It's the most wonderful time of year...

We can't believe it's that time of year again..

Where has the year gone, eh? We've had an amazing year of markets across South London and looking forward to finishing the year with a bang!

SoLo Craft Fair Balham Xmas 2 .jpg

We have three events this festive season and would love for you all to apply.

As always, all applicants must have public liability insurance and unfortunately we cannot accept any food stalls (only cakes!). You will need to apply to each event separately and please make sure you double check all your information is correct before pressing submit.

Workshop leaders and musicians please email us directly.

Sunday 19th November, Prince of Wales, Brixton.
This is our biggest venue, with over 50 stalls trading at the event, there will be musicians and a room especially for workshops. There are two stall options for this market; club room stall or lower roof terrace stall. The club room will be where a majority of the stalls are and the bands, the lower roof terrace is outside but will be covered and with patio heaters and host the kids activity corner and workshop. Please note this market is upstairs with no wheelchair access.

Club Room 4ftx 2ft Table: £50
Club Room No Table - Pitch Only: £50
Lower Roof Terrace 4ft x 2ft Table: £45
Lower Roof Terrace No Table - Pitch Only: £45
Saturday 2nd December, The Chancery, Beckenham
This is our smallest event with space for 20 traders in this bright venue, which attracts a lot of families. There will be a few options for stalls at the event, upstairs and downstairs.

Downstairs Large Table 5ft x 3ft: £40
Downstairs Small Table 3ft x 3ft: £35
Upstairs Large Table 5ft x 3ft: £35
Upstairs Small Table 5ft x 3ft: £30
Upstairs No Table - Pitch Only 3ft x 3ft: £25

Sunday 10th December, Balham Bowls Club, Balham
Balham Bowls Club is our longest standing venue - the quirky pub lends itself to our events perfectly. The event will be upstairs in the ballroom with approx 30 stalls, live music and a workshop. There will be three options for a stall, large table, half table or pitch only. Please note this event is upstairs.

6ft x 2ft Table: £55
3ft x 2ft Half Table: £35
Pitch Only 3ft x 2ft: £35

To apply to our Christmas events please click here. Applications close on 20th October, we will respond to all applications within 3 weeks of this date.

Unsure that SoLo Craft Fair is for you? Come visit us at our next event at Prince of Wales, Brixton on Sunday 24th September. We'll be there 12-5pm!

5 Minutes with musician, Lily Ward

Lily Ward will be performing at our event next week at Prince of Wales in Brixton. This singer has a beautiful unique sound, make sure you don't miss her set!

Freya Lily SoLo Craft Fair

Could you tell us about how you got into music?

I come from a musical family - my earliest and happiest childhood memories are listening to music and dancing in the living room with my Dad - to everything from rock and roll to Billy Holiday. I'm classically trained on Piano, which I've played since the age of 4 and I write piano music, too - but it's only recently, in the past couple of years, that I've started to play guitar. My Mum and Dad met at a classical guitar class so maybe it was in my blood all along! :) 

Can you describe your sound to our readers?

I would say... finger-picking gentle folk. I'm recording at the moment and on the tracks there will be lots of layers of lovely vocal harmonies - but for now, it's just me and my guitar when I'm live. 

You perform with a choir as well as solo - could you tell us a bit about your experiences with both?

I sing with London Contemporary Voices - I joined the choir just after they started, almost 7 years ago now, and in it I found the most incredible London-based musical family. They're all amazing, talented, lovely people and through the choir I've done everything from singing on BBC Radio, to backing artists like Sam Smith and Imogen Heap, and having a tonne of fun at festivals.

In terms of performing solo - I actually have pretty bad stage fright, so it's only been recently that I've managed to find ways to overcome that. I love sharing my songs and hopefully giving people something to enjoy listening to... and I'm hoping that eventually the stage fright will disappear altogether!

Where can we find out more about your musical ventures?

I'm @lilywardmusic on Instagram - and in fact just created this new page so any support welcome! On Facebook it's Lily Ward Music and my website is at 

5 Minutes with musician, Velodrome

Described as "Kate Bush meets medieval minstrels meets the White Stripes" there is nothing to not to like. Velodrome will be performing her quirky guitar set at 3pm in the club room of the venue. We've had a quick chat with Katherine Evans from Velodrome to find out more:

Velodrome Music

You're a classically trained singer and dancer, where did you train and when did you form Velodrome?

Yes I am a classically trained singer. I never got the chance to go to music college but I trained at home with my father who is a pianist and singing teacher. My grandparents were opera singers - though sadly I never heard them sing.

We've been listening to your single 'Steady Girl' constantly in the SoLo Craft Fair office - can you explain to us what the song is about and when you wrote it?

I'm so glad you like Steady Girl! It's a song I wrote unusually quickly for me, one afternoon when I was supposed to go and meet a friend. The song just came to me... and it made me late for my appointment! 


It's a song about my struggle to make a living as an artist and musician in an increasingly expensive and materialistic London.


It's also about my personal experience when I had to sign on at my local job centre: instead of supporting people to get back into long term rewarding work, they humiliate and degrade you and force you into unsuitable roles. It's shameful. 


Lastly, the song is about how anxiety and OCD have affected me and how I manage to live my life despite them....It's so important that we talk more openly about mental health and that it's no longer a stigma.

Who are your musical inspirations?


Oh gosh, I have too many musical inspirations to list them all! I'm inspired by Russian and East European classical composers like Stravinsky and Bartok. Their music is so bohemian, innovative and passionate. I love classic rock n roll bands like the Rolling Stones. And anything from the 80s...Oh I do love a bit of Tina Turner!

Where else can we see you perform in the upcoming months?

I'm finishing a busy summer of touring and festivals by playing at 'Loud Women', a grassroots DIY and feminist music festival in September. Then I'm going back into the studio for Autumn to record my first EP! 


We love you! Where can we keep up to date with all your news?

You can keep up to date with all my news by following me on social media- I'm on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter... just search for 'Velodrome Music'. Watch out for my first official studio single in Autumn! I'm currently filming a crazy music video in Yorkshire, where I'm going to be running around dressed as a medieval minstrel!

Make sure you don't miss Velodrome's set at 3pm on Sunday 24th September. Come join us for 50 independent traders, workshops and live music on Sunday 24th September at Prince of Wales, 467- 469 Brixton Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8HH 12-5pm, free entry and sweets! 



Five Minutes with visual artist Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson's exhibition 'Figure Painting: An Exhibition of Paintings of Action Figures' opens this week in East London. The exhibition explores his studies of action figures from 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that moulded many of our childhoods. We chat to Joe Simpson about his inspirations for his creative practice and find out more of what to expect at his figure painting exhibition.

Joe Simpson SoLo Craft Fair

Joe Simpson, you are known primarily as a portrait artist, what inspired you to start the action figure painting series?

It’s a bit of a departure – I’m in the middle of a project painting actors that I started in 2014, and I wanted to work on some smaller paintings to break it up.  I was looking through my old belongings in my mum’s attic and found all my old toys and felt a real urge to paint them.  I only planned to do a few, but once I started I didn’t stop - a year later I’ve made 34 paintings and ended up with enough for an exhibition. 

You describe your upcoming exhibition as a love letter to the action figures of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s - will many guest find a sense of nostalgia at the exhibition?

 I hope so.  When I found the toys again, it instantly transported me back to memories of being a child.  They’re wonderful relics of childhood and were so important to me at the time.  Lot’s of people have described a similar sensation when viewing the paintings and shared their own personal memories of playing with them.  So I hope it will appeal to a certain generation who grew up with them.

 Your artist career has given you the opportunity to work on many different projects and with many celebrities, can you pinpoint one of the best moments/projects of your career?

 That’s hard to say, but I remember feeling especially proud when my portrait of Maxi Jazz was included in the BP Portrait Award exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery.  That was a real highlight.

 Your work is very realistic, can you explain your process to create your oil paintings?

 I start with a basic pencil outline, then block the basic background colours in to give a base coat.  I then slowly build up layers adding more variations of colour and tone, with increasing details to try and create a really rich painting.  I have lots of time lapse films on my website that show the whole process!

 Do you remember the point when you decided to become an artist?

 I’ve always been interested in making creative things and choose to study Fine Art at university, but at that point I didn’t necessarily plan to be an artist.  During the course I became really absorbed in my painting, and started entering competitions and putting on small exhibitions.  I decided to give it a year or so trying to make it as an artist, and 10 years later I’m still chipping away.

 If you weren't an artist, what can you imagine yourself doing?

 I love movies, so maybe I’d like to work in film in some capacity if I wasn’t painting.  I try to make my paintings look as cinematic as possible.

 So your exhibition 'Figure Painting: An Exhibition of Paintings of Action Figures' opens this week - please tell us more!

 Figure Painting is showing at The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, from Feb 24th – March 5th.  Open everyday 11am – 7pm – Admission is free!  It’s a totally independent show, so I’ll be there practically the whole time – come and say hello!

 How can our readers view more of your work?



Joe Simpson SoLo Craft Fair
Joe Simpson SoLo Craft fair

Interview with London Drawing Group

London Drawing Group are new on the scene bringing their love of drawing to London. From incredible art exhibitions to drawing workshops these three women are the ones to watch.

Do you remember the moment you decided to form the London Drawing Group - what inspired you to start the collective? 

Actually we ended up forming the collective more or less by chance, the three of us met at the Royal Drawing School on The Drawing Intensive term and stayed in contact after we’d studied on it, we went to an exhibition together and the idea for the group came about in response to a residency opportunity at Lewisham Arthouse which turned into our first big project as a group.

How do you feel working as a collective benefits your practice? 

It’s great that there’s three of us because it means that we can share the workload, we all have different strengths and interests and quite often we seem to balance each other out, also when you’re hanging four exhibitions in the space of a month it helps to have three pairs of hands!

How would you describe your artistic styles? 

We’re a totally mixed bunch, our backgrounds are really varied with Fashion, Illustration and Fine Art but we all kind of meet in the middle in our love for drawing which is where LDG came from.

You run many workshops, please tell us about what they include? 

In the past we’ve run a whole series of free workshops and exhibitions at Lewisham Arthouse as part of our residency which went down really well, and we’ve just completed a really successful series of workshops working with the Bridget Riley Art Foundation in the Prints and Drawings department at the British Museum where we were lucky enough to teach classes from some incredible original prints and drawings, including Rubens, Goya and Rembrandt among many others!

What advice would you give to any aspiring artists? 


Which artists do you admire as why? 

Francis Bacon, Picasso, Rodin, Cezanne, Basquiat, Schwitters, there are so many that its hard to choose!

Tell us about LDG's plans for the future?

We’re now starting a new series of weekly life drawing sessions at Buster Mantis in Deptford on Sundays, and we’re currently really excited about organising our next series of events at The National Gallery and Tate Britain as well as a new series of drawing workshops at the British Museum.

What's the best place in London? 

We’re so lucky in London to have so many incredible free artistic resources, The National Gallery, British Museum, V&A, the Tates, all these places have so much history and inspiration that it would be hard to pick just one.

Five Minutes with PopUp Painting

Social Painting is the biggest craze to hit cities all over the world to encourage people to get creative. Pop Up Painting is the first company in the UK to introduce the concept of taking art out of the gallery and making art accessible to all. We chat to Gareth Shelton, one of the founders of the company about what it was like to introduce a completely new idea to the social scene.

What is Pop Up Painting, and how long have you been running?

PopUp Painting is a ‘social painting and wine’ events company, inspired by the ‘sip and paint’ trend in the United States. We’ve been running for three and a half years – we launched in 2013 in the Soho Hotel. All of our events are themed around masterpieces (Van Gogh, Banksy) and have accompanying soundtracks, and sometimes even themed locations and other touches. We pop up in bars, restaurants and workplaces across London, Birmingham and Brighton. Importantly, our market is young professionals who don’t consider themselves ‘arty’ or even particularly creative. We get a lot of people working on law, finance or health come along. It’s a chance to do something a little bit different on a night out, and unleash your creativity while having a good time with friends or meeting new people.

What inspired you to start your business? Tell us about the first moment you decided to start PopUp Painting?

Our business partner, Rick, initially suggested to us that we start a ‘sip and paint’ company in the UK. He is a serial entrepreneur (and former US Air Force Pilot), and owns Cocktails and Creations, our sister company in the States. In February 2013 we flew over to Boston (USA) to try an event. None of us (neither myself, Phyllisa nor Rick – the founders) have an artistic background. I was personally really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. From there we definitely felt this was something that could work.

What’s your background? As a non-artist, what has it been like working in a creative business?

My undergraduate degree was in History and Politics, and I’m now taking a Masters in Political Economy at the LSE. So painting and events are quite different to me. It's been very interesting to see how artists live - it's often quite precarious - and it's been rewarding to see guests enjoying themselves and really unleashing their creativity. 

What is the best advice you've been given since starting PopUp Painting?  

Be customer focused, not product focused. It's not so much about what you want to sell, but what your customer wants to buy. Have a clear idea of who your customer is, and go from there. What do young professionals want? That's got quite different answers to 'what does an art lover want?' or 'what do children or elderly people want?'.

What advice would you give to someone trying to start their own creative business?

Be patient. Be really, really patient. And while it’s not always easy – you need to carve out the time for real business development. Especially in a small company, it’s easy to get bogged down in just handling things as they come in. Wherever possible, carve out time for planning and being proactive, rather than just reactive.

But also, don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. Don’t get so bogged down in making the perfect campaign or email that you don’t end up sending it at all!

What have been the hardest moments?  Have you ever thought about giving up?

Anyone who is self employed or runs an SME will know that it is hard work. Events, especially, are really time consuming. In the day we're doing promotional and business development work, and then in the evening we're out on location. It doesn't leave a lot of time for your personal life. And when you're just starting up, you're not in a position to hire more people to do the work for you. We've just got to that point now, but getting through that was hard. Cancelling events, too, is always horrible. We're running more events than ever before, but a couple of times a month an event just doesn't sell - which is disheartening. Giving up has crossed my mind, but never given serious thought to it. Despite everything we're going in the right direction, even if we wish we were going a little bit faster from time to time.

What do you love most about running PopUp Painting? Has there been a highlight?

I think it has to be those moments where someone who started the event a little anxious sees their painting come together, and they are glowing with pride. The painting doesn't have to be perfect - but they're amazed at themselves for being able to paint anything at all. That's lovely. 

Please tell us how can someone find your company online: 

People can find us in bars, restaurants and workplaces right across London, Birmingham and Brighton. People can book for one of our public events (we schedule over 30 a month!) or find out about our private and corporate events at, and we’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @popuppainting/#popuppainting.

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Interview with Gin and Tea Club

We chat to Briony and Simone, two good friends who earlier this year began 'Gin and Tea Club' - a South London company who specialise in beautiful hand crafted cards. We discuss the benefits of working with someone in a creative company and of course, Gin and Tea.

Do you remember the moment you decided to form G&T - what inspired you to start the business?

Like most great stories, it just happened. I have the gin and tea club on the wall in my kitchen and we were both drinking tea one day and talking about expanding Briony's art work into cards and I had been looking to do something crafty and then as they say the rest is history. We thought it would be great fun to collaborate and design cut and draw together.

How do you feel working as a collaboration benefits your practice? 

We work very well together, we get on great and it's very easy sharing the work load and leaving jobs for the other. It's been very easy and we have been lucky.

What's the best piece of advice have you been given since starting your company?

To just go for it, you have nothing to lose and to not be shy. Always be confident and proud of your work.

When you're not working on Gin & Tea what do you both do?

Briony works at an artist studio in London and also runs Briony Mullan designs. Simone is a trauma specialist Radiographer in London. We live next door to each other and spend a lot of time together as do our partners which is handy as Briony is my bridesmaid next year and Dave Briony's partner is one of my husband to be's usher.

What's the best piece of advice have you been given since starting your company?

Keep your accounts in check and record all sales and popularity of colours and styles etc.

Tell us about G&Ts plans for the future?

We always want to try and expand into wedding lines of stationary and invites etc. Christmas and valentine's are big days for us so we will be working hard on those.

For the rest of your life, if you had to chose: Gin or Tea?

This is like the ultimate choice, the day starts with tea and ends with gin. I think ultimately tea because it solves anything, but then so does gin......... Gin, no tea, no gin.......

To See more of Gin and Tea Club's work please click here.

SoLo Craft Fair: Meet the Trader - Grimm 188

We get to chat to Laura Kate of Grimm 188, a company that sells bright handwoven accessories. Laura tells us how a change in work circumstances encouraged her to follow her aspirations of starting her own crafting business.

Tell us a little about what you do.

I am a fibre and textile crafter. I learned to sew as a child, began knitting as a student, and took up weaving a few years ago. Currently, my work focuses on handwoven scarves/wraps and stitched accessories. As I'm also a student of hand lettering, I'm planning to add some lovely scripted items to my offerings for the holidays. 

What inspired you to start your business?

My degrees are in Education and I am a teacher by trade and taught reception for some years here in London. As an American, when the rules on foreign teachers changed, I chose to explore my love of handmade rather than going back to get yet another degree. I miss the classroom, but also love working with textiles and colours!

How long have you been running your creative business?

About 2 years.

The name, Grimm 188 is unusual!  How did you chose it? 

The name of my business comes from the academic numbering of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale "The Spindle, The Shuttle, & The Needle" - it's not my favourite story message-wise, but it's absolutely what my business is about: sewing, weaving, and yarn.

Do you think your brand represents you as a person?

My designs tend to be bright, colourful, and a bit different.  They're probably a bit what I aspire to be... but I own a lot of black! 

What advice would you give to someone trying to start their own start up?

Make a plan. Do the work.  Treat it like a business. Success does not happen overnight and requires a lot of paddling under the calm water!

Which small creative company do you admire and why?

A few folks definitely fit in this box for me: I've loved watching my crafty online friend Rachel of Rachel Emma Studio blossom from crafty blogger to gold foil boss; Kristin of Hey Paul Studios/Eat, Drink, Stitch is inspirational for having faith to go at her handmade business full time and wildly succeeding; and Mollie of Wild Olive grows from strength to strength and I'm never surprised when I see her little smiling faces appear in another magazine or website - it's a testament to her hard work.

Please tell us how someone can find your company online 

My website & portfolio , Etsy shop and on social media as @grimm188

Grimm 188 will be selling her handmade goods at SoLo Craft fair's Christmas Market at Balham Bowls Club, 11th December

Five minutes with Kimono Kraft

We chat to Juliet Mayo, the founder of Kimono Kraft, a fantasic company that makes homeware out of upcycled Kimonos. Read Juliet's story of how she started the company and made it to what it is today.

Kimono Kraft at SoLo Craft Fair 

Kimono Kraft at SoLo Craft Fair 

What inspired you to start your business?

I have always sewn and having made a patchwork kimono cushion for a friend’s birthday, I looked at the final item and thought, I’m on to something here. I’m a little bit addicted to fabrics, Japanese designs in particular so this also felt like a way to justify that passion… and hoarding. With the current revival of home crafts too, it also felt perfect timing to venture into making pieces to sell.

Where do you source the vintage kimonos? 

I mainly buy from auction sites such as ebay. I used to be cagey about this when talking to customers, but I realised the internet makes things so accessible, many could find where you can buy the material easily enough. It’s having the patience to turn it in to something else that counts! I have bought from markets, Selvedge have a truly inspiring one, there are many makers there but also people selling material too, but these tend to cost more.  I mainly buy through ebay but after following certain rules, I only bid in the last 15 seconds, if it’s gone higher that I want to pay before then I ‘walk away’. I also only buy direct from sellers in Japan, keeping an element of authenticity.

How long have you been running Kimono Kraft?

I officially starting in Autumn 2013. It all came together after a batch of fabric arrived and there was a surprise piece in there I didn’t expect. It was a small section around 20cm square and had a charming, rather rotund character depicted on it. I had found my mascot and logo all at once.

What advice would you give to someone trying to start their own creative business?

Simply go for it… but do your research. Get an idea of what else is out there similar to what you intend to produce, it’s good to know your competition but more importantly how you should price things. Also be patient, you can’t expect immediate results. Markets are where you can test the water and are great to help you tailor your range, but also to speak with potential customers. Not only do they feel engaged but you will learn invaluable information about your product. This also means you do actually talk to people when you are running a stall. You can make the most beautiful pieces but if you stand there looking awkward and unable to chat, it can really put customers off. Buying from makers is all about the experience, you need to sell yourself as well as your wares!

Which other company that upcycles products do you admire and why?

Ugly Duckling

There are many people who upcycle furniture but Sarah is by far the best. She has a joyous sense of colour but at times a playful approach. She creates one-off pieces of furniture that are conversation makers. I remember a chest of drawers that has an outrageous flamingo design on the front which covered the drawers. Needless to say it sold straight away. Think more wildlife programme rather that kitsch though, her pieces are beautifully put together. She’s good fun too, we are often at the same markets.

What do you love most about running Kimono Kraft?

Many things, I get to make my pieces at home which is very convenient. The thrill when a parcel arrives with new material, all postage stamped from Japan. I try not to rush and wait for a quiet moment to plan what I’ll sew. On the selling side, meeting people and especially repeat customers, I have a few people who regularly buy and I feel honoured they come back for more. Also the stories people tell you, I had an elderly gentleman who bought one of my patchwork cushions, he said he lived alone but wanted something to make it more homely, I was so touched that he choose something of mine to do this for him.

Please tell us how can someone find your company online: 

I have an etsy shop - and also a facebook page where I tend to announce my up and coming markets. I am also very happy for anyone to contact me with ideas or for commissions.


You can find Kimono Kraft at SoLo Craft fair's Christmas Market at Balham Bowls Club, 11th December

Interview with Sham City Roasters

Dave Cullern of Sham City Roasters tells us of his story of how he went from a psychiatric nurse to coffee roaster to owning his own coffee shop. In just two incredible years Cullern tells us how he made his dreams come true with this personal interview. Along the way we discuss everything from Santa Cruz to slush puppies to making the best grilled vegan cheese...

Tell us about the first moment you decided to roast your own coffee?

I can literally pinpoint the exact moment! I was travelling through America 2 years ago and I had stopped in Santa Cruz, a place I'd always wanted to go. I was sitting in The Santa Cruz Roasting Company café, reading an amazing Microcosm book called "Beyond The Music" which is all about people from the punk scene who have started ethical businesses. The 2 things must have twinned in my mind and I pretty much decided there and then that I was gonna start up a coffee roasting business. It all seems a bit random now but at the time it was like a light bulb going off in my head!! My life was at a bit of a crossroads at the time, my marriage had recently ended and I was planning on leaving a 15 year career as a psychiatric nurse. Part of the reason I'd gone on the trip (which ended up lasting 2 months) was because I'd been clutching at straws for what to do with my future generally and to get away and think because I feel like I think clearer when I'm travelling. I'd probably already come up with hundreds of other schemes over the few weeks previous but the idea of coffee roasting just stuck for some reason.

And did the dream of owning a coffee shop shortly follow?

Fundamentally the idea of owning a coffee shop came first. I'd always fancied the idea but talked myself out of considering it seriously because that's just how my brain worked up until a few years ago. I could always see the risk and the negatives long before I saw that I actually had some pretty cool ideas and that the only way I was ever going to be happy in life is if I put my destiny in my own hands. I hate work but I get bored really easily. Running my own business suits me in that context because it never feels like work and there's always something new to do. What I was lacking was guts. Roasting coffee felt like a safe way to develop a skill, learn about an industry and create a brand on a smaller scale and smaller budget than it would have taken to jump in and start a café with all the rent, overheads and risk involved. I always wanted that to be the end result though.

Sham City Roasters has a very strong brand - could you talk us through what inspired this and how it represents you as a person? How long did this take you to form?

Well, I think the brand came quite easily in some ways because I just applied all of the things I like to an industry that doesn't usually acknowledge anything other than grey dullness. I like music, I like trashy films and alternative culture, I like pink, I like bad puns and have a terrible sense of humour. I kind of just combined all of that and applied it to the coffee I was making. I treated starting a coffee company in the same way as I would treat starting a punk band. The coffee world is so grey and dull that I think that makes my brand stand out a bit more. 

Weirdly, I found a bit of note paper the other day from a hotel in Gainesville which was a later stop on that same trip I mentioned earlier and I'd drunkenly scrawled the logo on it. It must have been dark because some of the 3 X's missed the coffee cup and the steam was wonky but it pretty much looks exactly the same as the final version. Its weirder still because I didn't even draw the actual version, Dan Allen, who is an extremely talented person, drew that and, while I did give him a pretty clear description of what I wanted, I never showed him that drawing... Some sort of weird magic I guess. As far as the rest of the images I use, I tend to find awesome artists, give them a vague idea or a phrase and let them do whatever with it. I find that removing myself from the process tends to be the best way of getting the best work!

What has been the best piece of advice you've been given since starting SCR?

I've spent my whole life ignoring the same piece of advice and that is that if you want to do something, just do it, don't let anyone question it or put you off, just trust yourself and do it. Having been a part of the DIY punk scene since I was 15 I've heard that from so many people and have probably believed that I was doing exactly that but I look back on my teens and 20's and realise that I always stopped myself really pulling the trigger. I was brought up in an extremely risk averse family and I don't think I realised until quite recently how much that affected me in relation to living the life I wanted to. I always planned to do weird and wonderful things, I often started doing them, sometimes putting months of work into planning business and recreational ideas but when it came to actually jumping in I always found an excuse not to. My attempts at fulfilling the "do it yourself" aesthetic that I always put such importance in, always had minimal risks involved until I realised that its the risks that make this stuff worth doing, its putting yourself in challenging situations that lead to actual happiness. I was a late bloomer I guess.

After starting Sham City Roasters I found myself surrounded by a completely different set of people. Taking part in markets and mixing with other people who were self employed/running their own business was a huge kick up the arse for me. I started to realise all the times that I was just making excuses for myself for not putting myself out there due to lack of confidence or laziness. It was amazing to talk to people like Annah at Girl And Bird, Cat at Cat Food Cakes and you guys at SoLo who were all really doing it! It made me pull many fingers out.

So how is life comparing by the sea compared to London Town?

I bloody love it! I've always wanted to live by the sea and its just another thing I never pulled the trigger on, it was always something that I "was going to do in the future" (despite how ancient I'm getting) but its so good to have actually done it! I love London, I've lived in greater London my entire life but I was ready to get out. Hastings is such a magical place, its still pretty rough around the edges, it still looks like a "proper" English sea side town but there's loads of creativity going on, loads of weird and wonderful people and its small enough that you get to know people quickly. I've lived here for less than 2 months and I still have a lot of practical ties with London but I can already tell you I'm not moving back anytime soon. Also, I can buy slush puppies and cotton candy whenever the f**k I like now.

Can you share any other future plans you may be having?

Right now the café is using up all of my energy and its difficult to make future plans when you spend all your time obsessing over one thing. I have plans to get my coffee out to more shops and cafes but practically its pretty difficult to find the time to roast enough to do much more than I'm doing already. My future plans do include working out the greatest vegan grilled cheese recipe and developing the food that's available here. I also don't want to loose track of all the other things I do outside of the coffee shop, my bands, getting out to shows, walking to beautiful places and, most importantly, cuddling my cat.

Please tell our readers how they can find out more:

I recently started blogging at Thus far it hasn't really been about coffee that much but I'm gonna change that and spice it up a little bit in the coming months (that sounds like I'm gonna add nudity. I'm not). You can also find me on Instagram at @shamcityroasters if you wanna see pictures of vegan food and cats, that's the one I update the most although I'm on all the social medias so catch me on your favourite one if you wish!

Sham City Roasters Craft filter coffee roasters and vegan/vegetarian cafe in Hastings at The Clockwork Crow, 68 George St in the heart of Hastings Old Town

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Sham City Roasters

Interview with Place in Print

SoLo Craft Fair catches up with Ed Povey from South London based design studio Place in Print. We find out how Place in Print has become the successful business it is today, and Ed shares some great pointers on how to start your own company.

Tell us a little about what you do.

Place in Print is a design studio and online retailer, specialising in locally-themed art prints, homeware, clothing and cards. Since founding the company in 2013, weve worked hard to bring our customers affordable and appealing products which celebrate the places in which we live. As well as designing in-house, we with some of the UK’s leading talent in order to create a selection of the finest place-related products for the home.

What inspired you to start your business?

For a few years after university I had been working as an urban designer, designing public spaces. After a while I left and started picking up some freelance work. It was around that time that a friend and I had an idea to create a few illustrations that depicted landmarks in a few different South London areas. We tested the water at a market in South London. From day one, our work went down really well with the public. Over the next 6 months or so, what started out as an experiment turned into a full time job, and it hasn’t stopped since!

How long have you been running your creative business?

I first started the business in 2012, but Place in Print was officially formed in 2013. I have been working on it more or less full-time since then!

What advice would you give to someone trying to start their own creative business?

One thing you learn pretty quickly when you start your own creative business is that it is very difficult to stay motivated and productive when you are on your own. If at all possible, it is a good idea to work with other people, either business partners or collaborators. At Place in Print, I try to work with other designers as much as possible to broaden the styles of design that we offer, but also to keep me sane! If I was starting up my business again today, I would probably try to take a desk in a shared workspace so that I had a network of other creative-types around me to bounce ideas off and work with.

Which small company do you admire and why?

I’m a big fan of a Joanna Ham’s company HAM. Her design’s are so simple and playful, they have a fantastically broad appeal. Everything about the brand is focussed and stylish, and I’m a particular fan of their Instagram profile as an example of how a social media profile can complement products.

As your company is purely based on places, where is your favourite place and why?

Good question! It has got to be the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. Being just up the road from my studio, I get to visit quite a lot, and it is a regular lunchtime walk with the studio hound. The Gardens offer an amazing view over London, and the museum itself is filled with an amazing collection of oddities. The Horniman Walrus is the subject of one of my most popular prints, and is a good representation of what my business is about. Anyone that didn’t know of the walrus would be wondering why on earth anyone would want a random picture of one on their wall, but once you know its story, and have seen it in person, you can’t help but love it!

Please tell us how can someone find your company online: 

The Place in Print website is the best place to get hold of any of our products. For the social media savvy; you can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - @placeinprint.