Welcome to Designed and Created, the shop that celebrates the creativity of designers and makers, giving you the opportunity to buy a handmade piece for your home that is, in many cases, completely unique.

I'm Laura Martino, the curator, buyer, coffee-maker, story-teller and order-packer of Designed and Created.

Having graduated with a fashion degree, I have been designing and creating for global brands for more than 25 years alongside being a mum with a love (or obsession) of interior design and home restoration. I have now decided to follow my passion and create an online shop that sells art and individual pieces for the home from a wide range of creative disciplines. I will showcase the work of artists, designers and artisans and tell you all about them, so you have the opportunity to buy something that has been lovingly designed and created from a person whose story you understand. I hope you will find this a shop with a difference - a shop where you know exactly where your purchase has come from as well as who designed and made it.

A shop that's about people, not production lines and a shop that helps you make your home as unique as you are.

As sustainability becomes increasingly important to us all, my aim is to reuse and recycle as much packaging as possible, rather than recreating from new what is already available. So, whilst your art will be beautifully wrapped and protected, it may arrive carefully packed into a repurposed shoe box or other such recycled packaging. Where I do have to use new packaging, I will be using eco-friendly products such as eco-bubble wrap and acid-free tissue paper.

So, if you do receive a shoebox in the post, don't judge a book by its cover. It will have your piece of art hand wrapped with love inside!

I believe in the value of creativity, so I'm excited to be donating to Create with every sale made.

Create - Charity of the Year 2020 - is the UK's leading charity empowering lives, reducing isolation and enhancing wellbeing through the creative arts. Their focus is on engaging the most marginalised participants in inspiring, sustainable arts programmes in areas where provision is poor and engagement in the arts is therefore low.

Each year, they put on hundreds of arts workshops to engage people who don't usually get the chance to be creative. They work with schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons or anywhere that has a low art provision to devise artistic projects which always culminate in a showcase of the work the participants have created.

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