Inspiring confidence: in conversation with Cramer & Bell.

Welcome to our Inspiring Confidence series, where we delve into personal interviews with influential Varley women. By focusing on instilling quiet confidence, we uncover their unique journeys, experiences, and insights, celebrating the remarkable perspectives of women who inspire us.









Meet Bella Cramer and Daisy Bell, the duo behind the female-founded art consultancy that curated the artwork for our London stores. Drawing from their creative backgrounds, they established their consultancy with the goal of making art more accessible to all. This shared philosophy paved the way for an artistic collaboration that aligns with our values. We spoke to them about their individual journeys, creative processes, and what it’s like to work as part of an all-female team.



Q: Can you share a bit about your individual journeys and backgrounds?


Bella: I studied art before joining a creative agency in East London, where I worked alongside designers and artists for ten years. After leaving, I travelled for a few months, and on my return started Cramer & Bell.


Daisy: I worked at Tate and the Royal Academy of Arts but have been exposed to art throughout my life with my father, husband, and father-in-law all being art dealers.









Q: What inspired you to start an art consultancy together?


Daisy: Working at Tate and the RA, I was continually being asked for tips on where to find art and Bella has an excellent eye for sourcing, so we joined forces to fill a much-needed gap in the market. We wanted to break down the somewhat intimidating barriers that can exist in the art world and open the doors for our clients to discover both emerging and established artists.



Q: Were there any challenges you faced in the initial stages?


Bella: Starting a business with young babies is always a challenge! I was heavily pregnant, and Daisy had a seven-month-old. But it provided a nice distraction from morning sickness and nappies. Our business model changed fairly early on as we were initially an online shop for art, before we realised the pitfalls of taking on too much stock. We won a small consultancy project with Soho House and from there we very much became a consultancy led business, with the online shop taking a back seat. It still exists (C&B Curates) and ticks along nicely.









Q: What are the positives of working as part of an all-female team?


Bella: Daisy and I are very lucky to have a wonderful team of art consultants – Gilly, Ella, and Amanda – who are incredibly passionate, hard-working, and knowledgeable about the art world. I think a positive of being an all-female team is that we are open and honest with our thoughts, emotions, and opinions so everything is communicated in a more direct manner. And we are often very much on the same page when it comes to projects, and what creates a productive and nurturing work environment. Naturally as women, we are also all very good at multitasking!



Q: Can you walk us through the process of selecting and curating art for a specific client or project?


Daisy: We talk through each client’s individual needs and aspirations for art in their space. We then create a bespoke presentation of over 100 artist slides, with examples of artwork styles, to gauge their artistic preferences. At this point we learn just as much as to why they don't like a piece as to why they do. We then home in on specific areas they need artworks for and put forward 2-3 options per space. After a client selects the artwork, we oversee the purchasing, framing, delivery, and installation.









Q: How did you ensure the artwork for Varley complemented the brand?


Bella: We loved the brief of sourcing an all-female roster of artists, so it was such a pleasure to be involved in this project. We were very much influenced by the colour palette and soft feminine lines of both the Varley clothing and the store design. We wanted the art to celebrate the female and the female body, and to give customers the feeling of arriving at a home rather than a commercial set up, one in which the artwork collection has been carefully curated and built over time, showcasing a mix of mediums from paintings and works on paper to textile.



Q: Are there specific projects or clients that have been particularly memorable or impactful for Cramer & Bell?


Bella: We have been lucky enough to work across a variety of projects, each with their own unique challenges and highlights, including a ski lodge in Montana, a brownstone in Brooklyn, a beach villa in Antigua and a hotel in St Vincent and the Grenadines. We are currently working on our biggest and most exciting project to date, an iconic hotel in central London. It's a truly remarkable building, with a history to match. We also love supporting charitable causes where possible, including organising charity art auctions for the wonderful Syrian charity, Hands Up Foundation, as well donating artworks to Furnishing Futures (which provides healing homes for women and children escaping domestic abuse) and Decorate A Child's Life, a Childhood Trust program that redecorates the bedrooms of children living in poverty in the UK.


"We are currently working on our biggest and most exciting project to date, an iconic hotel in central London."



Q: Can you share some tips for someone wanting to start their own art collection journey?


Bella: Art is so subjective so choose art that you have an instinctive reaction to rather than being swayed by the opinions of others. Save your budget for some key pieces that you know will grow with your collection and source cost-effective works for secondary spaces. Don't scrimp on framing. Frames can either kill an artwork or elevate it, and when you invest in a good framer, you will get excellent advice. There are so many amazing places to source art these days. Not just exhibitions and fairs, but also through social media like Instagram.