Meet Laura from The Wallflower Studio

Meet Laura from The Wallflower Studio one of The Store Collective’s local long standing Partners.We spent some time with Laura to learn all about her amazing journey. 

 

 

Laura how and when did you start your Wallflower Studio journey? 
Towards the end of my last job in 2019 – working for a fashion supplier for high street brands, I had this niggling feeling that something wasn't quite right. I no longer had the drive to work for fast fashion brands and wanted to do something more meaningful with my creative skills. I had always dreamt of starting my venture, but the idea didn't seem accessible financially, and with a full-time job, I wasn't sure how I could make it work. I would always end up talking myself out of it.  
 
We were in the depths of the Pandemic, and after officially hitting a wall with my career as a Print Designer, after going for a job and not getting it - that was the last straw and my turning point. I decided not to waste another moment putting my energy into the fast-paced fashion world. I took it all as one big sign telling me to go for it! – to leap, go self-employed and create my brand! And so I did - I officially started my business in March 2021. 
When Lockdown was announced, I felt as though everything was falling apart. I didn't realise at the time that everything was falling into place! 
 
Where do you get your inspiration from? 
The idea behind the name 'Wallflower' comes from a mix of thoughts: - throughout my growing up, particularly higher education, I considered myself to be a bit of a 'Wallflower'. I was very much an introvert and found it hard in social situations. I often chose to work on projects rather than go out. I had this underlying feeling that I needed to try and be someone else to fit in. The Wallflower Studio is about breaking away from this and saying, actually, it doesn't matter – you can be whoever you want with confidence and wear bright colours, be bold and just be yourself – introvert or extravert! 
 
When I put together my business plan, a long-term goal of mine was to hopefully be in a position where I could help other people and create a space for them to come and explore a creative outlet. To help those who simply may want to get away from the demands of life. 
 
Another reason why I chose the name is I love flowers and would like to expand my product range to wallpaper, so all my flowers end up on walls!  

 

How do you make your products?
I have always been creative since a very young age, and creating and making is something I feel I was always destined to do. I studied Illustration at University, and when I left, it took me a few years to work out how I could combine this with my love for fashion. When I drew up my business plan, all the things I made needed to be unique and magical. You would feel amazing when you put on one of my scarves or Kimonos, or a room would light up when you put one of my prints on a wall. I want my work to bring happiness. I take care with all the items I make, that they are made well and not mass-produced. The prints and designs I produce are all inspired by nature. This is always my starting point; it can all start from a bright pink flower that catches my eye as I walk down the road. 

 

Tell us about The Store Collective and you...
The Store Collective is the first shop I have featured in selling my products. This was one of my business goals for 2022! TSC has made that happen. It's incredible to be under one roof with other lovely, inspiring Partners selling quality products that have come from a good place – I am pleased to be a part of a business that supports local/ sustainable/ Fairtrade/ slow fashion. It's an excellent opportunity to be given an accessible platform to emerge into the market – it's an exhilarating step forward for my business. 

 

 

How is The Store Collective helping your business to grow?
The Collective is a great way to give my business exposure, network and get my products in front of a larger audience where footfall is organic. It gives me great content for social media platforms where I can talk about The Store Collective and hopefully build on my audience. It is also a great way to see how my products sell and get essential feedback from TSC and the shoppers, all helping me to build confidence in the work I produce and why. I need to return to why I do what I do. TSC has been a good reminder of why and has given me a boost – I mustn't give up! 

 

How did your journey with The Store Collective begin? 
I had walked past the store a few times and saw it on social media. I thought it looked great but didn't quite feel ready to approach them. When I finally built up my products and confidence, and after a gentle nudge (push) from a close friend, it was time! I am so glad I decided to go in that day! I met Kate, and it was great to hear how the store worked and how it was a platform for designers like myself. Kate's passion for the store concept made it an easy decision to come on board, and coming on board with TSC is, without a doubt, a career highlight. 

 

 

What advice would you give to others?
Begin somewhere, anywhere! When you are ready (you might not feel it, but you are!), make a clear plan – write it all down, from budget to yearly objectives. This will help you manifest and move forward. Then go for it and commit wholeheartedly. It's hard but don't give up. Always come back to 'why?' as your motivation. Write down achievements - no matter how small. Enjoy the journey. Be true to yourself and the work you want to put out there. Keep the faith and persevere. 

 

Motivation quote? 
'Grab life by the b***s!'… 
I recently worked on a commission for a customer. When I dropped it off at her house, she welcomed me in for a cup of tea. This lady is 80, and she was telling me about her late husband and the adventures they used to go on. She looked at me and said, 'don't be afraid to take risks Laura, you just have to grab life by the….' She didn't finish the sentence but held up her fists as though grabbing the air. She said life is too short, just go for it and believe in yourself. I cherish those words and constantly remind myself when I have a moment of doubt. 

 


Each of our Local Partners are stocked in our shop in @ealingshopping.

Laura illustrates designs that are inspired by nature. These designs are transferred into luxury accessories & limited edition prints.


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