© The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
Here at St. Eval, we are exceptionally proud and privileged to partner with so many spectacular stockists. In our newest blog series, we shine a light on some of the outstanding organisations, family-owned, and independent businesses with which we are honoured to collaborate with.
As a business combining contemporary and traditional methods of candle crafting, we feel passionately about preserving culture, honouring history, and maintaining traditional art and crafts where possible. Sharing knowledge and the gift of art, we shine a spotlight on our second St. Eval stockist of the series, Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises.
Celebrating history and contemporary culture with its extensive collection of art and antiquities, The Fitzwilliam Museum was founded 1816 in the university city of Cambridge. Boasting over half a million beautiful works of art, masterpiece paintings and historical artefacts, The Fitzwilliam Museum takes you on an incredibly eye-opening journey across various countries, cultures and time. Supporting the museum, Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises offer a lavish selection of gifts inspired by these wonderful collections, allowing visitors to commemorate their trip and take a token of history home.
We had the privilege of speaking with Ruth McPhee, Product Development and Marketing Manager, who warmly welcomed us into the fascinating world of The Fitzwilliam Museum.
Could you share with us the history behind The Fitzwilliam Museum? What was the passion behind the project?
‘Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises Ltd was established as the commercial arm of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and has been in business for over 40 years. We now run four shops in the city: the Fitzwilliam Courtyard Shop, Cambridge University Botanic Garden Shop, Museum of Zoology Shop, and the UCM Shop on King's Parade. We also sell online at curatingcambridge.com. All our shops focus on products inspired by the beautiful and diverse collections of the museums, and all sales help support the collections in turn.’
What sets your store apart from others on the high street?
‘Our employees and customers all share an enthusiasm for the unique collections of the University of Cambridge, from the fine art masterpieces and ancient artefacts of the Fitzwilliam, to the rare species and seasonal delights of the Botanic Garden.’
What value do you believe candles have personally and for your store?
‘Smell is perhaps the most evocative of all the senses: a mood or memory can be created with just a small waft of fragrance. A candle may be a small thing, but it is one that can enhance or even transform our experience of the spaces around us.’
What attracted you to St. Eval?
‘The products themselves are lovely – gorgeous fragrances, and simple packaging that lets the candles speak for themselves. At FME we also want to support UK businesses where we can, and value the commitment to sustainability that St. Eval has made. As a bonus, whenever the FME buying team visit the trade fairs and meet the St. Eval team, everyone is always incredibly friendly and helpful!’
What is your best-selling St. Eval product or fragrance?
‘It depends on the time of year. Overall, it's hard to beat the classic advent candles. We sell hundreds of these every autumn/winter, with regular customers (and colleagues!) returning year after year for this symbol of approaching festivities. Winter shoppers also love the Orange & Cinnamon and Sandalwood fragrances, while spring and summer visitors go for the fresh herbal scents such as Bay & Rosemary.’
How are our St. Eval products displayed and how does it compliment your stock?
‘Every Christmas season, St. Eval's advent candles and little candle bundles are displayed alongside our own ranges of Christmas cards and advent calendars. They help us to set the scene for a cosy and welcoming winter.’
What do you believe St. Eval’s ethos and products adds to your store. How do your values align with ours?
‘An appreciation of the environment and our place in the natural world is crucial to the work of researchers at the Museum of Zoology and the Botanic Garden in particular, so it is important that we choose suppliers who reflect these concerns. St. Eval's commitment to traditional methods, sustainable practices, and cruelty free products is a wonderful part of the story.’
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
‘Most importantly we want to keep supporting the museums and collections of the University of Cambridge by offering a fantastic product selection and great customer experience to our visitors.’
We want to say a huge thank you to Ruth and Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises for their time, inspiring story and continued loyalty.
With our Shine A Light Series excitingly underway, we invite you to join our journey across the UK and to delve into the amazing communities which our local stockists reside. We can’t wait to unearth the passion behind the projects which keep our beloved high streets so full of life.
Explore Fitzwilliam Museum here, and get in touch with our customer services team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discover your nearest St. Eval stockist.