Family holidays in Portugal, and a gentle nudge from her husband, were what inspired Hazel Morse to start her own pottery business.
The friendly mother-of-two, from Bury St Edmunds, found herself bringing back more and more unusually colourful Portuguese ceramics for her home and eventually she decided to share her passion with others.
When she had the opportunity to leave her office job of more than 20 years, her supportive husband Justin encouraged her to take the plunge and give the business a go.
Named after their children Lily and Elliott, items sold by Lilell Ceramics include jugs, vases, butter dishes, egg holders, cake stands, tea pots and gravy bowls - all handcrafted and hand-painted, making each piece unique.
“It’s unique, colourful and a bit different, and there’s nothing really like it in this country, not that I’ve come across,” said Hazel, who is very grateful for the help she gets from her family, including that of her parents and in-laws.
“It just adds a splash of colour to someone’s house,” she added.
Lilell Ceramics’ European imports, sourced predominately from a family-run factory in Portugal, can be found twice weekly on Bury Market - opposite JD Sports on Wednesdays and outside Croasdales Chemist on Saturdays - as well as at an increasing number of shows and events in the area, from the annual Suffolk Show to Bury’s much-anticipated Christmas Fayre.
Hazel, who particularly enjoys working on the market during summer months, faces some unusual challenges in bad weather and has learned the value of using weights on her stall.
“It’s the wind we have to avoid because pottery doesn’t bounce,” she said.
Since launching the business three and a half years ago, Hazel has developed a loyal customer base, with many returning again and again to add pieces to their vibrant collections.
She also now has a website and, with her smallest pieces starting from around £3, it is an ideal place from which to source gifts.
“Customers who use it say how colourful and cheerful it is,” she said.
All items sold by Lilell Ceramics are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe.
For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lilellceramics.co.uk