackson woke up, to make orders before school and making until late in the night, after he went to bed. One thing never changed, no matter how tired I was, I NEVER wanted to give up ‘Vivid Wire’. The work I do, the images I create, the words I bring to life make my HEART SING! There is no other way to describe it. And on the day that I finally made that decision to go full time I realised that since the day my dad had died, 27 years earlier, all I had done was look after people and ignored my love for making and now my hearts sings again. Cheesy, I know, but so GOD DAMN TRUE!
Why do I create wire art?
I make wire art because it gives my customers the perfect finishing touch to their dream kitchen or the bedroom that they have put off decorating for years because other rooms were more important.
I make wire art to add the final, perfect touch to the nursery for the parents who have been longing for their baby who will finally be arriving soon; a piece of art to mark the fact that it was worth the wait.
I make wire art to recreate the handwriting of a loved one who has passed away, so that a little bit of them comes back to life.
I make wire art so my customers can have swear words up in their house to shock their mother-in-laws.
I make wire art to bring magic to a child’s bedroom.
I make wire art to make a home feel complete.
I also make wire art because it MAKES MY CHUFFING HEART SING!!!!!
My name is Claire and I am the woman behind Vivid Wire.
I am also mummy to the handsome and amazing Jackson River and wife to the very patient Mr VividWire.
The story of how I came to create ‘Vivid Wire’ began when I was about 6 years old. My dad often came home from the pub on a Sunday afternoon with some knick-knack or bargain that he had picked up from a fellow customer. I remember once he came back with space ice-cream! On this day, he came home with a wad of bright yellow paper. This wad of paper started a passion in me for making things. I started making books, magazines, shoes, bags and even two storey shopping centres, out of paper! My parents became intensely annoyed by all the tiny bits of yellow paper everywhere, where I had cut out different shapes, but it made my heart sing. The feeling of wearing shoes I had made, even if they were made from paper, was something I will never forget.
Fast forward to 28th February 1993, my dad died of a heart attack – he was 39, two weeks before his 40th birthday. My mum was pregnant with my little brother and I also had two younger sisters. A few days after he died, I stopped making and started carrying a doll around to practice looking after a baby so I was ready for my brother’s arrival that September. I was 8 years old.