A weekly podcast for creative entrepreneurs looking for pithy, actionable advice on how to thrive commercially and creatively.
The podcast is hosted by me, Calandre Orton, a business consultant and mentor for creatives. I will tackle a different topic each week from setting the vision, managing your time, handling feedback, building your team, giving back, staying in your lane, sustaining inspiration, collaborating, being brave, starting again to name a few. More often than not, I will have a creative entrepreneur guest join me to share their story and advice. I've got men and women across a huge range of creative industries lined up - I hope that you will hear new stories and fresh ideas.
Being 'up with the lark' is about getting up and going and my hope is that something you hear on this podcast twill resonate with you and enable you to make a positive change to your business. I hope that you will find it encouraging and challenging in equal measure!
Persevere with Storytelling || Maya Njie
Welcome to Episode Six of the Perseverance Series.
We all know wonderful people who can tell a great story - the perfect person to sit next to at dinner. They can make a story about getting on a ferry, going to the supermarket or attending parents evening incredibly funny or they can bring a place, a meal or a culture to life in very few words. The same is true of brands and businesses. There are those who can draw us in to their narrative, their vision and so much so that we want to be a part of it.
Today's guest is a wonderful storyteller with whom we will explore the topic 'persevere with storytelling'. Maya Njie is the founder of her eponymous perfume brand based in London. Her background lies in surface design and photography but, inspired by an old family photo album, she set about trying to capture a moment in time, by way of scent.
She is self taught and her clear focus is on high quality artisanal blends mixed in small, fresh batches, filtered and bottled individually by hand. Her singular ability to bring together a photograph, a colour palate, a scent is captivating and why I was so keen to interview her on this wonderful topic.
Maya Njie: http://www.mayanjie.com
Persevere with Tradition || Wax Atelier
Welcome to Episode Five in this latest series entitled Perseverance.
In May 2020, The Craft Council produced an extensive report on the Market For Craft (it is certainly worth a read). They reported on a new generation of craft makers and consumers - I couldn't agree more! A renewed respect for technique, the digital age and a desire for experience over transaction have all played their part in bringing craft and making back to the fore.
If you are looking for a masterclass in traditional craft, quiet understated excellence alongside a purity of purpose, aesthetic and style, you have come to the right place. Lola Lely and Yesenia Thibault-Picazo are the founders of Wax Atelier based in East London. They re-visit traditional techniques ranging from candle dipping and paper-making to crafted textiles using natural wax. This is a far cry from birthday candles on a Colin the Caterpillar cake, tea lights in jam jars and hastily collected candle stubs in a power cut. This is the magical majesty of the wax itself. They are quite the hit - they are currently working with Toast, Laura Jackson is a fan and they are stocked by a delightful list of considered and stylish stockists. Their star is most certainly on the rise.
I am going to find out more about how they met and the beginnings of the business, their approach to the making itself, the highs and the challenges, scaling and growing, new projects and their view on the key to perseverance.
I would suggest that you pop over to Toast and enjoy the video that Wax Atelier made with them earlier this year - it will leave you super keen to know more and with a lingering visual in your mind. Then you will enjoy this episode all the more.
Persevere with Values || Becky Okell and Huw Thomas of Paynter Jackets
Welcome to the latest in the series on perseverance - whatever creative industry you are in or whatever stage your career is at, whether you are starting up or scaling up, perseverance is the name of the game.
And in this episode we are going to delve into 'persevering with your values'. If you have worked with me, you'll know about y frankly obsessive preoccupation with values. That might be defining them, refining them, nurturing them, communicating them, protecting them and, to be honest, just sticking by them!
There is always so much to distract and dissuade us from this approach to business and never more than now. And yet today's guests seem to step further into their value driven approach with each new season and challenge.
They are Becky Okell and Huw Thomas, founders of Paynter Jacket. They make limited edition jackets sold in 'batches' four times a year. They release hundreds of jackets in each batches that sell out in minutes, if not seconds. But this is no hype brand. This is about bringing meaning back to clothing and changing what it means to be sustainable. This no-waste business model is certainly the business model of the future and one I often use as a case study with clients.
I have watched them from afar and marvelled at what they have built. Then the day before recording, they proved my hunch right. I sent them an invitation to be on the podcast and their response was swift, insightful and uplifting. And just when I thought spontaneity had left us forever, we recorded this episode just 24 hours later.
They are spontaneous, obsessed with learning, are all about community, transparency and being uncompromising in all areas of the business. They describe running their business as 'one long conversation' and I hope that you will enjoy a moment to hear a snippet of that wonderful dialogue between two extraordinary founders.
Persevere with Performance || Xander Parish
Welcome to Episode Three in our series on Perseverance. In this episode, we explore 'Persevere with Performance'. I know that the performing arts have been woefully under-represented on this podcast as they aren't, in the traditional sense, 'entrepreneurial'. But in fact, I think that we have a great deal to learn from those who dedicate themselves to performance especially in a pandemic.
Our guest is Xander Parish. He is the first Western Principal Ballet Dancer at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia. Xander's commitment to his art form is extraordinary. His worth ethic and singularity of purpose is more than inspiring. It is a call to action.
His story would be well told by Peter Morgan - from his early years in Yorkshire to life at the Royal Ballet School in London and now in Russia, talent and perseverance shine through. That and a love of cricket! We find out about the boy ballerina, embracing adventure in Russia, what performance means to him, the role his faith plays, remaining positive during lockdown and how we can all persevere to see opportunities in these strange strange times.
Persevere with Tuning Out The Noise || Cassandra Ellis of Atelier Ellis
Welcome to Episode Two in our series entitled “Perseverance”.
Atelier Ellis make quiet, beautiful handmade paint to help you tell the story of your home. Founder Cassandra Ellis, is queen of the understated, the considered, the cocooning. It is apparently effortless and deeply atmospheric. Even the hand-painted paint chart is thing of beauty. She advises her customers to ‘tune out the noise’ of what is in vogue, fashionable, everywhere else and instead asks us all to tell our own story.
I think that this approach is a brilliant one both in terms of our homes and our businesses and careers. We explore how to tune into your own aesthetic and approach, how to tune out the noise creatively and commercially and how to persevere with all of this despite comparison, challenges and set backs.
Persevere with Your Passion || Skye McAlpine
Welcome to our new podcast series entitled ‘Perseverance’. It seems to me that is what we are all going to have to focus on as we head into 2021. And we are starting at a great place, ‘Persevere with Your Passions’. We are all going to need to do this and to inspire and encourage us is cookery author, Skye McAlpine.
I have often admired Skye’s wonderful kitchen creations, marvelling at how she manages to turn something quite simple into a feast. Whether in Venice or London, lunch in a heatwave or supper on a chilly winter’s night, Skye makes me want to cook what she easts. And, importantly, makes it seems actually possible that I might attempt it and not end up sweating and swearing in the kitchen while friends chat and drink without me.
Good ingredients, good plates and good friends seem to be the name of the game. A brilliant recipe if ever there was one.
We talk about where Skye’s passion for food began, how she developed that passion into a career, her latest book ‘A Table for Friends’, how she continues to nurture her love of food and hospitality and how we can all continue to persevere with our own passions.