Inspiration station: 5 creative startups we admire

***NOTE TO INSPECTOR: All visible graphics are our own design, and were produced for this particular shoot.***

In a technology-driven world we wanted show a few of our most-admired, small creative businesses some love.

Here are the art, textile and design businesses we think are paving the way in the UK’s creative industry.

1. Feldspar

Feldspar is a homeware company that came to life amidst the Devon moors thanks to Cath and Jeremy Brown. Having lived in London and worked in architecture and ethical fashion, respectively, they moved to Devon for a slower pace of life and began Feldspar.

Jeremy and Cath design and create ranges of household objects to last a lifetime, including stunning fine-bone china mugs with gold handles and asymmetrical vases that are the perfect melange of quirky and classic. They also make handmade soaps inspired by the Devon countryside.

We love the simplicity of their designs – and we must admit to being a little envious of their idyllic country lifestyle, too!

2. Thornback & Peel
The products created by duo Thornback & Peel also have countryside connotations – and we love ‘em. Tea towels printed with rabbits and emerald-green cabbages? Yes please! Tableware adorned with colourful pheasants and fruits of the undergrowth? Load us up! The designs are fun but have a sophistication that’s sure to make an impact in your home.

The duo behind the bold prints, Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel, have been working together for just over 10 years. Their ethos is simple: as William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

With that in mind, we think these ladies have nailed it.

3. Campbell-Rey
Campbell-Rey is a London-based creative and design consultancy owned by Duncan Campbell and Charlotte Rey. Having worked as co-editors of Acne Paper, the pair opened their creative direction consultancy in 2014 and have gone from strength to strength.

Their clientele includes such enviable names as Mario Testino, Bentley and Veuve Clicquot, for whom they’ve done curation, book design, creative direction and branding.

Their work differs from client to client, but a thread of rich colour, imagination and class weaves throughout each project.

People Meeting Corporate Working Technology Startup Concept

4. Reef Knots
“Summertime, all the time” is the motto of Reef Knots, a company that specialises in detailed and quirky silk ties. It’s reflected in their stunning designs.

Begun by Patrick Dudley-Williams in 2012, after being made redundant unexpectedly a couple of days before his wife gave birth to twins, the London-based company is now thriving. It also has a charity partnership with the Blue Marine Foundation in order to protect the ocean.

We love how Reef Knots has taken the traditional men’s tie and made it slick and fun, while still maintaining the sophistication needed in the workplace. Very cool!

5. Trouva
Ok, so this isn’t a creative start-up as such, but as it’s a platform for small creative and fashion businesses, we thought we’d give it a mention. Trouva brings the UK’s best unique boutiques to you, saving you from having to trawl the internet to find what you want.

It stems from the Streethub app which launched in 2014 to give independent retailers extra reach, as well as helping shoppers find one-offs without extensive searching. It’s even been labelled one of the top ten fashion apps that all London shopaholics need to have by Culture Trip. High praise indeed!


Posted by The Secret Businessman