SUPPORTING CREATIVE BUSINESSES AND SHOPPING SMALL

The OYI section at ND is the perfect place for newly launched creative businesses from all corners of design to flourish and develop their unique design brand. Creative collaborations are often born from designers exhibiting together for a week over the summer at the Business Design Centre. 

We recently caught up with Arnelle Woker, a One Year In 2019 exhibitor, to find out out how her business has flourished since ND19. From teaming up with a fellow OYI exhibitor, to achieving a dream commission, Arnelle has taken this design year by storm.

Carry on reading for a sneak peek into the future of her brand and find out what her top tips are for any designers contemplating applying to exhibit for One Year In 2021, and the perfect Christmas gift ideas from previous OYI exhibitors #SupportSmall.

LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE CHRISTMAS GIFT? Browse OYI 2019 alumni shops below.

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ADELEWDESIGN

This makers homeware collection, inspired by the Bauhaus movement, is a perfect elegant and decorative touch to any interior.

From designs following colour trends, to monochrome delights, the shop is fully stocked to suit everyone’s taste. 

HESTIA BLANKETS

A guaranteed warmth and glow will be brought to your rooms with this award-winning textiles studio’s contemporary colour combinations and use of Harris Tweed.

These homely blankets are designed to brighten up the darkest winter evening.

KATIE PUTT

Delicate watercolours of botanical and natural forms are this illustrators chosen motifs. The drawings are textured with ink, bringing them to life. 

Ranging from notebooks, to wall hangings, to stunning prints, browse the intricate collection below. 

ARNELLE WOKER

ILLUSTRATOR, 2019 OYI EXHIBITOR

@arnellewoker

It has been a while! What have you been up to since exhibiting at New Designers?

What a year it has been! Since exhibiting at New Designers I have expanded my range of greetings and stationery. I have started offering wallpaper designs in collaboration with a company that is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

My wrapping paper designs have been featured in Elle Decoration and I’ve managed to work on my dream commission with Mollie Makes magazine. I also teamed up with a fellow OYI exhibitor, Laura Kinley from Kinley Handmade Jewellery on a limited edition of silver brooches, based on my line drawings.

We have seen a lot more support for small creative businesses recently, do you have any top tips for designers who have just launched their design business? How do you promote your business?

Small businesses have proved just how resilient they can be and a massive silver lining is to see so many people pledging to shop small this year. This feeling of support and community has honestly been one of the most wonderful things to come out of 2020.

My advice for anyone starting a business is to talk about it as much as you can! Reach out to various publications, speak to your audience using video on instagram stories (even if that’s very scary and cringe inducing – you can start small), build an audience for your newsletters, take part in IRL or online markets, engage with other makers and ask each other questions. There is so much value in engaging and sharing with your customers as much as possible. Positive word of mouth goes a very long way when you’re just starting out. And even when you think people may be bored of hearing what you have to say – repeat yourself again. Remaining visible allows your customers to get to know you, get to know what your values are and what you’re offering them. Consistency builds trust and trust leads to sales.

What would be your advice for anyone contemplating applying for One Year In?

For anyone contemplating OYI 2021, I would spend some time getting really clear on your “why”.

What are you offering, what makes you unique, what is your brand story… If this is really clear right at the beginning, it makes it so much easier to talk confidently about your business. Before exhibiting, practice talking about your art and your work (even if that means practicing in the shower or in front of the mirror). And allow people to feel that contagious energy that you feel when you speak to what you do and what your core values are.

If you’re excited about it, I promise you it’s infectious and other people will be excited with you!

Can you give us a sneak peek into the future? What are your plans for 2021?

I’m feeling positive and motivated for 2021. I am looking into doing more jewellery design and stepping into homewares. So very excited about pushing the limits with my illustration work!

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To support creative businesses, shop small! Visit all of Arnelle’s shops below:

arnellewoker.com

www.fabricbank.co.za

Instagram: @arnellewoker

As New Designers 2020 could not take place in it’s normal capacity the industry handpicked line-up of OYI exhibitors was postponed until 2021. 

For the first time we are excited to introduce two of the exhibitors who will be joining us in the summer to represent the OYI 2021 cohort. We caught up with accessory designer, Alexandra Klimek and furniture designers, Porter Trundle to see what they had been creating during the pandemic.

Keep reading to have an exclusive first meet of our OYI exhibitors and discover the newly launched design brands that will be presented in the summer at New Designers 2021. 

ALEXANDRA KLIMEK 

ACCESSORY DESIGNER, OYI 2021 EXHIBITOR 

@alexandra_klimek

As a physical New Designers 2020 was unable to take shape in our usual form, your place as a One Year In exhibitor was moved to 2021. Tell us, how have you spent your time this year? How have you plans changed?

I had a lot of plans this year that I had to cancel or postpone, including launching my online store and taking part in the One Year In exhibition. Instead, I focused all my energy on staying creative and developing new ideas.

One of my major achievements this year was participating in The Independent Handbag Designer Awards 2020. My products were nominated in 3 categories – Best Overall Handbag in Style and Design, Best Handmade Handbag and Best Mini Bag. Winning the Best Overall Handbag in Style and Design category spurred me on to create a new collection of bags that I will be launching in March this year and showcasing at the OYI exhibition and in August at the NY NOW trade show.

What would be your advice for anyone applying to exhibit for One Year In 2021?

My advice for designers, makers and crafts enthusiasts applying for One Year In would be to never stop believing in yourself. It’s your career and life, and nobody cares about it as much as you do (and don’t let the hiccough of 2020 get you down)!

We have seen a lot more support for small creative businesses recently, do you have any top tips for emerging design businesses? How do you promote your business?

As this year brought some limitations to promoting my products physically, I mainly do it online but try to stay creative while doing it.

As for tips for emerging businesses – believe in your product and yourself. Do not expect results straight away, remember they will come with time and hard work.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the future? What are your plans for 2021?

There are really exciting projects and the new collection coming up in the 2021, so keep ALEXANDRA KLIMEK’S accessories on your fashion radar.

The new collection will be available at my online store at the beginning of March 2021. June 2021 will be a month dedicated to long awaited OYI exhibition.

In August 2021 ALEXANDRA KLIMEK’S accessories will be showcased at NY NOW trade show (the place at the trade show was part of the award for winning the main category at the Independent Handbag Designer Awards 2020).

To support creative businesses and shop small, contact Alexander on either of the below for a commissioned accessory design:

Instagram: @alexandra_klimek

www.alexandraklimek.com

PORTER + TRUNDLE

FURNITURE DESIGNER, OYI 2021 EXHIBITOR 

@porter_trundle

As a physical New Designers 2020 was unable to take shape in our usual form, your place as a One Year In exhibitor was moved to 2021. Tell us, how have you spent your time this year? How have your plans changed?

At the beginning of the year we were lucky enough to be selected by the UK Craft Council for their 2020 Hothouse Talent Programme so when the pandemic hit we were able to focus on this programme. As a result a large portion of our year has been working with them on our business plan, updating our website and creating marketing plans to ensure we’re in the best place to tackle 2021 and beyond.

We’ve also had a lot of fun gaining new skills with the addition of a lathe to our workshop, so expect some turned objects popping up at ND2021!

What would be your advice for anyone applying to exhibit for One Year In 2021?

It’s a really great opportunity to get exposure for your work so take the time to get some really good photographs of your products as this will help them make their decision.

We have seen a lot more support for small creative businesses recently, do you have any top tips for emerging design businesses? How do you promote your business?

We think all design businesses, whether new or old, need to be responsive to a changing environment and emerging businesses are in a better place than most to do this. Now more than ever we think it’s time to be proactive – gather with your friends and studio buddies to put on pop-up shows and embrace opportunities when they’re thrown your way.

This September we worked with other makers in our workshop to open our studio for the London Design Festival Peckham Trail. At the time we weren’t sure anyone would turn up, but as a result of our participation we were heavily promoted on social media and have been included in numerous trade magazines in Europe including Elle Decoration, Vogue, Feeling Wonen // Gael Maison and the hardcover book, “The Power of Craftsmanship: From Passion to Mastery” produced by Label in Poland.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the future? What are your plans for 2021?

We’re planning to continue to build on our portfolio of work, working on a new collection of playful objects that give agency back to the buyer, enabling them to interchange components and explore colour relationships for themselves. Hopefully they’ll be on display at a number of pop-up exhibitions and of course, New Designers 2021!

To support creative businesses and shop small, contact Porter + Trundle on either of the below for more information on their bespoke designs:

Instagram: @porter_trundle

www.portertrundle.com

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