Meet the Maker: Rachel Smith-Evans – Quirky Design Co

Welcome to another edition of Meet the Maker! Today, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Rachel Smith-Evans, the creative force behind Quirky Design Co and a resident at Make North Docks. Rachel’s artistic talents span across various mediums, from painting and furniture design to stunning murals. But her passion doesn’t stop there – she’s also dedicated to sharing her skills through workshops, inspiring others to unleash their creativity.

In this meet the maker we delve into Rachel’s journey as a maker, exploring how she first discovered her love for art and what drives her unique aesthetic. Join us as we chat about Rachel’s craft, gain insight into her creative process, and get a sneak peek at what exciting projects she has in store for the future. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or simply an admirer of beautiful design, Rachel’s story is sure to inspire and captivate. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Quirky Design Co with Rachel Smith-Evans!

Tell us about the work that you do

I’m a painter, and I started off painting furniture and progressed into lots of other things. Over the years, the projects have got better and better and I’ve been doing all kinds of things, like repainting a Gypsy Caravan. Always lots of colour and intricate detail. 

How did you get into that? 

I’ve always been creative and I always used to paint my furniture at home. 

Then I found four chairs on eBay and spent £35 on the most colourful paint I could find and started doodling on them and playing around with them. I then started an Instagram page with absolutely no plan whatsoever. It was just a photo album for myself. People started following me and started asking if they could buy my furniture. It grew organically from there – there was no plan. I didn’t even put any thought into the business name.

Which Make CIC are you based in? 

I moved into Make North Docks shortly before the pandemic in 2020. Then I left my job in July of that year because I just got so busy and I couldn’t do both.

Why did you move to Make? 

I was looking for studios and that just ticked all the boxes because of the woodwork shop and also the café so I had a place to meet customers for consultations. I went to view a few places and then I just got a lovely feeling and it just felt like that was the place for me like. It’s also the community and stuff like that and I just felt like it was a nice community and everyone was really friendly.

What have been your highlights? 

Loads has happened to me since I moved and my profile with the business has gone sky high and I created this throne called the rainbow. That went a little bit viral and Tyson Fury hired it for his daughter’s birthday party. 

I do rental furniture now too for big companies like BooHoo for their influencer dinners.

I’ve done workshops as well, because of my background in teaching, and I enjoy doing workshops with children and upcycling workshops.

Tell us about the community there

I love being part of that community and there’s somebody there for everything. Sometimes when I’ve had big projects and there’s been a part of it that I’m not sure what to do with, there’s always someone there who can help me. Everybody is supportive of each other as well and I’ve made friends for life. It’s been nice. There is a diverse group of people, as well as people of all ages there and some of the older residents have offered some pearls of wisdom on things like if a customer’s being funny, or, you know, like you didn’t know how to price something. We all like to go into the cafe for a coffee and chat about what each other is doing and stuff like that.

What’s next for Quirky Designs? 

I’ve got a couple of bits of furniture in at the moment, and I’m working on an online tutorial video for the London Academy of Creative Arts to showcase for a tutorial on their platform. I’m just going through the process of setting up the workshop side of the business as a CIC so that I can go out to schools and education centres and reach out to the community and vulnerable people and things like that. I know how much that can benefit other people.

Check out our interview with Rachel and see some of her fantastic designs

Want to become part of our community at Make North Docks?

Come along to one of our Open Days – check out our studio and workspace, discover our wood workshop and meet some of our makers. Or get in touch for more info at

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