Shopkeeper Spotlight: Dowse

Located in the heart of Brighton’s vibrant North Laine (brimming with independent stores and cafes), Dowse proudly flies the flag for indie design.Creating jewellery and prints in-house and sourcing wares, with care and consideration, from designers across the world (especially from the super-stylish Scandi countries), this beautifully curated shop offers thoughtful design which is accessible to everyone.We spoke to owner Susannah Dowse to hear more…

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Hi Susannah! First things first, why did you decide to call your store Dowse?

Dowse is my family name and the name I designed under before opening the shop. The name comes from dowsing - a technique for searching for water, minerals, or anything invisible. The name was too perfect not to use for a shop where we search out and showcase emerging designers and makers.

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Why did you start the store? 

I’d been working from a home studio for many years and had decided that I wanted to get out and interact with the world again! I was originally going to get a space in a shared studio, but then I begun to think about having a studio that was open to the public and I could showcase the work of other designers alongside my own.

I live in nearby Hove, and one day a shop in my neighbourhood, that had been boarded up for years had a note in the window saying it had recently been renovated and was now available. The timing was too perfect. So I decided to take the space and opened a month later. So it was less about a big plan and more about taking an opportunity that arose and running with it. I ran the shop in the Hove space for five years and have now recently moved to the North Laine area of Brighton. 

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What did you do before starting Dowse?

I have quite a varied career history. I did a very conceptual and theoretical Fine Art degree, but that hadn’t really been a good fit for me. So when I graduated I drifted a bit, djing, designing & making clothes, basically indulging all my other interests. Eventually I pulled those experiences together and began working freelance in fashion, working for many different kinds of clients creating garment samples, surface print design and illustration. I also worked with a textile recycling charity as the head designer of a clothing range made from recycled textiles, with this my interest in sustainability and ethics in design developed.

This lead to a period lecturing in art colleges on sustainability in design. Alongside this, I had a friend who is a jeweller and I began working with her on a range of jewellery. And it was from here that Dowse, as it now exists, developed.

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How would you describe your style? 

I’ve always had a love of abstract and pop art, mid-century interiors and the clean fluid lines of the Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. Geometry, simple lines and forms feed my aesthetic and influence what I design and also what I’m attracted to in the work of the other designers that I showcase in the shop. 

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As well as making Dowse’s jewellery and art prints, you also stock wares from others. How do you source your products?

Many of the things I find are from keeping an eye on the usual suspects like Pinterest and Instagram. Getting out there and not just visiting the big trade shows is important to find new exciting people, they’re normally found at smaller art and design markets.

I also go to Copenhagen every year and discover wonderful things every time I go. I don’t stock things that have been mass manufactured in the Far East. I just can’t trust that someone hasn’t been exploited in a factory and that doesn't sit well with me. So everything we sell is made with care and consideration on a smaller scale by the designers and makers.

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What are your favourite finds so far?

One of my most significant Copenhagen discoveries was Studio Arhoj. A ceramic studio I started stocking about four years ago and I believe I was the first shop in the UK to carry their range. They're now much more established and have a real cult following. I send their pieces all over the world, as people hunt down their special and unique designs and glazes. The recent revitalisation of ceramics by the new wave of young makers has been wonderful to see. And it seems there are quite a few ceramic addicts out there!

One of our current lines that’s a big favourite are the hand made ceramics by Quartier Ceramics, made in Lisbon by one man, Romain, at his potters wheel. I can't wait till our latest delivery from him arrives next month! I also love the well designed, simple and British made wares of Studio Wald. They make great paper goods and a lovely flower press. 

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You're clearly passionate about what you do. What do you love most about your chosen vocation?

As a designer, being able to interact directly with my customers and see their response (good or bad!) to new designs is great.

As a shopkeeper I really enjoy being able to tell the story of the person behind the objects we sell. Highlighting the process that goes in to the making of these beautiful things by an individual rather than a big company. Supporting emerging designers and sustainable practice is a big part of why I do what I do. Finding good design that's actually affordable and not out of reach is also something that's a challenge that I love. I'm on a bit of a mission to make good and thoughtful design accessible to everyone. 

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If you could choose just one product from the store right now, what would it be?

I love the sculptural forms of the Hana vase series by Arhoj. One will be making it home before too long. 

Oh, they are gorgeous! Do you have any advice for other people thinking of setting up a shop?

Make what you sell matter, be passionate about it. This will carry you through the tricky times.

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You have such a lovely Instagram feed - how does social media help your business?

I love Instagram. It's inspiring and impressive what amazing feeds people create. I wish I had more time to concentrate on it, it can be an art form in itself. It is really important to reach the right audience for what you do, so for any small business or designer it's as a really great tool to do that. 

Your new location in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine is renowned for its many independent stores. How does it feel to be part of the community?

I love Brighton. It's got a vibrancy to it that you don't often get in cities this size. New people are always arriving and so it's constantly evolving. I don't think there's many places with this many indies in such numbers. It's great to be a part that community. 

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What has been your Dowse career highlights so far?

There have been many great moments, mixed with challenging ones! Moving to a new shop space after five years of running a shop, that in itself felt quite a big achievement to do on my own with no investors - remaining truly independent. 

As a designer, it was a real highlight being commissioned by The Design Museum to create a collection of jewellery exclusively for them to accompany an exhibition on architect Louis Kahn. 

Photography: Emma Croman

Dowse, 27 Gloucester Rd, Brighton

dowsedesign.co.uk / Follow on Instagram

Meet the Maker: O-M Ceramic

O-M or Object-Matter Ceramic is the product of artist Carrie Lau, working from her studio in Los Angeles.With playful forms and striking surface pattern, Carrie’s designs have earned her cult status among fans of modern pottery, and, for Carrie, encourage mindful making.

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Carrie Lau first fell in love with Los Angeles, and making ceramics in 2014. Previously working for a Hong Kong-based fashion magazine, graphic products were clearly in Carrie’s creative blood, but her journey to ceramics was almost accidental. ‘I decided to come to LA for a graphic design program, since then I have been working in graphic design and art direction,’ explains Carrie. ‘but about four years ago my friend introduced me to ceramics and I fell in love with it as a hobby; I got tons of support from friends and family who encouraged me to join a craft market.’

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine
Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

O-M Ceramic’s range includes playful cups, contemporary planters, striking glaze-dipped vessels and colour-splattered mugs. ‘The journey has been great - fun and challenging,’ continues Carrie, and her genuine consideration for creative practice through mindfulness results in playful but considered design. ‘Objects {everything} around you are made up of matter, it has its own beauty,’ she muses.

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

‘I get inspiration from surroundings, experience, communication, interaction, travel, landscapes, other artists, and so on.’ This widely-drawn inspiration results in playful shapes with splashes of delightful and surprising colour. ‘I love studying colour and shape, they give me a lot of room to play around and see the possibilities,’ confirms Carrie. ‘I sketch and draw here and there, and when I come to make ceramics, it may or may not turn out as what I was planning - there is always a surprise which I love!’

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

This flexible ethos has led to O-M’s distinct aesthetic, with a contemporary vibe yet reverence to the nature of clay. ‘My work is playful, minimal and modern with a bunch of colours and graphics,’ she adds, but making the transition from two to three-dimensional design wasn’t simple. ‘It took some time for me to craft by hand, since I am so used to creating digitally,’ she describes. ‘There’s also a blockage of perfection - how to make [the pieces] look perfect,’ continues Carrie. ‘The more that I do, the more I realise the beauty of handmade work is the uniqueness of itself.’

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

With this modern expression of graphic design influencing Carrie’s work, O-M is singled out among the popularity of handmade ceramics through its bold minimalism - she was making terrazzo-style glazes and Miami-style graphics long before high street brands picked it up. ‘My collections are full of colour & graphics with a minimal approach,’ adds Carrie. However, Carrie’s audience is steadfast in its love for handmade in whatever form that takes. ‘I have met a lot of people during craft markets, art shows, events and workshops that are also into design and even creatives themselves,’ she considers. ‘They really appreciate the time and effort of the things that are made by hand - it means a lot to me and motivates me to do more.’

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

Refreshingly, this doesn’t seem to impact Carrie’s making processes, nor does it pressure her to create something outside of her aesthetic or ethos. ‘I’m not led by seasons or trends, it’s more about realising my sketches,’ says Carrie, ‘but I also enjoy collaborating with different brands on exclusive collections.’

Meet the Maker - O-M Ceramics - 91 Magazine

Carrie enjoys the flexibility of life as a freelance artist, valuing the unique balance of work and personal life. However, like many other makers, she finds it tricky to switch off her creativity. ‘I work pretty much every day, since I work from home,’ Carrie describes. ‘It’s easy to work here and there when you have a little bit of free time - it’s just so easy to keep working.’ And like other creatives, each working day is completely different to the next. ‘A typical day starts with morning coffee, then I walk my dog, Bowl, for a bit,’ begins Carrie. ‘Starting work depends on what projects I have on hand - sometimes I will be making ceramics or drawing, some days I will be taking pictures for my website and social media, or packing and shipping ceramics.’ This flexible approach is as unique as each of Carrie’s pieces, and easily as fabulously interesting.

Quick-Fire Questions:

Describe your work in three words?

Fun, minimal and colourful

What are your making rituals?

Meditation and drawing

Tea or coffee?

Coffee

Mountains or sea?

Both!

Night owl or early bird?

Night owl

I wish someone had told me...

The importance of presence.

Find out more about O-M Ceramic via omceramic.com

91 is pinning... indie brands

It’s a bit of a quick post on the blog today as things are a little hectic at 91 HQ right now. The AW18 issue goes to print TODAY! I’m busy preparing for the delivery of boxes and boxes of magazines in a few weeks, addressing envelopes of our pre-orders, getting the digital version ready and all the other admin that comes with it. I’m also getting ready for my creative business workshop with Inspired Collective on the 27th (this one is sold out, but there’s another one for sale at the mo, happening in Nov). Anyway, I just wanted to share what we’ve been pinning of late. A new board - Indie Brands - is where I’m collating all those gorgeous independent makers, designers and shops that we love. Here’s a little taster, but do pop to our Pinterest page for more. It’s very much a work in progress, so we will continue to add to it, so make sure to follow!

Stylish co-working spaces

These days more and more of us our working for ourselves, but being at home all day doesn’t suit everyone. It can be easy to start feeling lonely or develop cabin fever spending too much time in the space you live as well as work. Thankfully, co-working spaces are now popping up everywhere, many of which have went to town on their design and aesthetic, proving that office spaces don’t need to be dull, grey, uninspiring boxes. Sophie Warren-Smith discovers five of the most stylish work hubs from around the world…

The Wing - female only co-working space New York
The Wing - female only co-working spaces - New York

NEW YORK

WhereThe Wing, various locations in the US.

The Wing is a unique networking and community space that’s exclusively designed for women. We are in love with their chic aesthetic and colour palette of millennial pink, pastel blues, russet and olive green.

What they offer

They have four beautifully curated locations - Flatiron, Soho (above top), Dumbo (above bottom) and DC with San Francisco launching in October 2018. There are two membership options, Single Location which gives you your own space, priced at $215 monthly, or All Access which gives you unlimited access to all of their locations and events, $250 a month.

Special features:

Being for women only some of the special features include a beauty room and lactation room. There’s also a library, showers, phone and conference rooms, food & drinks and other perks and freebies. The Wing also plays a big part in supporting women and girls in community projects. 

Uncommon Borough - co-working space
Uncommon, Borough - co-working space

LONDON

Where: Uncommon, 1 Long Lane, London SE1 4PG

Uncommon have various branches around London - they can be found in Borough (above), Highbury and Islington, Fulham and Liverpool Street. Plant lovers will enjoy their nature inspired Borough location, which also has a lovely open plan coffee lounge for meetings or just taking a break.

What they offer:

All locations offer five options and you can choose from day passes, weekend passes, a hot desk, dedicated desk or private office. Prices start from £20 for a day pass - we love this option - it’s perfect if you live out of town and want a day or two working in a different environment or you’re visiting and want somewhere creative to work.

Special features:

All of their locations have a coffee lounge, meeting rooms, showers, bike storage, phone booths for extra privacy, outdoor space and are dog friendly. Some of them have kitchenettes and Borough has a pop-up retail space where you can trial new products that you’re working on, or buy from fellow creatives.

Stockholm co-working space The Castle

STOCKHOLM

Where: The Castle, Slottsbacken 8, 111 30, Stockholm

Situated in a stunning period style building, The Castle is in the heart of central Stockholm. The great hall of Flemingska palatset, still has the beautiful original decor from the 18th century with decorative wallpaper and gold panelling.

What they offer:

They have many options starting at fixed desk, flexible desk full-time and the useful low income 2 days a week or low income full time. You can also rent a room, prices start from 1800kr/month.

Special features:

There’s a cafe where you can socialise with other co-working members and network over meals, tea and coffee, a yoga room that doubles as a photo studio and screening room, plus you have access to printers and conference rooms.

We Work La Fayette in Paris
WeWork LaFayette co-working space in Paris

PARIS

Where: WeWork La Fayette, 33 Rue La Fayette, Paris 75 75009

WeWork is a global network of workspaces with locations in most major cities worldwide. Their La Fayette location is situated in a stunning Art Deco building, which has an eye-catching central atrium, multiple outdoor terraces and scenic views over St.Georges and Pigalle.

What they offer:

There are nine locations in Paris, La Fayette (above), Champs-Élysées,  37 Avenue Trudaine, 123 Boulevard de Grenelle, Coeur Marais. 7 Rue de Madrid, 198 Avenue de France, 18 Rue de Navarin and Colisée. They vary in what they offer - all have private office space and other options include dedicated desks and hot desks. Prices start from €360 for a hot desk.

Special features:

At all of these locations you’ll have super fast internet, daily cleaning, IT support, 24/7 building access, office supplies, global network, coffee, draft beer, bike storage, business class printers, mail and package handling and private phone booths.

Mesh - co-working space in Oslo, Norway
MESH co-working space in Oslo - Food & Drink Bar

OSLO

Where: Mesh - The Creators’ Community, Tordenskioldsgate 3, 0160 Oslo, Norway

Mesh is the first co-working space in Oslo and has been designed specifically to nurture and grow creativity. The Work Lounge is a creative space to meet new people whilst working, or use it for meetings if you’re visiting the city. The Food & Drink Bar is open to everyone and serves international dishes throughout the day, so you can eat and network at the same time!

What they offer:

Mesh offer three memberships - private office space for teams of 2 - 40, plus desk membership is for those who want to work in an open plan environment, flex or fixed term options available and The Work Lounge is a great space for meetings, so it’s ideal if you are in Oslo as a traveller and want somewhere to connect with others. Prices start from kr790 excluding vat.

Special features:

Mesh’s Food and Drink Bar is open to both members and non-members, and they have six event spaces with their own event crew and sound engineers. They also hold a series of talks that are held throughout the year on various different topics.

another handy tip…

Croissant app

Croissant - a co-working space app

We’re not talking about pastries here sadly, but Croissant is still a genius idea! Started by a group of friends who used to work together in coffee shops and who wanted the freedom of being able to bounce from place to place to meet up and connect wherever they were. Basically it’s a monthly co-working membership that gives freelancers access to hot desks at the coolest workspaces in cities all around the world. In London and need a space to work? Simply log in to the app and it will tell you what’s available, or likewise in any city.

How does it work?

There are three payment options - Explorer at £29pm, Creator at £99pm and Luminary at £199pm, and it works by using hours, so for example you turn up at a place via the app in New York and are there for two hours, you’ll get two hours taken off your membership. You check in like you do in a hotel, and check out when you leave.

91 loves... face motifs

Faces have long been a source of creative inspiration, particularly in the art world, and recently we've seen them appearing on more and more every day items for the home - mugs, plant pots, plates, rugs and cushions, to name a few. With so many ways to express facial features artistically, styles range from playful and cute to abstract and serene, and we are kinda loving them all! The first few images here give a sneaky peek at the work of a designer featured in our AW18 issue (pre-order now!) who often uses face motifs in her designs, followed by a selection of other face-inspired finds we are loving right now... 

 Photo:  Jemma Watts
 Photo:  Melissa Avila
 available via  Maud's House

available via Maud's House

 available at  Anthropologie

available at Anthropologie

 available at  91 Magazine shop

available at 91 Magazine shop

 available from Hus & Hem

available from Hus & Hem

 Available from  Jane Foster

Available from Jane Foster

 available from  Donna Wilson

available from Donna Wilson

 available from  Donna Wilson

available from Donna Wilson

 available from  Esme Shayler-Webb

available from Esme Shayler-Webb

 available from  Tea & Kate

available from Tea & Kate

 available from  Austin Austin

available from Austin Austin

 available from  Form Lifestyle

available from Form Lifestyle

 available from Rose & Grey

available from Rose & Grey

 available from  Meylor Goods

available from Meylor Goods

A slow living guide to decorating your home

Decorating your home can often feel overwhelming, can't it? With so much to do and so many choices on the market, it's easy to choose the first thing you see and later regret it. Minimal lifestyle blogger Jessica Rose Williams is here to help you approach your project in a more considered way with personal experience guiding her. She shares her top tips on how to plan, what to prioritise and how not to rush into hasty decisions. 

Where to even start. This was my dilemma the day we moved into our little cottage in the Peak District in April. I'd known there was work to be done since our first viewing but only when I saw it completely empty on moving did I realise just how much work I had on my hands. It was in desperate need of TLC. 

Embarking on any renovation project can feel so overwhelming. All those decisions to make, and the fear of making the wrong choice can be crippling. It’s tempting to reach for the tin of paint and pop down to the nearest Homesense for Pinterest-worthy bargains because that’s the easiest way to make a difference right? What I’ve learned from my own renovations is that the bare bones must be taken care of first. Once you get those right, the rest will follow. Making a plan and taking care of the essentials first will ensure you’ve created a space that will work hard for you for years to come. 

Personally, I have zero patience and have rushed every decorating project I’ve ever done and then regretted not taking my time or not tackling things in the right order. I overlooked the drafty windows in favour of said quick fix bargains. Throwing myself into the project without any kind of structure made all that stuff a giant waste of money. I can confirm even the perfect grey wool blanket doesn’t make a room - unless you’ve done the ground work first it only confuses it.

how to manage your decorating project

This time around I was determined to do things right, and it’s worked! It’s true what they say, good things take time and it’s all in the prep. Four months of renovating later these are the areas I’ve prioritised with our budget. I’ve found they’ve made the greatest impact and by taking care of these I have created a solid foundation I can slowly build on in years to come. Here's a few tips I've learnt along that way....

Take time to plan - The more time you spend planning the better. Rule number one is do not rush! I’m still getting to grips with this one myself so I know that’s the last thing you want to hear. Pinterest is your friend to begin with. Create a private mood board for your project and pin anything and everything you’re attracted to. Once you’ve done that, take some time away from it and go back with the intention of cutting your pins down to a maximum of 20. Try to pick out similar themes, colours, tones and above all be realistic. Make sure everything on your board will work in your own home. 

Managing your decorating budget

Windows - If a room is cold and draughty you simply won’t want to spend time in it. How boring to have to spend money on new windows or repairs I know, but creating a warm and cosy space is absolutely key. I refuse to let go of the wooden windows we’ve inherited but I did replace the two windows that were draughty and split as soon as we moved in. It left us with fewer pounds to spend on the finishing touches but it was worth it. 

prioritising when decorating

Radiators - Choosing to upgrade to beautiful period style radiators was a decision not many around me could understand. But now they’re in, they totally get it. They’ve made such a difference to the rooms. If these aren’t within budget you can always paint your existing ones the same colour as the walls so they blend in. 

making a decorating plan

Repurpose what you can - Be brutally honest with yourself about what can stay. There’s a lot you can do to spruce up old furniture as long as it’s structurally sound. Sofas can be reupholstered and kitchen cabinets can be painted if it’s just the colour you’re not keen on. Google is your friend!

Floors - Stripping the floors properly and having them refinished has transformed our cottage. One floor that was previously carpeted had to be replaced because the floorboards were rotten. Installing new pine floorboards was cheaper than replacing the carpet and as long as we look after them they’ll last us decades.

Walls - Skimming the walls where necessary and then painting the entire house the same shade of white (ceilings, walls and windows) has made the biggest difference to our home. Where it once looked dark and dingy it now looks fresh, light and bright. The rooms feel twice the size. 

prioritising when decorating

Natural Textures - Wood, linen, wool, cotton or even shiny metallics. Opting for natural texture wherever you can will add a guaranteed sense of cosy and timelessness to any space. They’re more attractive to look at and sustainable too. 

Lighting - This is an area I’ve regrettably overlooked for most of my home-owning life. When we were in Oslo in January it struck me just how important it was. Warm, subtle lighting made those dark days and nights feel oh so cosy. Nothing too bright and always carefully considered. There are entire books written on lighting which is a testament to what a difference it can make. Instead of just placing a lamp here and there take time to think about which areas you want to light and be sure to use multiple light sources for a cosy atmosphere. 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from our renovations so far is that a house is never finished. Good things take time and unfortunately we need to be patient. There will always be something that needs doing, our styles will change and what we need from our homes will change too. Looking after the basics is always the best place to start. 

So many valuable tips there for either a large scale project or even just a small one room makeover. Check out more of Jessica's great advice on her blog and Instagram

Green Risotto with Herby Purée

A fresh and nourishing dish, filled with green goodness. Karolina Wiercigroch shares the recipe for her Green Risotto - perfect for preparing your body to fight winter bugs. 

RECIPE: Green Risotto with Herby Puree

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 400g arborio rice
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 150g green peas
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • a handful of pea shoots, to serve

Herby Purée: 

  • 100g spinach
  • 25g basil
  • 25g parsley
  • 25g coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves

METHOD: 

1. Place all the ingredients of the purée in a food processor. Add 2-3 tbsp of hot water and whizz to a paste.

2. Bring the stock to boil and keep warm. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet. Add celery and shallot, cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent.

3. Add arborio rice, stir well and cook for 1 minute. Add 2 ladlefuls of the hot stock. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, adding more stock once the rest has been absorbed.

4. Once the rice is almost cooked, stir through the purée and peas. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice and zest.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve with pea shoots.

RECIPE: Green Risotto with Herby Puree

See more of Karolina's recipes on her blog Dine and Dash

91 Magazine: Green Risotto and Herby Puree recipe

Meet The Maker: Forage Botanicals

Creating natural products for women, Forage Botanicals aims to help ease the pain of periods and the stress they can cause our bodies and minds each month. We chat with professional herbalist Natasha Richardson, the maker behind Forage Botanicals, to find out more about painful period remedies and the magic of British herbs. 

Hi Natasha, why and when did you create Forage Botanicals? 

I created Forage Botanicals last year to serve people with terrible periods as I've had. I'm a herbalist and have always made medicines for my patients partly by foraging - a process which connects me with nature.  

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What had you done previously?

Since graduating from uni in 2010 as a herbalist, I've helped patients dealing with period pain, endometriosis, PCOS and infertility. I've also taught people how to use the plants around them through medicine making workshops. 

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Why was it important to you to create products that helped with periods? 

It literally took me years to find herbs, supplements and lifestyle changes that helped my periods. Period pain isn't something we learn much about school but 1 in 4 of us will experience it and have to take medication or time off work for it. I wish I'd been able to walk into a shop and get a natural remedy all those years ago and I aim to make such things available in the future. 

 Photo:  Rachel Hudson

Where and how do you source the herbs that you make your products with?

The ingredients in my products all come from British suppliers. I focus on herbs which are native to the UK as much as possible to reduce air miles. At the moment everything I've made is vegan as it's all plant based. 

These are herbs which have been used for thousands of years to help with period problems. But I give them a tweak to suit the demands our modern lives have on us. 

 Photo:  Rachel Hudson

How do you create and test your products?

I have used my own journey and over 10 years of treating patients to inform the creation of my products. I have tested them on myself and given them to friends who suffer with severe period pain. I was lucky that my period pain wasn't caused by a serious illness like endometriosis but I give my products to people who do suffer with that to check they're effective at the extremes of symptoms too. 

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Which are your bestsellers?

My Goddess drops and Strengthen + Soothe powder. The Goddess drops are a botanical extract made with Raspberry leaf, Lady's mantle, Rose and Mugwort. This blend helps people embrace their bodies. You take drops of it on the tongue. Sadly with most period problems they go unnoticed for a long time, ignored as they only happen once a month. We tend to put it to the back of our mind, when they are usually a symptom of a bigger problem such as stress. Which leads into the second bestseller; Strengthen + Soothe powder. This is a blend of Ashwagandha, Oat and spices which can be added to smoothies, porridge and the like. It's delicious when added into a nut milk as a chai. It's adaptogenic which means it helps to strengthen your resilience to stress whilst also soothing your nerves. Good for the tired and wired. 

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We can imagine it's a hard question to answer, but do you have a favourite product?

I'm pregnant at the moment so I can't use my absolute favourite: Waning Moon Bath Salts, because they have clary sage in. As I can't have that, I've been really enjoying the Strengthen + Soothe powder instead!

 Photography:  Rachel Hudson

Photography: Rachel Hudson

Where do you make your wares? Does your location inspire you?

I make my products in my kitchen where I have access to hundreds of dried herbs, tinctures, essential oils and powders. The herbs inspire me as I can't help but imagine their taste and smell when I see them. It is intoxicating. 

Forage Botanicals Blossom box Spring shoot.JPG

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually start my day with a swim. It clears my mind and keeps me fit. Then I'll come home to a smoothie with some of my Strengthen + Soothe powder. I'll start my working day with setting up a to-do list in my calendar if I don't already have one. Then I run through it hour by hour. I flexibly change my priorities as things arise during the day. I like to work on my book in the morning, break for lunch then make products in the afternoon.

After my work day is done, I cook for myself and my husband's return from work. Then we both go and check on the allotment in the evening before settling into bed with a book and a cup of herbal tea. At the moment I'm having Elderberry syrup with hot water to keep my immunity up as the seasons change. 

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Sounds perfect! What's been your Forage Botanicals highlight so far?

I have most enjoyed writing my book on stress and menstruation. It's due for publication in a couple of years' time. I hope it can help raise awareness of common period problems and help people get the support they need rather than just accepting their lot as someone with ovaries.

That's exciting! Apart from the book, what's next for Forage Botanicals?

I will be crowdfunding in the next few months in order to launch my next product; a balm for cramps.   

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS

Describe your work in three words: 

Wild, empowering, soulful

What are your making rituals? 

I NEED a completely clear and clean surface. So important.

Tea or Coffee? 

Herbal tea, duh!

Mountains or Sea? 

Mountains!

Night Owl or Early Bird? 

Early bird. That's why I do my writing in the morning! 

I wish someone had told me... 

To take imperfect action. 

See more about Forage Botanicals at www.foragebotanicals.co.uk

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Casa González & González

Stocking functional objects that make the everyday that little more lovely, Casa González & González, in Madrid, is owned by childhood friends María Rosa Amor González (who worked in museums and art galleries) and Javier Carrasco González (a former interior designer), who share the same values and passion about design and slow living. We spoke with them to talk quotidian style, community and beautiful brooms...

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Why did you open your store?

After both living and working abroad for several years, we met again in Madrid. It was over coffee that we discovered common thoughts and values, and the fact that we couldn’t easily find timeless products frequently in our daily routines, when living abroad, so we thought it was an interesting idea to open and gather most of them in one store.

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How would you describe your style?

We like to inspire our customers with our quotidian objects to make their day-to-day more conscious and functional. We think the atmosphere our objects give during a specific moment of the day, may transform a daily routine to be a more happy and pleasant act. We mainly look for timeless, genuine and functional products with a story behind them. We like restrained and functional looks. We do not opt for pricey or sophisticated pieces or just aesthetically-pleasing items - they must also accomplish a function.

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How do you source your products?

Most of our objects have been used and tested years before opening our shop. Factory, workshop or fair visits are other ways to source our products. We also surf the Internet and take into account friends' and customer recommendations. Among others, our favourites are the Marseille soaps and body brushes and we are in love with our “malgas” (a typical object made of cork).

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You’re passionate about being shopkeepers – why is this important to you?

We try to offer a unique shopping experience in a retail space that reflects our vision, personality and aim to make things better. We do believe that small stores like ours have an uncertain future, but on the other hand there are more and more consumers becoming aware of the wealth that this type of business provides to society.

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If you could just choose one product from the store – what would it be?

Well, maybe the most simple and useful products because they sum up our functional essence. We would like to show that a broom or a cleaning cloth can be as beautiful and useful as other key items in the home.

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What advice do you have for other people thinking of setting up a shop?

The first years when starting a business are really tough, so it is very useful to draft a realistic business plan to keep your head above water during this time.

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You're currently working on building your online store - how has that process been?

We hope to be ready very soon. Although we prefer to go step by step, we like sharing ideas to add to the future of our business.

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Does your beautiful Madrid location inspire your chosen wares? 

We like to feel part of a growing community and our neighbourhood is achieving a common atmosphere, through the stores, as well as the people who live in the area. But, we do not consider it essential when we make our objects’ selection.

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What has been your González and González career highlights so far?

We cannot be more happy to have the actual response and warmness of our customers, suppliers and social media followers. They are a great support for us. At this early stage of our career we hope to keep making things well and better and become an established business but only time will tell…

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Casa González & González, Pelayo 68, Madrid

www.gonzalez-gonzalez.es / Follow on Instagram

Home Tour: Rachael & Alex Otterwell of Object Style

Creative business owners Alex & Rachael Otterwell’s modern Manchester home combines a thoughtfully curated mix of designs by independent makers and crafters with iconic mid-century modern pieces.

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

Immediately upon viewing the three-storey new-build in Whalley Range - a creative and culturally diverse suburb of Manchester - Rachael and Alex knew they had found their next home. The modern townhouse has open-plan ground floor living, with floor to ceiling views of the back garden - a perfect space for their French bulldog Polly - while a second floor lounge also boasts large expanses of glass providing a light and uncluttered feel. Crucially, the location was close enough to both their lifestyle shop, Object Style and Manchester city centre, a vital factor for the couple who regularly visit the vibrant city. They feel strongly about supporting fellow small businesses and enjoy collaborating when possible, so accessible links to the city makes perfect sense for them.  

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

After previously living in a Victorian period property, the new place, with its clean lines and functionality, better suited their aesthetic, which had been honed during their travels to California. Here, they’ve been inspired by mid 20th century design and iconic homes such as The Eames House. The simple style of the house fits perfectly with their collections of original mid-century furniture, eclectic art work and ceramics.

Most of the walls have been painted a neutral shade to offset the colourful textiles within their home which they also sell through Object Style, such as Eleanor Pritchard blankets and wall hangings by Moss Hound Designs. Where colour has been used, it is in bold, deep hues which perfectly frames their collection of objects on wooden shelving by Hubsch and Ferm Living. The couple travel extensively, sourcing unusual and often exclusive items for their business. Reminders of these trips are evident throughout their home by way of photographs taken by Alex, travel books and art work from galleries around the world.

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

Rachael and Alex spend a lot of their time in the open plan ground floor area, which is the perfect space for entertaining in the summer months. The adjacent outside space has been transformed since they moved in, with a beautiful ceramic tiled patio and black fencing, which provides a dramatic backdrop to the foliage and potted palms in the garden. Inside, a mint green accent wall offers a cool contrast to a vibrant orange retro film print. Their original Ercol furniture was reupholstered in an Eleanor Pritchard orange, wool fabric by their friend Simion Hawtin-Smith from Reloved Upholstery.

Storage for their collections of table ware, glasses and pottery is a glass-fronted cabinet by Ferm Living, juxtaposed with an original retro piece found in Pear Mill - Stockport’s Antique Emporium. This contrast of modern and retro is a continuing theme throughout the house and is something they are introducing more and more within their store. “Our business is constantly evolving,” says Rachael. “Through our travels we like to source interesting items not readily available in the UK. As our home and business aesthetic closely reflect each other, we’ve recently decided to add a selection of quality original mid-century furniture into our range. These retro pieces are so well made and their form and function fits perfectly with our business model.”

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

Climbing to the third floor of the house, you are greeted by a sea of green, the colour familiar to the customers of Object Style and followers of their Instagram account. The couple’s bedroom and their shop are both painted Smoke Green by Farrow & Ball.

“The name of the colour is one of the most frequently asked questions by our customers!” laughs Rachael. The adjoining en-suite bathroom, where shelves of organic lotions and potions are displayed, also boasts a floor of sea green geometric tiles by Terrazzo, perfectly complimenting the bedroom.

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

For a cosier and more intimate environment to the downstairs space, there is an alternative snug style living room on the second floor. Here the walls have been kept neutral, but cushions, wall hangings and rugs create a bold and dramatic aesthetic. It’s here where Alex’s love of music is evident with an impressive vinyl collection, his guitars and the deck designed by Dieter Rams for Braun in the 1960’s, a gift from Rachael, taking pride of place. One contrasting wall, painted black, displays a metal shelving system from the Punctual Series by Ferm Living and exhibits personal objects, showing a life well lived and giving hints to the many interests and inspirations of Rachael and Alex; a true representation of what led to them becoming owners of one of Manchester’s most stylish lifestyle stores.

We featured Rachael & Alex's gorgeous store in our Feb 2018 e-zine which can be downloaded here. Visit their web shop: www.objectstyle.co.uk

Words by Karen Barlow / Photography by Kathryn Taylor

Some changes to 91 plus AW18 issue sneak peek!

It's our favourite time of year again - when we finally get to reveal what we've been working on for the past few months! Our AW18 issue is coming together beautifully and it is now possible to PLACE YOUR PRE-ORDER! Woo hoo!

 Cover image: by  Daniela Schinke  &  Olinga Ok

Cover image: by Daniela Schinke & Olinga Ok

I also wanted to let you know about a few minor changes we are making to the magazine going forward. These are made in the hope that we can continue to produce the best magazine we can. Firstly, we are increasing the number of pages in the magazine - it initially started back in 2016 with 100 pages. In AW17 we quietly upped in to 108, and for this brand new issue you will find 116 pages filled with loveliness! YAY! The other change is that we are increasing the cover price from £7 to £8. This is, of course, a reflection of the additional pages, which in turn affects not only our printing costs but also production costs in terms of the lovely features our team and contributors create. We have also decided to change printers due to various problems in the past, which has had a small knock-on effect to our costs, but we hope that the quality will be improved in light of this. 

As an independent magazine, we feel it best to be open and honest with you about what changes we are implementing and the reasons for these. We do hope you feel that this small twice yearly cost to buy the magazine brings you much enjoyment and inspiration. We are still one of the most affordable independent magazines on the market and we like to think one of the best! ;) 

Without further ado, here is a little sneaky peek at some of the images you will find in the new issue. Our inspiration for this edition is ethical living, something we feel very in tune with and wanted to highlight. We visit the home of Emily Mathieson, founder of online store Aerende, we fall head over heels in love with the studio space of skincare brand La Eva, and we share some gorgeous ethical homewares and how to style them. Plus lots more gorgeous homes and work spaces, styling ideas and creative inspiration for your home, life and work. 

 Photo:  Cathy Pyle  / Styling:  Kay Prestney

Photo: Cathy Pyle / Styling: Kay Prestney

 Photo:  Cathy Pyle  / Styling:  Lauren Becker

Photo: Cathy Pyle / Styling: Lauren Becker

 Photo:  Kym Grimshaw
 Photo:  Kasia Fiszer
 Photo:  Catherine Frawley  / Styling:  Sally Meier

Photo: Catherine Frawley / Styling: Sally Meier

 Photo:  Rachel Warne

That is literally a tiny snippet of the gorgeousness that is in the next issue. It will be out at the beginning of October, so if you get your pre-order in now it will land on your doormat around the 9th/10th October, all being well. I do hope you will add this new issue to your collection! 

PRE-ORDER NOW! 

Three 91 creatives to follow - AUGUST

As well as our fab editorial team, 91 is also made up of a network of talented contributors whose words and images are what bring the magazine to life. So, here I introduce you to a few of these people through mini interviews and a peek into their creative worlds... 

Lauren Becker - stylist

Lauren is an interiors & food stylist, who has styled for the magazine, blog & e-zine. Look out for her latest shoot in our next issue, out in October. @laurenbeckerstylist / www.laurenbeckerstyling.com

Lauren Becker - interiors & food stylist
Lauren Becker - interior & food stylist
Lauren Becker - interiors & food stylist

If you weren't a stylist what would you be? 

I'm very passionate about environmental issues and sustainability so probably something to do with that.

Name 3 of your favourite instagrammers? 

Oh gosh thats a tough one... 

  • @bymariandrew is a writer and illustrator who beautifully illustrates the ups and downs of life.
  • @misssarahglover an incredibly inspiring Australian chef who is all about cooking out in nature.
  • @signebay a beautifully curated account of moody images and a lovely colour palette.

Top styling tip?

Don't be afraid of things not being perfect- so much beauty can be found in the unusual, the organic and in imperfections. The best interiors are those that look lived in and the best food looks edible. 

Favourite shop? 

Not exactly everyone's price range, but incredibly inspiring and beautiful is Designers Guild and The Conran Shop. Closer to home, the little boutiques on Chatsworth Road are amazing! 

Favourite flower? 

Ranunculus- so many petals, so many colours

Favourite plant? 

Bougainvillea always amazes me with its vibrancy.

Favourite city?

Istanbul- lovely people, amazing street food and an inspiring mix of the old and the new 


Emma Lavelle – writer

Emma is a freelance writer who blogs about slow living and travel on her blog Field & Nest. She writes regularly for 91 and you will see some of her recent work in our current e-zine. @fieldandnest / www.fieldandnest.com

Emma Lavelle - freelance writer
Emma Lavelle - freelance writer
Emma Lavelle - freelance writer

If you weren't a writer what would you be? 

A photographer or a florist. I've always loved photography just as much as I love to write, and I've recently started to branch out my freelance work to include photography. I'd also love to learn more about flowers & sometimes dream of opening my own florist shop.

Name 3 of your favourite instagrammers? 

This is such a hard question! At the moment I really love @meliamelia.co @babes_in_boyland and @laurenlsutton

Top tip for aspiring writers?

Write about what you want to write about, not what you think you should write about to get ahead. My first few years of freelancing, I had several clients that I really didn't enjoy writing for. I'm now writing about subjects that interest me and enjoying my work much more. 

Favourite shop? 

I love Form Lifestyle in Manchester for beautiful objects from independent makers, and Olive Clothing, Toast & Off On Clothing for clothes. 

Favourite flower? 

Such a hard question, but probably dahlias. 

Favourite plant? 

I know it's obvious, but I really love my monsteras. I love watching new leaves unfold.

Favourite city? 

Berlin or Copenhagen.


Fran Murphy - illustrator

Fran is an illustrator whose work has accompanied some "Ways of Living' columns in recent issues of 91 Magazine. @fmurphyillustration / www.franmurphyillustration.com

Fran Murphy - illustrations for 91 Magazine
Fran Murphy illustration
Fran Murphy - illustrations for 91 Magazine

If you weren’t an illustrator what would you be? Art director, working with children in some kind of therapeutic role, holistic practitioner… I could go on!

Name 3 of your favourite instagrammers? 

  • @charlotte.ager Her work has a boldness and confidence which translates into incredible energy and movement.
  • @moirafrith For anyone interested in printmaking without a press. Her prints are really fresh and inspiring.
  • @molly.a.martin Such beautiful sketchbook work.

Top tip for getting illustration commissions? Perseverance, it takes time and patience to be successful in the illustration world. It can feel daunting at times, as it is such a competitive field. But the best advice I can give is just to keep at it. Another important practice is to keep a personal sketchbook, this is still something I struggle to do consistently. But the more time you spend drawing and figuring things out, the stronger your body of work will become, and as a result the more attractive it will be to potential commissioners.

Favourite shop? I love food and trying new recipes, so browsing the numerous specialist food shops in Brighton is my happy place.

Favourite flower? Iris, they are such elegant flowers.

Favourite plant?  Ficus Elastica (Rubber Plant) The leaves look like someone had painstakingly painted each one by hand, as the marks look akin to brush strokes.

Favourite city? Yet to be discovered!


Thanks ladies! Do give them a follow - I'm sure you'll enjoy seeing their work on your feed as much as we do!