I’m not sure when I first learned about Grin, Grimace and Squeak! Our paths have crossed many times over the years I’m sure. What I do know is that their work stands out. Their designs are beautiful, original and their craftsmanship second to none. If you are looking to incorporate a masquerade element to your wedding then these are the guys for you.
Introduce yourself and your business…
We’re Karen and Rich of Grin, Grimace and Squeak! We are living the goth dream in Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast – the perfect location for a couple of costumers. We are lucky and work from home full time, having had sensible jobs and decided we didn’t like them much
How did you get in to designing masks?
As you may have gathered already we know a good time when we see one so it won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that it all started with a party. Karen needed something to wear so made use of some enameled wire she had in her studio to create a mask and tiara for the evening. When we moved to London we were looking for something to do as a business together in a bid to swap the big smoke for big skies and that seemed as good a place to start experimenting as any. We had no idea when we started if it would go anywhere and certainly never expected to be selling all over the world.
Tell me a bit about your process and how you develop your designs…
Our process is fairly straightforward – we’ve been making masks for long enough now that we know the principles and how to construct a strong but comfortable frame which is then beaded. It’s still paper and pencils first though. The development of our designs has been a natural progression – the more we create, the more we learn and each mask inspires new ideas and ways of working with our materials.
Do you offer a bespoke or customisation service?
A lot of our work is made to order, especially for weddings. We can do everything from simple colour matching to go with a theme to full bespoke designs. Last year we completed an order for 102 animal themed masks – a Bengal tiger and elephant for the bride and groom then peacocks, monkeys, cobras, red pandas, guar and leopards for the guests.
Do you have a favourite piece?
That’s a tough one – it tends to be the last really big piece we did. Rich’s ram and Karen’s raven still stand out and get talked about. We also had a fantastic custom order in for a working steampunk mask which was a challenge – the mask was made from brass and fitted with a tiny motor which powered the cogs and flickering lights.
What’s next for your business?
This year we are focusing on creating new carnival pieces – big, spectacular masks including a horned dragon. We’re always looking to see how far we can push the materials – and our imagination! Last December we also took part in Whitby’s first ever Krampus run which got us back into other costume making and Rich is now hard at work designing a new range of horns which is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.
How do people keep in touch with you?
Our UK website ; http://www.gringrimaceandsqueak.co.uk/
Our Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/gringrimaceandsqueak
A gorgeous new gothic lifestyle boutique here in Whitby who stock a wide range of our masks for people to see ; https://www.facebook.com/Stokers-Closet
Thank you Karen and Rich for taking the time to share a bit about your business.
As seasoned veterans of Whitby Gothic Weekend, and having daydreamed about moving to Whitby these guys really are living the dream; a thriving creative business dedicated to what you love surrounded by the crashing waves and crumbling cliffs that inspired Stokers Dracula… bliss!