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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

A review of the 2013 Startup Showcase from the School for Creative Startups

There were some great new creative businesses launched at this weekend showcase at Somerset House. Here are my pick of the bunch.

Written by Amelia Gregory

David Bowie cushion - Circus Matt Manson
This weekend the School for Creative Startups returned to Somerset House to celebrate the work of their graduates with a full programme of talks and workshops focused on ways to start up and successfully run a creative business. I was really impressed with the variety of companies on display in the ‘pop up marketplace’ – most of whom have just finished the year long business training course led by School for Creative Startups founder Doug Richard, a former Dragon’s Den contributor and serial entrepreneur. Here’s my pick of the talent on show:

Circus Matt Manson scarf David Bowie
Circus Brixton have a stall entirely constructed out of cardboard in the newly invigorated Brixton Market: their timely David Bowie collaboration with illustrator Matt Manson comes on cushions and scarves.

Biplane Press Letterpress and growth ruler
I spoke at length to Pia from Biplane Press, who has been building up her bespoke Letterpress business as her two kids get older. Her beautiful wall display showed off the variety and quality of her stationery commissions, and her handmade growth chart ruler is unsurprisingly one of her best sellers.

Cocoa Hernando chocolate
Cocoa Hernando is the creation of Paul Tomlinson, who dreamt up the idea for a chocolate brand featuring the most exciting flavours from around the world during a trip around India. This travel theme inspired his superb presentation – gorgeously illustrated packets of chocolate strapped into old suitcases. The chocolate itself was absolutely delicious, particularly the awesome Masala Chai flavour.

emilythepemily Emily Boyd illustrator
Emilythepemily is Emily Boyd, an illustrator from Bristol. I like her characterful surface designs.

Minus Sun embroidered resin jewellery
Minus Sun creates pretty resin jewels that contain tiny fragments of embroidery.

Survival Arts Bumblebee art competition
Survival Arts is a brilliant concept to raise awareness of lesser known species facing extinction, by instigating art workshops and competitions that will lead to the creation of products that will help to raise money for that animal (or insect, or amphibian). This is an idea I’ve long been interested in so it’s great to see it being into practice by founders Dr Suzy Paisley-Day (a conservation biologist) and Kate Coleman. Their first textile design has been created in the style of The Butterfly Ball, and features a British bee that has already gone extinct. They are currently running a competition to celebrate the homecoming of the short-haired bumblebee – find out more info here.

Lili and Ida moon fairies necklace
Lili & Ida combines dainty laser cut jewellery with jersey fashion pieces that feature detachable straps inspired by vintage hinges. Aren’t these fairies on a moon cute?

Margot Bowman creature head
Designer Margot Bowman is involved with a multitude of projects. I liked her colourful painted creature.

Inky Shades anteater lampshade
Fancy something a little bit unusual for your interior? How about these delightful illustrated lampshades by Inky Shades. I have a particular penchant for this peachy anteater in a bowler hat.

Kate Mawby knitwear stand
Kate Mawby knitted cushions
Interiors knit designer Kate Mawby really impressed with a sharply styled stand piled up with knitted cushions and throws. She had also made good use of technology and incentive to do some market research: answer an online questionnaire and stand the chance to win a cushion.

Frilly by Lily daisy citrine ring
Jewellery brand Frilly by Lily has branched out from upcycled vintage pieces to create these pretty new daisy citrine rings. Lily is keeping an emphasis on ethical sourcing and manufacturing, so these latest collections will contain on average 50% recycled materials. Good to know!

Hunk Home startup showcase flowers
Beautiful flowers to brighten a miserable March weekend, put together in a fetching display by Hunk Home.

It was really refreshing to find so many different types of creative business on offer in one place and I hope to see plenty more from the brands who were on show in the coming years. Find out more about the School for Creative Startups on their website.

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