Jan Constantine Ltd. has come a long way since its inception in 2002. From humble beginnings as a kitchen table enterprise, Jan Constantine is now an internationally recognised brand, brought about by the hard graft, loyalty and ingenuity of those involved in the business - and, of course, by the customers themselves.
|Jan cuts into a cake baked by Kim's mother for the company's 10th birthday|
The company celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this year (just one more excuse for an office party!) and now 2012 is coming to a close, we’d like to look back over what has been a successful and thoroughly inspirational year. Below are a selection of our favourite memories from 2012.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee not only inspired a beautiful all-new Jan Constantine collection, but rekindled patriotism in its most regal form across the country. Harrumble!
|Jubilee cushions in the front window of Selfridges|
|Jan Constantine Jubilee cushions and tea cosies in Harrods|
Jan travelled to London on the diamond day with her daughter, Mary, and together they watched the fleet of royal boats glide by on the Thames, enjoying the atmosphere despite the British weather's best efforts.
The Queen appeared to enjoy the event too, though we’ve yet to hear of any Jubilee cushions taking a new home at Buckingham, Windsor or Balmoral.
Olympics and Paralympics
2012 will be remembered in decades to come as the year that saw the London 2012 Olympic Games. This was of not just national but international importance, and jan Constantine provided a contribution to the Great British summer of sport in her Olympic collection, sold across the country and in the official merchandise shop in the Olympic Park.
|Jan with Lord Sebastian Coe|
Getting thoroughly into the spirit of the games, Jan attended both the opening and (“golden ticket”!) closing ceremonies, and the majority of staff members also attended various events, from the horse jumping at Greenwich to the finals at Wimbledon, athletics on Super Saturday and the finals of Paralympic wheelchair basketball.
|Jan and some of the girls at the Opening Ceremony|
The Jan Constantine Alpine Christmas collection has been the most successful collection yet, and enjoyed particular success at the most recent Top Drawer exhibition.
|Jo Bowen, Jan's design assistant, with the Alpine Christmas collection at the Top Drawer stand|
|Jan's Alpine Christmas cushions on This Morning (tv programme)|
Jan Constantine has had an increased level of attention from the press over the past 12 months, which is largely down to her involvement in merchandising the Olympic Games and further promoting her own brand of patriotism, and has shown itself in both local and national headlines.
|Pages from Country Homes and Interiors, January 2013|
Northern Design Awards
At the 2012 Northern Design Awards – the biggest ever held according to the post-event press release – Jan Constantine was a judge for the third year running, alongside host Wayne Hemingway (Red or Dead founder) and fellow judges Linda Barker, Geoff Alsop (RIBA Chairman), Nick Munro, Sir Terence Conran, the Living Etc. editors and Diarmuid Gavin. Jan also presented the awards for Best Retail Display and Best Interior Design Practice.
|Jan presents an award to 93ft at the ceremony|
More than 300 celebrities and special guests enjoyed the awards ceremony and gala dinner at Manchester Central, and the night was a highly-praised, glamorous success, and a strong testament to the wide-ranging talents of designers from the North.
The Office Christmas Party
To coincide with the release of 007’s most recent adventure, Skyfall, the office Christmas party this year followed a James Bond theme.
|Jan stands with Eric ('James Brown') and Kim ('Allexa Polentti') at the bar table|
The night began with one agent entering through the French doors in a colourful disguise, bearing MI6 case files and a box of Black Magic; he passed these on to Jan (‘M’, for the night’s purposes) and rolled out of sight to change into his gadget-strapped tux. The other
guests agents assembled around the
buffet table as M revealed for the fifth time this year exactly what she’s been
spending the SIS budget on: prosecco.
Northern Soul, the film
One final highlight of Jan's year has been the opportunity to explore the set of the film her sister (Elaine Constantine) has written and actualized over the past 10 years.
Now in the editing stage, Northern Soul, the film is set to influence a new generation of young people – in the manner of Quadrophenia or This is England – to reignite a youth culture originating in the North of England in the 1970s.
Already massively popular pre-release, the film looks set to be a huge cinematic success and a cult favourite for years to come. With its authentically 70s atmosphere, its illustration of the salvative power of music from Edwin Starr to Tobi Legend to Frankie Valli and its background of gritty Northern resolve, this film is the one to watch in 2013. After experiencing the set for herself, Jan is as excited as any Northern Soul enthusiast and recommends that everybody rush to grab tickets on the release date.
All in all, it's been a fantastic year for Jan Constantine. Happy New Year to everybody reading - we'll be back in the office on January 2nd!