A podcast for creative entrepreneurs looking for pithy, actionable advice on how to thrive commercially and creatively.
Christine Omorere & Roshu Shrestha || United In Design
Welcome to Episode 62 and a rather special follow up episode. Back in November 2020, I had the pleasure of speaking with Alexandra Dauley and Sophie Ashby co-founders of United in Design. United in Design is a charitable project working to tackle the lack of diversity in the design industries.
The conversation that we had was honest and moving. It was focused on practical action. It was about hope. And today we see hope realised in that we are joined by Christine Omorere and Roshu Shreshtha. They are both former United in Design apprentices.
They have recently worked on a very special project with Bernie de la Cuona, of de la Cuona, for the WOW!House at the Design Centre. We hear all about their backgrounds and the United in Design apprenticeship, how the collaboration with de la Cuona came about, the WOW!House and their plans for the future.
Tickets to the WOW!House: www.dcch.co.uk/wowhouse/
United in Design: www.unitedindesign.com
de la Cuona: www.delecuona.com
Christabel Blackburn || Building On Success
Welcome to Episode 61 and a topic I am delighted to be discussing - how to build on success. Too often preoccupied with what could go wrong, we rarely openly discuss “what could go right”? How does success impact us? Does it offer freedom or pressure? How do we sustain it?
Far from an air of arrogance, for me building on success is the antidote to a burnout culture that celebrates one hit wonders and unsustainable creative and business practices. Taking the long view, building something that lasts, shifting away from feast and famine, fads and fashion makes sense to me.
To explore this I am delighted to be joined by artist Christabel Blackburn. She is a London-based painter whose work and process I have admired from a distance. We find out about her work, winning Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, how her sense of success has changed and developed, how she has built on that accolade, her latest exhibition at Alex Eagle and what the future holds.
Christabel Blackburn: www.christabelblackburn.com
Alex Eagle: https://alexeagle.com/collections/christabel-blackburn
Tabi Jackson Gee || Chelsea Flower Show
In this spring-time cluster of episodes, I look to the great outdoors, to gardens, garden design, landscaping and all things green and, in particular, that great institution Chelsea Flower Show. The show is a place to luxuriate in the great garden renaissance of the 2020s and to explore current themes, preoccupations and narratives.
For this episode, we are joined by garden designer and writer Tabi Jackson-Gee. She writes for a plethora of publications and I particularly enjoy her articles for the FT and House & Garden which explore varied and intriguing subjects which can also be found within her own garden design.
Of late, these have included ‘the darling buds of decay’, garden lighting which supports rather than disrupts or confuses wildlife, the extraordinary naming of flowers, as well as practical concepts of using salvaged materials, planting for colour and finding the perfect garden fence.
Her gardens are locally minded, sensitive to and conscious of surroundings, they tell stories and are a delight to be in.
All this equips her to steer us through the great maze of Chelsea Flower Show. Tabi tells us about her own experiences of Chelsea, how the show is evolving over time, who to look out for this year, the themes of rewinding, mental health and the planet and what she is most looking forward to seeing.
Lottie Delamain || Chelsea Flower Show
In these spring-time episodes, I look to the great outdoors, to gardens, garden design, landscaping and, in particular, that great institution Chelsea Flower show.
Far from its past reputation as a little ‘fuddy duddy’, Chelsea is now a place to luxuriate in the great garden renaissance of the 2020s. It is an opportunity to explore current themes, preoccupations and meanings found within the natural world and how we experience it.
In this episode I am joined by Lottie Delamain. She is one of the Garden Designers exhibiting at Chelsea 2022. Working with Fashion Revolution, the garden explores the relationship between plants, textiles and colour dyes and prompts us to ask ‘what is in my clothes’? There is simply so much more to that question that meets the eye, so much to consider, to conflate and to contrast.
Lottie shares her story, the move from textile to garden design, her experience of Chelsea Flower Show, the Fashion Revolution Garden, the behind-the-scenes practicalities of making it happen and, importantly, the future of the garden once the gates of Chelsea close.
Papier || Start With Paper And Pen
You might be forgiven for thinking that you've downloaded an episode of Elizabeth Day's How to Fail when you hear the story of this episode. I had the honour of interviewing Taymoor Atighetchi, founder of Papier, some weeks ago over Zoom. I'll be honest. I made a huge mistake. I failed to press record. It was a horrifying realisation. By some miracle Taymoor's PR team had recorded the call. However the quality isn't perfect. But the lesson I learnt is. The consequence of my conversation with Taymoor has significantly changed my approach to my own business. But that is for another day. For now, please excuse the technical difficulties and enjoy one of the best conversations that I have had about business. I'm quite sure that you, too, will be changed by it.
In this episode we start with paper and pen. Taymoor is a captivating example of the power of sitting down with a blank page. In a literal sense you might be writing a menu for a party, inviting a loved one to a celebration, saying thank you, scribbling a frantic to do list or journaling and reflecting on your day,. Metaphorically a blank page offers the opportunity of a new way to do business, a new combination of concepts, fresh investment and new markets to explore.
Taymoor knows more about a blank page than most. Papier is, to my mind, that perfect combination of analogue and tech, of tradition and the current moment, of breadth and depth. In this episode we consider the significance of his childhood, what drew him to paper, why Papier, his belief in big vision, in embracing growth and growing state-side.
So grab a pen, get ready to scribble because there are quite a few golden nuggets to be found.
If Only If || Start With The Classics
Welcome to the latest episode in our Start Series. Today we Start with the Classics with Emily Campbell of nightwear brand If Only If.
For me a classic is something timeless, of quality, of influence, an outstanding example that for reasons not always easy to articulate stands apart. A classic may come in and out of the limelight, be refreshed and reimagined, but they remain.
Examples are numerous and personal. My list is long and includes, without doubt, the nightdress. I consider Emily Campbell, of If Only If, to be a custodian of the classic nightdress. Their nighties are beautifully designed, using beautiful materials. They are for all women, at every stage of life, in every generation and of all sizes and styles.
We discuss how her mother began the business, Emily’s decision to leave teaching and take on the business into a new era, the changes she has made and the impact they have had, how the business continues to celebrate classics and women and what the future holds.
Often when listening to podcasts/ radio/ audio interviews it’s the guest that drives how interesting the episode is, but here both the interviewer and interviewee are equalling thrilling to listen to. Calandra is beautifully eloquent, generous in her questioning and comes across as genuinely interested in her guests and immensely switched on.
Helpful & inspiring
Calandre has a very natural interview style and has managed to gather natural and inspiring people together. Highly recommend.
Loving the Up With The Lark Brand Values series. Informative and inspiring!