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Simon and I first came across Fritz Fryer when we bought some lights from Margaret who still works for us, back in 1999. We had just moved to Herefordshire and were renovating a cottage.  We fell in love with the shop so when we heard Fritz and Joan were selling the business we lept at the chance.  In June 2004 we became the proud new owners and have never looked back. 


Here's a chance to get to know Karen a little better!
Where did you grow up?

Born in Hornsey, London, I moved to Clacton-On-Sea as a young child. Simon and I met as students, on my 19th birthday and then lived in Amsterdam for 8 years prior to moving to Herefordshire. We chose Ross-On-Wye for our return to the UK because I had such fond childhood memories of camping holidays amidst the beautiful countryside, pretty villages and sheep, so a part of me grew up here too!

What’s your favourite contemporary piece?

I love all our hand blown clear glass shades, so my favourite piece would have to be a cluster pendant.  We have made some bespoke designs like this for people and I love them. My particular favourite went into a large custom made glass cluster chandelier for double height barn conversion - they really are the perfect lighting solution for a double height drop as you have interest on every level.

What's your favourite antique piece?

My favourite piece ever was a beautiful Osler chandelier that I requested for home as soon as it arrived in the shop.  Simon sold it early the next morning and I never saw it again.  I still miss it!

Chocolate or cheese?

Love both!  Hard choice and I would not want to live without either!  However, if you are forcing me to make the choice I’m going to have to say cheese.

What's your favourite choc/cheese?

I’ve only ever tried one cheese I don’t like and that’s Edam, but a favourite is tricky as I love so many.  I’ll have to go with our local Stinking Bishop, made at Laurel Farm, Dymock about 20mins from here.  However, I couldn’t live without good old cheddar either.  Cheddar is to cheese as chicken is to meat!  Hmm, does that only make sense to me?  Cheddar is my comfort cheese.  Cheddar and Branston pickle sandwiches featured in every single one of my school diary entries throughout primary school, much to my mum’s chagrin as she thought school would think that’s all she ever fed me. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Goodness, I'm beginning to realise I'm not very good at choices!  I love France, Nice being my city of choice, and everything French (yes including the people!) but the climate in San Diego is so amazing that I would love to live there too.  Amsterdam still feels like a second home to me and I'd like to think I may live there again one day, but then there's the Caribbean, where I don't think I'd enjoy living permanently but a holiday home would go down well and then last, but not least, Herefordshire where I've loved living and would always want to return!  Please don't make me choose one. 

If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be?

Well I did bump into Usain Bolt at Heathrow airport which was pretty amazing. Believe it or not, there was no one around at the time and he kindly posed for photos in his own unique, ultra cool fashion while I mumbled at him incoherently and dropped my phone at his feet. I remember saying to my son, who was with me at the time, that the only person I think would be more cool to meet than Usain Bolt would be Barack Obama. I keep hanging around airports but that one hasn't happened yet, so I'm still waiting.

What is your favourite YouTube video?

As the owner of a naughty terrier who runs off at any opportunity it has to be the fabulous 'Fenton'.  Makes me cry with laughter every time I see it.


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