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ATLAS & I goes global

Loughborough graduate Sophie Kirkpatrick’s iconic artwork, Traffic Silhouette over a vintage map of central London, is now available to buy as an IKEA poster.

The poster – simply titled Rush Hour – is available online and in stores worldwide.

The process began in June 2013 when the IKEA art buyer spotted Atlas & I’s work online. Sophie was invited to provide five designs to be pitched to the IKEA buying team which selected Rush Hour.

Graduating in 2010 with a degree in 3D Design, Sophie moved to London. Horrified by the cost of living – when her first Christmas in the capital rolled round – she decided to make personalised gifts for family and friends using antique maps, old wallpaper, greeting cards and wrapping paper.

Her beautiful handmade framed silhouettes were soon in demand, and Sophie began to receive word-of-mouth orders for her distinctive wall art.

In 2011, she realised her work had universal appeal and launched ATLAS & I – a boutique brand offering a range of unique gifts as well as bespoke commissions.

Working with local suppliers, Sophie’s product range now includes personalised vintage map notebooks, diaries, photo albums, iPad covers and passport holders using customised printed leather.

Many items can be personalised to the recipient and their location by simply providing Sophie with a postcode so that a meaningful map features on the gift.

Sophie now trades via her own online store; a range of other digital stockists – including notonthehighstreet.com and homecandy.com – and UK-wide events – including Hampton Court Flower Show, Spirit of Summer and Spirit of Christmas – as well as pop-up shops and boutique markets in London.

Interest in ATLAS & I is steadily growing, and the company has been featured in publications spanning You magazine, Country Life, Stylist magazine, and Absolute Bridal.

Anticipating a busy run up to Christmas, Sophie is currently looking to recruit an intern to help fulfil seasonal orders. She also plans to secure her own studio space from which to work.

Professor Steve Rothberg, Loughborough's Pro Vice Chancellor for Enterprise, says: “Sophie’s work strikes a chord with a wide audience and appears to be growing in popularity. I am delighted that her business is thriving, and wish her every success.”

ATLAS & I is one of the many graduate companies featured on the University’s Marketplace website.