What’s Your Story?
Catch Up Portraits November 2018

What’s Your Story? is a monthly blog series we run in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention. 

Our first interview was with Gary Parselle of Private Press back in October 2016, so after 2 years and 15 WYS blogs , we popped in to catch up with some of our participants. No interviews this time, just photos.

Thanks again for everybody’s help with the series – if you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Gary Parselle – Private Press

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Livvi White – Dopple Press

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Jess Davies – Stoney Point

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Andrew Garnett – Family Store 

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Alice Sharville – Spiderplant

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Alys Dobbie – Between Two Thorns

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Resident Music
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Resident Music is a Record Store with a big reputation. Based on Kensington Gardens in the North Laine, Resident has become a Brighton institution, catering to crowds of record enthusiasts and growing with the revitalisation of vinyl in the past 5-10 years. We spoke to Natasha Youngs, co-founder of Resident to ask about her journey and how a modern day record store works.

 

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HOW WAS RESIDENT MUSIC STARTED?

Myself & my now husband Derry Watkins met whilst working for Virgin / Our Price & realised we had similar dreams to set up our own business doing what we love best: running a record shop.

 

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HOW HAS THE POPULARITY OF FORMATS CHANGED THE BUSINESS OVER RECENT YEARS?

We opened as a CD only shop, as vinyl was already heavily catered for in Brighton at the time (we opened in 2004). There were more than 20 places selling music in Brighton & Hove at that time so competition was strong & we wanted to be sure we were doing what we did really well rather than dabbling in a bit of everything. At the time, the demand for CD far outstripped the demand for vinyl but clearly, over the last 14 years, this has changed dramatically. We introduced a box of vinyl on the counter. This quickly became a lot of boxes under the CD racks. This this then became CD racks being swapped out for new vinyl racks. Then we just ran out of space! So we took on the shop next door, knocked the 2 together & now we have a happy CD / vinyl balance with space to shop more comfortably & a book corner too.

 

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WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RECORD STORE DAY?

We’re big fans of the event as it’s the one day of the year when independent record shops have a spotlight shone on them. It’s a way of bringing us all together in celebration of our place on the high street. A way to remind people how important record shop culture is – either an affirmation for those who already know & help us keep it alive every day of the year or a way for those who have forgotten or who don’t invest in the culture regularly, to be reminded or re-engaged. In the press, there is too much focus on the actual releases & the commercial aspects of the day & nowhere near enough focus on the actual shops involved the people behind them & the culture of our sector of the industry.

 

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HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE STOCKING OF BIG AND SMALL BANDS AND LABELS?

We don’t really consider our curation of releases so much in this way. We try to consider lots of different elements surrounding our buying – customer demand (across a hugely diverse customer base, all ages ranges, locals & tourists, hardcore devotees & occasional buyers), how previous releases have sold, how much we are into it ourselves, press / radio coverage, how much we trust that label’s own tastes & previous releases

 

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TOP 5 RECORDS OF 2018 SO FAR?

Across all the staff tastes, the mid-year vote revealed the following to be our favourites:

Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile

Rival Consoles – Persona

No Age – Snares Like A Haircut

Fire! – The Hands

Sleep – The Sciences

 

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ARE THERE SOME HIGH FIDELITY STYLE QUIRKS THAT COME WITH WORKING IN A RECORD STORE?

Of course – we all have geek like tendencies & obsessive behaviours. It’s what holds us together!

Hopefully we come with a lot less snobbery though. I personally hate any snobbiness related to music. Who’s to say whether one noise is more superior to another? Whatever engages someone’s brain, makes them dance, takes them to a different place, helps them feel a sense of belonging, has a nostalgic warmth, challenges them, makes them feel fuzzy, causes cathartic release – that’s the joy of music. One person’s intolerable racket is another person’s melody. One person’s cheesy pop is another person’s euphoria.

 

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DO YOUR STAFF INFLUENCE THE SELECTION OF RECORDS IN-STORE?

Yes, all of them, whether they realise it or not. We always try to recruit people with a fresh approach or who bring a set of knowledge with them that we are lacking as a team. The wider the tastes in the shop, the more people we can confidently cater for. Derry & I can’t possibly hear, understand, know or like everything out there so we need a set of people around us that can help filter & curate.

 

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HAS YOUR CUSTOMER BASE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS YOU’VE BEEN OPEN?

Yes, although many of them are the same people that walked through our door in week 1 which is brilliant. We have changed as a shop, in response to the demands of our customers. We started out pretty mainstream as that was Derry & I’s background, what we were familiar with & what we were confident with but we’ve evolved. We take on board everything we get asked for that we don’t stock & adapt accordingly.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

It’s home. It’s an incredible city. It’s what we know & where our heart is. The thriving live music scene here is crucial to our success & the people here want to be involved in all things cultural. Also, the support for independent businesses here is strong, especially in the North Laine.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR RESIDENT?

Our plans change all the time. Expand Resident further. Open more record shops in different towns. Open more shops selling different stuff in Brighton. Just cruise along exactly as we are enjoying what we’ve built here. Pack it all in & live in Australia. Who knows what the future holds?……

 

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If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Dopple Press
What’s Your Story? Reissue

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Dopple Press  is a Risograph & Design studio based in New England House in Brighton. The Studio was set up by Livvi White, the only Risography studio currently based in the Brighton area serving many in the local illustration and design scene. We caught up with Livvi to explore Dopple Press and the appeal of Risograph printing.

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HOW WAS DOPPLE PRESS CREATED?

After finishing my Graphics degree at Kingston, I worked in publishing and then in digital printing. I really missed the DIY design culture and hands on nature of creating. In came Risograph printing, which made perfect sense as an outlet to encompass my skills and passions. Dopple Press began in my living room, I dropped all my savings into the machinery and began to teach myself the ropes. A year later and it’s a real business with a studio, a lovely varied clientele and four exhibitions under it’s belt.

 

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WHY RISO?

The are so many reasons to love Riso- it’s hands on, un-charted, eco-friendly, versatile. The excitement comes from not always predicting the outcome and playing with the vibrant colour pallet. We so rarely get the opportunity to see more than CMYK or RBG so Riso is a whole new visual adventure!

Risograph is also the only eco-friendly form of print which is very important in our climate.

 

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BUT DOPPLE PRESS IS MORE THAN JUST A PRINT COMPANY?

Dopple Press is an outlet for creatives. It’s personal and I care about giving people a means to experiment and adapt there work and see it in a new form. It’s also saving the planet which is pretty cool. This year Dopple will be hosting more events and workshops too for people to get there teeth into and amping up the online shop.

 

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WHAT KIND OF CLIENTS DO YOU PRINT FOR?

Anyone and everyone- artists, corporations, illustrators, designers, students, bands, shops, makers, eco-aware folk. There’s a great range of people, some who know and love the process and some who just want to give something new a shot.

 

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FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE JOB?

Creative freedom, literal freedom of being my own boss and wonderful clients I get to meet. Learning and honing my practice is also very rewarding. I can take the machine and drums apart and put them back together now, which feels good. The growing Riso community is also an interesting thing to see developing and be a part of.

 

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC TO LISTEN TO IN THE STUDIO?

I love a gnarly true crime podcast- though late nights printing can sometimes get a bit spooky.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

It’s creative and has a wonderful community. It’s also a city that takes the environment seriously. I couldn’t believe no-one else was doing Risograph here when I moved home and i’m a great believer in ‘if you think something should change, change it’. So I set up Dopple Press.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR DOPPLE PRESS?

The studio is expanding as we speak which is very exciting, mainly because I love making floor plans, but also because it makes way for in-house finishing equipment. Dopple is adding publishing, in house creations and workshops to its roster in 2018! Watch this space!

www.dopplepress.com

 

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Between Two Thorns
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Between Two Thorns  is a plant and floristry shop in Brighton that also offers workshops, plant based commissions, and tea and coffee. Alys Dobbie, known also for her antiques expertise has created a very lush, green experience on Upper North Street. We caught up with Alys at her space to find out more about her and the business she has built.

 

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HOW DID BETWEEN TWO THORNS BEGIN LIFE?

I was (and still am in a way) an antique dealer for 12 years, and i’ve worked in retail for 20. I re-trained to be a florist and really needed a workshop – I found this quirky building and fell in love. I’d love to sell more cut flowers but I’m petrified of wastage, so did some botany based courses and research and work experience and took advice and…house plants were born!

 

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TELL US ABOUT DIFFERENT SERVICES YOU OFFER AND HOW YOU BALANCE THEM?

I offer quite a few different services here – I was going to say ‘I am foremost a…’ but my brain stopped forming words  – so guess I’ll just give you a list of things I do

  • Plant shop
  • Coffee shop
  • Workshop
  • Stylist
  • Florist

They’re balanced by the nature of the shop and it’s location I think…if people come in then obviously they are my number one priority – be it looking for a plant for a particular spot in their house or coming to chat to me about wedding flowers. If the shop is empty I work on promoting my workshops and plants. If I’m at home I’m ordering various things and answering emails. It’s a 24 hour a day job so I have to stay on top of things.

 

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WHY PLANTS?

Popularity. Plants are the new black – people have really changed their attitude towards house plants now and don’t just see them as a house warming gift for a mate. They see them as investments both to themselves (air purifiers/mental health aids) as well as for their houses, they are as important as curtains or books.

 

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WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BEST SELLERS SINCE YOU HAVE OPENED?

The workshops! People are mad keen on improving their skill set and steering clear of the pub these days. My terrarium workshops are held about 3 times a month and are always completely sold out.

 

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?

People’s reactions to it – everyone is so positive and welcoming. The area is really great with all the locals being very supportive, the trend for buying local has always been cemented in Brighton and long may it last.

 

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WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO IN THE SHOP?

Ah gaaad! If I’m on my own I’ll put some cheesy bangers on. If I’m doing some computer work I’ll put on anything without lyrics so I can concentrate better. LCD Soundsystem seems to be on fairly often. I’m no music buff.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

There’s nowhere better to live in England.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR BETWEEN TWO THORNS?

I’m already shipping my plants globally and have some weddings lined up for the year. I’d love to get to a point where I could afford someone to work more than one day a week as my social life has taken a hit – it’s totally worth it though!

 

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