Harriet’s Of Hove
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a 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.

Harriet’s Of Hove is a plastic-free pantry based on Blatchington Road in Hove, providing customers with ethical eco-friendly supplies, refills and packaging alternatives. We caught up with Harriet to ask her about the shop and the ideas behind it.

 

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HOW WAS HARRIET’S OF HOVE STARTED?

HoH was started as a form of protest with the way the supermarkets had become. It was following Plastic Free July 2018 and the frustrations of finding shopping plastic free so difficult. So, my partner (Mhiran) and I decided to take on the venture of opening a plastic free shop!

 

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HOW LONG HAS THIS IDEA BEEN WITH YOU?

We properly decided to commit to the venture August 2018 and we opened Harriet’s of Hove in 12 weeks. Previous to Plastic Free July last year, it had never crossed my mind!

 

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HOW HAVE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY REACTED?

The local community have been fantastic. Many people are already committed to doing what they can and other are excited to be starting their refilling journey. The shop really has become a little hub for the community, In which people stop and chat. Put the World to rights, and just enjoy discussing food again.

They is also I diverse amount of environmental discussion and plastics debate in store and that’s exactly what we wanted to create.

 

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HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO STOCK IN THE SHOP?

A mixture of stocking what we used beforehand. Seeing what is available in bulk and minimal packaging. But also there has been a wonderful amount of local suppliers and independent makers who have approached us to sell their products in store. This has been really exciting for us.

 

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WHAT’S THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING ABOUT WASTE GENERATED BY REGULAR SHOPS/SUPERMARKETS?

That is easy!! The amount that is non-recyclable and completely unnecessary. This waste outlives us on the landfill or ends up in the sea. It has no further purpose and costs local councils money to process it.

 

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WHAT ARE A FEW TIPS FOR AVERAGE PEOPLE TO CUT DOWN ON UNNECESSARY PLASTICS/WASTE?

A little organisation goes a long way! Preparing meals and remembering to take reusables out with you. Also, to start with a bit at a time. Changes don’t happen over night so little but often is a winner.

Oh! And ENJOY IT. Shopping sustainably and consciously bring many benefits and improves the ‘feel good factor’ of how we live and consume.

 

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HOW CAN WE HELP SPREAD THE WORD?

Harriet’s of Hove has a lively Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account. We don’t just use our social media to promote products and the shop, but also to spread awareness and campaign information.

However, ‘word of mouth’ is a great favourite of ours. For those that are interested in plastic free living or lowering, we’re right here for them. Let them know.

 

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WHY HOVE?

I was born in Brighton and have lived in Hove most of my life. I has a special place in my heart. Also (possibly more honestly) going to Brighton to refill was a long trek and now I don’t have to go so far myself!….Hove was missing this facility, so we wanted to provide something really local for Hovians alike.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR HARRIET’S OF HOVE?

Who knows?! It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a year, so perhaps just breathe a little for now. At the pace we are learning and growing, it is very hard to say about future plans. However, we have no current plans to open another store. We want to grow this baby well first.

We will continue to campaign and listen and will provide what we can, with what resources we have available.

 

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

 

Kevin Miller
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.

Kevin Miller is the Commercial Manager of Whitehawk Football Club, We spoke to him about Whitehawk, work and what the future holds for him and the club.

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TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF – A POTTED HISTORY!

I’m Kevin Miller, lived in Brighton for ten years, born in East London so West Ham United fan by birth. Parents bought a small guest house and moved the family to Cliftonville near Margate when I was twelve, After education I moved back to London ten years later.

I always wanted to be a journalist/ writer, but you gotta start somewhere, so naturally the best place to start is shoe shop manager at Freeman Hardy Willis in Woolwich. (ask your gran about them, kids).

After that I took a couple of agency jobs, found a small flat in Westminster, and got a job at legendary punk/ mod shoe emporium Shelly’s just off Carnaby Street. (Cooler shoes). It was ’88/’89 and London was full of smiley t-shirts, kicker boots and wallabies shoes. Sigh, happy daze…

 

 

Then, a couple of years at a small record label in Cricklewood, selling not too popular classical, jazz, rock and easy listening (but some excellent 70’s Dub) to small independent record shops. That got me into big record retailer Tower Records in ’93 (I was a rep for the label). The rest of the decade was spent there in sales, management, marketing, PR, advertising and publishing. It was the height of Britpop, dance music was still huge, Euro ’96 and all that, great times…However, nothing lasts for ever, and I left Tower in 2001. Freelanced for a couple of years selling ads for the South Bank Centre and Jazz Cafe. Married in ’02, child in ‘04, and in ’05, Football beckoned. Watford (3 seasons), Palace (5), Lewes (4) and now Whitehawk…

So far, my football record is as follows: Three promotions, (one administration), two relegations, two play-off finals, three play-off semi-finals, one Sussex FA Cup Final, one FA Cup semi-final, one League Cup semi-final and one Sussex FA Cup semi-final. Never a dull moment…

 

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WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING INVOLVED IN THE COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENTS AT PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL CLUBS? ANY STORIES YOU CAN SHARE?

My first game of my first full season was at Watford – their first game back in the top flight – against Fergie’s Manchester United. The night before, all the staff including Chairman & CEO were at the ground making sure everything was ready – setting out all the corporate boxes and cutlery in the lounges, and attaching the last of the ad boards around Vicarage Road. This was pre LED advertising, and because we were ground sharing with Saracens, we had to use a kind of velcro system (stuck on what looked like A-frame gym mattresses!), that meant that whether was a ‘double-header’ (Watford on a Saturday, Sarries on a Sunday), every ad board had to be changed, which was a nightmare for the ground staff.

I’d sold a huge advertising site in the disused area of an old stand. We built a frame and the ad agency we were working with placed a huge sportswear brands name & logo on it.

 

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The following day as I was watching the game from the stand opposite, I felt very proud that our first home game had gone off with out a hitch…

My phone buzzed in my pocket. I left it as I’d just replied to my wife who was asking me how it was going. It buzzed again. A couple of minutes later it rang. Irritated now, I took the phone out of my pocket and was about to bark ‘Hello!’ to my wife when I realised that it was the MD from the Ad Agency.

“Hiya? What’s up?” I answer.

“Kev, I’ve just had the CEO (of the sportswear brand) on the phone!” he replied. “He’s watching the game from his Villa.”

“Excellent!” I said “Did he call to say that he loves the big ad board?”

“No!” He said sternly. “He said, that if you don’t get that steward blocking the letter ‘A’, of the name, he’ll remove it and demand his money back!”

I looked up. Sure enough, there in front of the big A, was George, Watford steward of twenty years, doing his duty that side of the stand, and watching the game in front of thousands of pounds of global advertising.

“I’m on it!” I put the phone down and used the two-way radio to contact control, who relayed the message to George. I watched as he made two large comedy sideways steps to the left, revealing the ad board in full. A text followed with a ‘Cheers!’ from the agency, and panic over, I carried on with match duties.

 

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It made me realise that, despite being in a small part of a small suburban town watching a game of football, the whole world was watching, and so everything – everything! – had to be perfect. It also made me realise that this was not a job of glamour and status, it was a passion. It never happened again.

 

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WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PROFESSIONAL GAME’S RELATIONSHIP WITH NON LEAGUE?

England has the most vibrant and successful football pyramid structures in the world. Some matches in our divisions six & seven, attract more fans to their matches than Italian French and Spanish second divisions. Grassroots football is attracting a new generation of fans, a little disenfranchised with the Premier League experience, despite it being a world class product.

That said, professional football needs a strong structure behind it to continue the production line of great talent, as does the FA, and the game in this country is more than just the professionals. The Premier League’s cash is filtering down to grassroots level, but its not enough, nor is it quick enough.

 

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I would love to see an organisation created that can utilise some of that Premier League cash, to set up a kind of ,’help centre’ for non-league football clubs. A place to learn about new marketing techniques, social media, planning, budgeting, health & safety…

A lot of non-league clubs are still run on effort, energy, passion and tradition, and it is essential that we maintain the pyramid structure, and offer the thousands of small football clubs around the land the chance to survive and change in the modern era.

 

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HOW DOES YOUR ROLE WITH WHITEHAWK FC DIFFER FROM OTHER CLUBS?

Every club is different, and has its own needs and delivery. Whitehawk FC, despite being Brighton’s second biggest football club, still suffers from being tagged with the reputation of the nearby estate within East Brighton, once the biggest and most economically deprived in the country. The club is branded as a place that business finds a little unattractive. Crowds at matches are modest at best, and there’s a lot of ‘upgrading’ to be done.

 

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That said, there’s a new vibrancy and sense of purpose on the estate, and at the club, there’s an amazing group of volunteers making it all work and have been doing so for a long, long time.

We’re re-structuring the marketing, commercial, online and social media sections of the club to make them a little fitter, a little more productive. Next summer (2020) begins year of the club’s 75th Anniversary, and I hope that some of the elements put in place now, will maximise the opportunities for the club to grow by then.

It’s hard work but very rewarding…

 

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WE KNOW THE HAWKS ULTRAS ARE A VOCAL, VISIBLE CROWD WITH A STRONG AND CLEAR MESSAGE, WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE WITH THEM?

 The fans, the ‘Ultras’ are keeping the flame burning right now. They are a group of locals and Brightonian’s who a few years ago set up the fan base as an ironic gesture, but have nothing whatsoever to do with those big global near army-style Ultras. They have set themselves up with an incredible set of social and moral values. Anti-racism, homophobia, sexism, violence – they don’t swear on the terraces, design and sell their own merchandise, run the club shop, their own fanzine, and bang their own drums, (and store them in a shed at the ground).

I first met them at the first pre-season friendly when I arrived last July, and I quickly recognised that they are the lifeblood of the club. I’ve been working with some of them to create some amazing social projects. Earlier in the season they raised funds on-line to bring 30 kids from Grenfell a day out at the seaside. I worked with them to make the kids mascots, we gave them complimentary hospitality, and they loved it. We’ve worked with local charities, setting up soccer schools for kids on the estate, and there are plans to do a lot lot more.

It’s a family, and we’re all doing it together because we love it.

 

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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR WHITEHAWK FC?

Big crowds, a vibrant, culturally diverse, socially aware young, cool, tech-savvy fanbase around the region and around the world, and crammed full of everything that this amazing city has to offer. A junior section, a re-instated womens team, mens and womens vets and walking football teams, and a pathway for young people who love the game, to be inspired by the club and play for the club until they become legends.

We want businesses to want to join us, we need businesses to help us, and we want the city to be rightly proud of two clubs, one attracting a global audience, and one that can celebrate everything that the city offers…

One game, Two teams, two different objectives.

 

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Football is the Winner…

 Kevin Miller

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

 

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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Mesh Studio
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.

Mesh Studio  is an art and design brand and studio based in Brighton and run by Marcelina Amelia, who uses various different mediums to create and sell artwork. We caught up with Marcelina at her studio in Hove to find out more about her and the art of running an independent studio and brand.

 

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HOW DID MESH STUDIO BEGIN LIFE? 

Mesh studio came from my DIY approach. Rather than waiting for a dream commission to come knocking on my door I decided to do it myself. I needed an outlet for all of my ideas, as I have a lot of them but little time to see them through.

One day it just clicked in my head – “I need to start my own art brand”. This way I can publish my own magazines, collaborate with other people and basically bring to life all of the things I wish existed. I think I sometimes had a hard time describing myself or what I do as the way I work is very non-linear. Before I start a project I usually write a lot, I photograph, research, mood board, mock-up tiny models etc. and then decide which medium to use.

 

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So it all started over a year ago, I was toying with the idea and then suddenly I just decided to call it a MESH STUDIO as this is how my brain works. I combine all those different pieces of information coming from different mediums, meeting them in the middle to make a final pattern/piece.

It is still very early days but I’m very excited about the endless possibilities it could bring!

 

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IS ALL THE ARTWORK PRODUCED BY YOURSELF?

Almost. It is all designed by me but I have collaborated with a brand HEIHO on a range of flags and cosmetic bags that they have produced. And very recently I have invited my friend Kamila (silKKjewellery) to work on a jewellery line together and I’m very excited by the results!

It will launch online soon at www.mesh-studio.co.uk. But most things are handmade by me, I have someone helping with t-shirts, but I print all of my limited edition screen-prints on paper myself.

 

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE JOB/WORK?

I don’t want to sound cliché, but creating is like air to me. I just feel so happy that I can finally do it full time! I love making, and I love this feeling of excitement and freedom, I feel like I am in a state of endless possibilities.

 

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WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THEMES AND INSPIRATIONS IN YOUR ARTWORK?

My first line of t-shirts was heavily inspired by women’s empowerment. I seek inspiration everywhere; from my childhood memories to polish folklore to Catholic iconography. But mainly my inspirations come from my feelings. For me, feelings are difficult to convey in words.

My latest series are very much about wellness and self-acceptance. Mental health is an important subject for me too. But it is never too serious as I like the juxtaposition and contrast. For example, this is the summary of the story behind my latest screen-print ‘Sunbathing’: “I was sitting at the beach with my partner in crime, aka Wild Beaver, when we came up with this idea. Letting our bodies soak in the sun, we thought of the Broad City episode about seasonal affective disorder and it all clicked together. I’m still considering buying a ‘Sad Lamp’, all the while hoping this print will help me cure my seasonal depression.”

 

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DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE MEDIUMS/FORMATS?

Drawing is always a favourite for me, but I do also love screenprinting, it’s quite magical.

 

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WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?

I love listening to podcasts, ‘Art for your ears’ by Jealous Curator is my favourite. I did have a phase of listening to podcasts about minimalism. I like audiobooks too, my recent reads include: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.

 

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WHY BRIGHTON?

I really like it here, it is calmer than London but has a lot of going on too. Also, it seems like people are about 80% happier here. I have a sponge personality so I do like to be surrounded by positivity and open-mindedness. I do love London but after 7 years of living there I felt like a tuna in a can.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MESH STUDIO?

Hopefully, it will grow and I will be able to do more and more! I’m hoping to expand, meaning more products, more collaborations, more events, more possibilities. My dream would be to have a studio/gallery space where all the magic would happen and people could come in/join.

 

 

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