Our Seek Inspire Create Event in Hastings

At the end of June, we hosted the 2nd in our series of Seek Inspire Create days. For our summer event, we decided to head to the coast, to one of my favourite seaside towns - Hastings. I’ve you’ve missed what these events are all about, it is basically a chance for us to bring the magazine to life - visiting in person some of types of beautiful independent stores we feature in the magazine as well as meeting and learning from inspirational creative women and getting the chance to make something beautiful with our hands. The days follows the structure of Seek, Inspire, Create - this is a little run through of the day, with beautiful images by SarahLou Francis.

SEEK

The first part of the day took in three of my favourite independent shops in the town. We featured all of these shops in our Instagrammer’s Guide to Hastings post, and I always pop in when I visit the town. What makes the visit extra special when part of our event is that we get to hear direct from the owners all about the story behind their business and have the chance to ask questions, before browsing and shopping with exclusive discount. I’m pretty sure our whole group treated themselves to some goodies, it was hard to resist that’s for sure!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Butlers Emporium
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Butlers Emporium
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Butlers Emporium
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Butlers Emporium
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Butlers Emporium

We kicked off the day at Butler’s Emporium, a shop I have visited for many years now. Sadly owner Rose was away on a buying trip to Morocco when we were there this time, but her colleague Julia shared a little bit of insight into how they go about sourcing their eclectic mix of products from around the world as well as from British independent makers. The shop used to be a traditional hardware store, and Rose has kept lots of the original fittings to display her wares, so the bones of the space itself are just as interesting as what she has filled it with! It’s unlikely you will leave this shop without a little treat for yourself or a gift for someone.

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Warp and Weft
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Warp and Weft
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Warp and Weft
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Warp and Weft
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Warp and Weft
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Warp and Weft

After a quick coffee stop, we headed to Warp and Weft, just a few doors down from Butler’s Emporium. This store is incredibly unique and one of the most interesting shops I’ve ever been in. Owner Leida was a wonderful host, giving us a tour of both floors of the shop as well as their workshop area. Leida and her team design and make all the garments in their classic collection of clothing for men and women, which can all be tailored to fit perfectly. While they’ve been doing what they do for years, it feels even more relevant these days, as we all become more akin with the idea of buying clothes to last. Again, the shop is housed in a beautiful old building which is steeped in history and oozing character. Make sure you don’t stroll past it’s narrow store front on your next visit to the town.

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Reste
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Reste
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Reste
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Reste
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - Reste

The last stop on the SEEK section of the day was Reste - a treasure trove of rattan, plants, ceramics, magazines (including 91!), stationery, beauty products and much more. Owner Jacqui is so lovely and told us about how different her previous business was - running a party-ware shop! Now, her focus is very much on sustainability and helping people create a home that is filled with natural materials, greenery and eco-friendly products. I’m pretty sure I could spend a good hour in here (at least!) poring over all the beautiful items, trying to decide what to treat myself to! On this visit, one of the gorgeous rattan mirrors made it’s way back to 91 HQ!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - The Crown pub for lunch
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - The Crown pub for lunch
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - The Crown pub for lunch
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - The Crown pub for lunch
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - talk with nutritionalist Daniela Exley
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - talk with ceramicist Pip WIlcox

INSPIRE

After a morning of shopping, we were all ready for a sit down and some food, so we headed around the corner to our table in the friendly Crown Pub. Goodie bags awaited our guests as did a delicious light lunch menu. After filling our tummies, we bundled into the cosy snug at the other side of the pub, where we were met by two inspirational women, ready to share their wisdom with us. First up was Daniela Exley, a naturopathic nutritionalist, who runs Beets, Pulse and Thyme. Daniela really does know her stuff when it comes to all things healthy eating and we all learnt so much about easy changes we can implement in our diets. Everyone in the group scrambled to snap up one of her ‘28 Day Mind and Body Reset’ books at the end of the session! Following Daniela, was Pip Wilcox, a ceramicist who has made Hastings her adopted home. Her move to the town was part of her story which she shared with us whole-heartedly, focussing on the how and why involved in making a big change in your life. Pip’s words resonated with all of us in the room, and afterwards we all admitted to getting a little bit emotional! Thank you to both ladies for being so incredibly generous with your knowledge and advice.

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - candle making with Lagom at Cake Room
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - candle making with Lagom at Cake Room
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - candle making with Lagom at Cake Room
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - candle making with Lagom at Cake Room
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - candle making with Lagom at Cake Room
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Hastings - candle making with Lagom at Cake Room

CREATE

Feeling inspired, we chat all things creative as we take a stroll along the seafront to our final venue. Stepping into Cake Room we are immediately hit by the most amazing aromas and met by the creator of these delicious scents - Thabi - owner of Lagom candles. (You may have spotted her in our current issue too!) Thabi has prepared mini candle making stations for us all, and we spend the first part of the session learning all about essential oils and the different types of wax used for making candles. (Paraffin wax is a bad choice - avoid at all costs folks!) We all then had a chance to make our own soy candle which Thabi later posted to us to enjoy at home. The day was, of course, rounded off with tea and cake - a delicious vegan gingerbread and cola cake no less!

Like with our previous event in Lewes (you can read about that one here) it really was my ideal day out - shopping in beautiful stores, chatting with like-minded folk, being inspired by other creative women AND getting to make something wonderful to take home! I know that some people have perhaps been put off by the ticket price, but for everything that the day offers I really think it is great value. Sometimes we need to invest in ourselves - give ourselves time away from the every day and spend time with others who ‘get’ you.

The plan is to hopefully do one more of these events this year, so I really hope to see some more of you at that one. If there is anything you’d love to see us do at future events, please do leave a comment here, or via social media or email. These events are for our readers and we want them to be everything you’d love from a day built just for you.

Thanks to everyone that was involved in our day in Hastings - it was simply fabulous!

All photography: SarahLou Francis

Our Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

Nearly three weeks ago we hosted our first ever ‘reader event’. I came up with the concept for a day event last summer, and decided 2019 was when we would launch them. (I was fully aware of how much planning goes it to running events!) It’s always nerve-wracking launching something new. Good old self-doubt tends to creep in, and initially I found myself fretting over whether the tickets would sell. Was my idea of a dream day out going to appeal to anyone else?!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

Thankfully, it turned out it was, and tickets were sold out about a month before the event. Phew! For me, curating a day out for 91 readers was done in the same way I curate the content for the magazine. The idea was to bring the magazine to life and literally base it around things that I love - independent business, beautiful shops and spaces, inspiring people, great food and creativity.

The structure of the day is led by the hashtag I came up with a couple of years ago #seekinspirecreate (also the name of our popular e-zine), with the day being split into three parts - Seek, Inspire and Create. I’m so thrilled that our very first event which happened in Lewes, East Sussex in February went so well! We had a lovely mix of creative women come along (although men are very welcome too!), some who lived quite locally, but some who had travelled the whole way from Manchester to join us! Here is a little insight into the day, with some lovely images taken by SarahLou Francis.

SEEK

For the first part of the day, I wanted to take everyone to a few of my favourite independent shops in the town. Whenever I visit anywhere new, I am always seeking out beautiful stores to browse, and Lewes is certainly packed with lots of them! We of course couldn’t get round all of them, so I selected three very different, but equally dreamy shops.

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

First up was Marchand Son, the most unique paint shop you are ever likely to come across. Owner Simon previously ran a shop in London called 'Colour Makes Me Happy’, but moved himself and his business to Lewes around 6 months ago, bringing his quirky style to the town. Simon chatted to our group about the many myths surrounding paint, explained how he taught himself to make paint and shared the stories behind his brilliant paint names. He is a true creative who has built something entirely unique and it was wonderful to learn more about his business. He even mixed us little pots of ‘91 Magazine pink’ paint for our goodie bags!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create Event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

Next, we walked around the corner and onto the high street to visit Freight HHG. This beautiful store is run by Adele and her mother, and is a mix of homeware, clothing and lifestyle items. What makes this shop different is that the two women design or commission most of the items they sell. Adele chatted to us about how they avoid the usual trade fairs and prefer to seek out talented makers to craft their wares, with everything being made within the UK. Designs and materials are carefully considered to make products that last. It was lovely to hear the story behind how they have created their unique brand and everyone had the chance to ask lots of questions as well as to shop with our exclusive discount!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

Our final stop for the Seek part of the day was From Victoria in The Needlemakers. This gorgeous shop is an absolute treasure trove of homeware, gifts and plants. I could spend hours poring over the pretty things in every corner of this space run by the lovely Victoria. Surrounded by unusual hanging plants, cacti and tropical beauties, Victoria gave lots of sound houseplant advice to the group during our plant Q&A. Then we all eagerly browsed the goodies with many of us leaving with little brown paper bags filled with treats to ourselves!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

INSPIRE

We were extremely lucky with the weather with the event falling during that really warm spell we had at the end of February. As we walked to the lunch venue where the INSPIRE part of the day would take place, we were shedding our jackets and talking of how spring-like it felt. The group were giving me slightly strange looks as I led them along the road to an industrial estate, I’m sure all wondering exactly where we would be eating! But, stepping through an unassuming door and passing by a noisy workshop area, all was revealed as we entered kitchen makers Inglis Hall’s beautiful showroom. The space is a working kitchen, so was perfect for out caterers Caccia and Tails to come and prepare the delicious lunch while we all mingled and chatted.

The table looked beautiful, decorated with plants from From Victoria and gorgeous flowers by Bulb Floristry. Jam-packed goodie bags awaited our guests on their seats too. The food was truly delicious, with meat, vegetarian and vegan versions of mac ‘n’ cheese along with an amazing salad and focaccia bread.

After eating and chatting, we then had two excellent talks to listen to. Firstly, Dorte and Georgie of Curly Carrot talked us through using Pinterest for business. So much useful information was shared and I have a renewed love of Pinterest ever since! Next, Jade Golding, a creative business coach (and owner of two other businesses!) talked about how to inspire your customers online. She explained the difficulties faced with selling product online and then provided useful ideas on how to overcome these and create an inspiring online shopping experience.

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes
91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

CREATE

With tummies filled, brains inspired and goodie bags in hand, we set off to our final destination for the CREATE part of the day. Inside the fragrant AS Apothecary store, we were warmly greeted by owner Amanda who quickly made us feel at home in her beautiful space. Her small-batch natural skincare products line the walls, styled to perfection with plants and other natural objects. Amanda chatted to us in depth about natural skincare and how she creates her range from flowers and herbs that they grow and harvest in Sussex, Scotland and Greece. She has a wealth of knowledge on the subject and I’m pretty sure most of us were converted by the end of the chat. (Many of us were purchasing her products before we left!) We then got the chance to mix our very own beauty balm, which we worked together to make under Amanda’s careful supervision. We all got to take away a little pot of what we made, and I have not stopped using it since that day!

91 Magazine Seek Inspire Create event in Lewes

The day was rounded off the only way it could be; with a cup of tea and some delicious (and beautiful!) cakes supplied by Flint Owl Bakery! yum!

As I said during my introduction at the start of the day, I basically wanted to create my ‘ideal day out’ and as the event drew to a close, I was happy to confirm that it had delivered exactly that! It was so lovely to be able to share it with a wonderful group of like-minded women and it reminded me how good it is to step out of your usual day-to-day and just enjoy some time doing things you love, meeting new people and discovering new things.

We are already starting to plan the next of these events. It will follow the same format but in a different town with different businesses and people. I honestly can’t wait! if you’d like to hear about when tickets go on sale for it, make sure you sign up to our mailing list for updates.

A HUGE thank you to everyone involved in our day down in Lewes. It was truly magical!

All photography: SarahLou Francis