I spotted Lucy's beautifully intricate work at #MadeGood Festival recently. She works from Folkestone making artworks which make life that little bit prettier. I wanted to know a little more about her inspirations and how the festival and the School for Creative Start Ups has helped her to develop her 'art as commerce' business model...
Lucy, what’s your story & how did you get to where you are today? So I live with my Husband, daughter Phoebe (8 months) and my cat Gru in a little cottage in Folkestone, Kent. After completing a textiles degree in 2011 I completed a number of internships and worked at number of different part time jobs. I was really confused about what I actually wanted to do with my career. At the same time I was offered a stand at a Christmas market and said yes without actually having anything to sell… I worked frantically for 2 months putting together a collection based on my degree project. The market went really well, I sold out of cards, got great feedback and secured my first stockist. It felt great and this is when I realised that starting my own business could be the career I was searching for! A little more ‘throwing myself in at the deep end’ later and here I am working full time on my business Lucy Alice Designs. It hasn’t been easy and in 2 years, I have got married, had a baby, exhibited at a number of shows and trade shows and managed to get my work into 40 wonderful shops across the UK. I may be a little crazy but it has been the best 2 years and I’m excited (if a little scared!) for the future of the business!
Can you tell me a little more about how the school for creative start ups helped you? Amongst all the brilliant advice and support S4CS has been amazing in terms of networking, I only moved to Folkestone 2 years ago and the fact that I now have so many creative (and very lovely) friends that are all in the same boat as me and live on my doorstep is amazing. We all bounce off each other and have helped each other out through our own hands on experiences, there is a real sense of support and camaraderie. S4CS also gave me the courage to take the business full time which is defiantly a massive step in (I hope) the right direction!
What was it like to be part of #MadeGood Festival at the Old Selfridges hotel? It was great to be in such a great location with such a diverse mixture of businesses, there was a real buzz and I was very proud to be there!
What did you want to be when you were 10 years old? I wanted to be an art teacher.
Which uni did you go to and what did you study? Bucks New Uni in High Wycombe. I studied Textiles and Surface Designs.
What’s the proudest moment of your career to date? Strolling down a street in London and seeing my work in shop window.
Which project has been your career highlight? I recently made 100 brooches as favours for a big gala dinner, it was an honour to know that every lady in that room would be opening a Lucy Alice Box with a limited edition bird brooch inside!
Do you love or loathe social media? If I am honest I am not very good with social media I find that if I go onto the computer I will end up doing the exact opposite to what I am suppose to be doing however this is my one big challenge for this year, I will get the hang of it and put everything I learnt at S4CS into practice. I used buffer before the show to schedule my tweets which really helped me focus and defiantly freed up a lot of time! I would say I do love it though, twitter is great for finding out about new shows, makers and so many interesting links to advice for small businesses. I also really like instagram as it its quick and is a great source of inspiration!
Which tools do you use to create stuff and what is your creative process? I would say my main tool is photoshop. I will sketch out an idea, pop it into photoshop play around with colour, placement and bam hello product! (with a lot of phaffing about and procrastination in-between)
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere and anywhere, books, days out, the garden…however inspiration usually comes right when I have a lot of paperwork to be getting on with so I always carry a notepad and scribble things down!
What do you love about what you do? The flexibility, the people I get to meet and the fact that everyday is different
What’s your favourite music to work to? I recently found an old i-Pod that I thought I had lost years ago, I have been putting it on shuffle and…wow there are some corkers on there but bringing back some very happy memories! They are the songs I used to listen to in the first year of university so it feels great to listen to the same songs whilst knowing that I am still able to spend my days pursuing my creativity!
What do you spread on your toast in the morning? Peanut butter
What are you working on at the moment? I am working on some summer collections including bright yellows, turquoise and pinks. I am also in the process of designing a new range of wall art launching this Christmas!