By Kate Marsden
Back to London today to meet textile designer Georgia Bosson. Most of my friends and family have received a little bit of Georgia’s work at some point over the last few years, and the calendar from her collaboration with Cecily Vessey is gracing my kitchen wall as I type!
Read on to find out more about Georgia’s work and to hear why she supports the Just A Card campaign.
Tell us a little about you. What do you do?
I am a textile designer working with screen printing, embroidery and quilting techniques. These processes manifest as a range of products from cushions and quilts to limited edition notebooks. I try to make my work as environmentally and socially conscious as possible; using only linen or organic fabrics and working with social enterprises for the production of my products, which enables me to support education and employment opportunities for the prisoners at HMP Downview.
What does a typical day involve?
A great day will involve lots of drawing and messing around at the print table followed by yoga, however a normal day is usually a split between ‘proper’ business work and production, with hopefully a bit of creative fun squeezed in. I have just implemented a new routine where I don’t do any computer work or answer emails until after 12pm. I found that my days were being absorbed responding to other peoples requests, and my creative work was being pushed aside, so I now keep the mornings for printing, drawing and making new things which is working really well so far!
Where do you work? What is your studio space like? What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
I have a space in a shared studio in an industrial estate near Millwall football stadium (oh so glamorous!) I am incredibly lucky to have space for a large print table where the majority of my work is produced, and my workshops are taught. My desk area is always full of piles of drawings and samples as I am often working on more than one design or project at a time, and I find that if the work sits next to each other it can spawn new ideas.
When I’m not working I am usually either off on an adventure on my bike, swimming at the lido or shopping for delicious food at Brockley market!
What do you consider to be the main challenges facing designer makers at the moment?
Aside from the obvious (ahem Brexit and inflation) I think the main challenge designer makers face is their own insecurities, we are always ready to dismiss an idea or feel that we aren’t good enough in the face of an endless barrage of beautifully curated Instagram photos. One of the best things I have read this year was from Patricia van den Akker at the Design Trust; ‘Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle’ we all have to remember to be our own people and trust our instincts and sometimes just ignore everyone else and do what makes you happy.
What ambitions do you have for your business over the next few years?
I have endless plans and ambitions, however my top priority at the moment is to expand my range of fabric by the metre, which should enable me to expand my current product range and hopefully work on some large scale pieces. I would also love to keep working on collaborative projects such as the Landmark Locations series that I launched with Cecily Vessey last year, there are a few things in the pipeline so we will see what happens!
Do you have any tips for fellow designer makers/small business owners who are reading this and may be just starting out?
Don’t expect to change your life in the next five minutes, it takes time and dedication to build a brand. Even when you reach a goal (such as a trade show) it might not look or feel how you expected, but embrace it and treat everything as an opportunity to learn and meet people. You will never feel that your work is finished but remember to take time to look back and see how far you have come, it will make the next hurdle much easier to handle.
Please share any favourite independent shops/galleries and tell us why you like them.
And Keep are one of my newest stockists and I love their ethos. They source products that are designed to be kept forever, and if you have had enough of your purchase they even offer a re-homing service for any unwanted items ensuring that it will continue to be loved.
Unlimited Brighton a brilliantly bright and fun shop in the heart of Brighton selling prints, stationery and homewares, with a regularly changing rosta of designers and an amazing exterior wall it’s not to be missed.
Had you realised the Just A Card campaign message suggests cards as an example of a small purchase - we're about encouraging all sales as they keep businesses afloat?
Yes, I have known about Just A Card through Sarah Hamilton since it was first conceived. I think it is a fantastic way to remind people that small sales make all the difference, and to a small business every sale feels like a victory!
How important is the Just A Card campaign message to you and your business?
I started my business at craft markets and have gradually moved on to showing at trade shows and working on a larger scale. However, those initial card and tea towel sales gave me the confidence to keep going with my business, and helped build the foundations that hold everything up today. When I was starting (around four years ago) there was much less competition, so I think it is great to have a network that supports designers old and new and reminds people that every £3 sale really does count.
Where did you hear about the campaign and which Social Media platforms do you use most frequently? What do you think people can do to support Just A Card, and how will you be doing so?
My favourite social media platform is Instagram, as a designer the ability to convey a message through an image feels like a fun challenge, and it is a really friendly platform. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook, but Instagram gets all the fun stuff! The algorithms on all social media can make getting your work seen difficult to say the least, but I think the most important thing to do is keep engaging with other small businesses, ensuring that you like and share their work, as everyone is essentially in the same boat and needs as much support as the next person.