There’s something unique about Bertha the Caravan – you can colour her in! She’s one of many whimsical creations dreamed up by Kate Edmunds for her business Eggnogg. The company’s speciality is colour-in products for kids (and adults, too). Its weird and wonderful creations are jam packed with black and white illustrations, just waiting to be filled with colour.

The Bristol business is known for its iconic tablecloths – which are printed by Dennis Maps. Eggnogg sells around 40 fabric and paper colouring-in products, ranging from tablecloths to colour-in cards and even Christmas trees. Then there’s Bertha, who can be rented out as a quirky addition to events. We catch up with designer and illustrator Kate to find out more about Bertha, and her other fun-filled creations.

Kate, your idea for Eggnogg started in Italy. Tell us a bit more about this.

My family and I were in Anghiari, Italy, eating at our favourite pizzeria. Fernando, our waiter, popped down the usual paper tablecloth with a pot of pens. Unfortunately, it was so full of advertising my children struggled to find enough white space for their creations. This gave me an idea – why not create a tablecloth full of black and white illustrations for children to colour in? Eureka! Our colour-in tablecloth was born.

What were your first products and who did you sell them to?

Our first products were colour-in postcard books which were sold in Hobbycraft, Liberty and WHSmith. It was a dream come true to have them sell our products. All our hard work had finally paid off.

What’s your favourite product from the Eggnogg range and why?

I love the seaside poster / tablecloth. It reminds me of long summer holidays.

How do you come up with your designs and product ideas?

Originally, Eggnogg’s products were inspired by my young children, Mathilda and George. I conjured up useful product ideas that would keep them busy, creative – and quiet! I’m also inspired by picture books from my childhood, like ones by author and illustrator Richard Scarry. I love Tim Burton’s work, too. I take a sketch book everywhere so I can design wherever I am.

How did Bertha the Eggnogg Colour-in Caravan come to be?

We created Bertha a few years ago. I always loved the idea of having a colour-in caravan, so I searched eBay and found a rather dilapidated but adorable little caravan. We spent two weeks renovating her, both inside and out. We had a deadline as we were going to appear on Dragons’ Den. She’s starred on ITV’s This Morning with Holly and Phil, too. They loved her.

What’s the best part of running your business?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, so I love doing the creative parts of Eggnogg and coming up with new products.

Any exciting plans for Eggnogg you’re able to reveal?

The future of Eggnogg is looking bright considering these tricky circumstances. Plenty of new product ideas are always on the cards, although they’re top secret right now. Watch this space!

Dennis Maps is one of the leading map printers in the world, producing more than two million maps and charts every year. We offer comprehensive pre-press services, large format print solutions using both large format litho printing and large format digital print technologies, plus specialised map folding and map finishing techniques.

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