Hi Anna! How would you describe SPOT Design Market?
SPOT cements Scotland’s design conscious community together and celebrates the incredible talent we have here and further afield. SPOT gives a place for visitors to shop higher-end products face-to-face with the designer in stylish and influential surroundings; an exciting social shopping experience.
We are expanding in 2021, and working hard towards becoming a platform that supports designer-makers not just solely through our markets. We also want to provide opportunities to teach and expand the understanding of the sector, and bring in new multi-cultural and diverse audiences.
Curating our events is incredibly important to us. If you attend an art show you don’t expect to see the same art, created by different artists. You’ll always see a great variation at our events. And we know our visitors don’t want to simply pass through, so we offer engaging workshops, music and top food and drink from local small businesses.
How did SPOT come to be?
I moved to Glasgow from London in 2016, craving community. When I arrived, I’d visited Glasgow for only half a day previously and knew nobody – it took me at least a year before I made any true friends, and during that time I began being introduced to the creative scene. I officially began my textile business, Anna Hepburn Studio, in 2017. Through attending markets, I met so many brilliant designer-makers, but never felt like I was finding my target market. I met Sarah of Squid Ink Co. among others, and began talking of a high-end market that would bring in the target audience we were all aiming for. SPOT began in 2019. We’ve now held two physical events and three online events.
What is your background?
I studied for a BA in contemporary fine art with sculpture and performance at Central Saint Martins in London, graduating in 2011. I returned to study upholstery in early 2017 and again to study furniture restoration from 2017 – 2019.
I’ve worked many jobs alongside and prior to the business, each area having an influence on business decisions, including menswear fashion and set design for independent craft and design businesses, and I’ve created art installations featured in galleries across the UK.
Where do you find creative inspiration?
How did you first discover your love for what you do?
Honestly, it’s been a gradual thing and one that I think I was somehow destined for – I’ve been attending craft and design markets since I was very young, both as a visitor and vendor with my parents, who are also very craft driven. I’m a creature of habit, even though I like to pretend I’m very carefree, so I like routine and structure – and organising events fits nicely into this niche. Combine this with my experience in set design, art installation, curating and gallery projects, administration… you can see where the overlap is!
Describe a working day…
Each day is pretty different, though I try to be in the studio by 10am and leave by 5-8pm. I usually spend Monday replying and sending emails, to make sure the week can run smoothly with all the answers I need. In the evenings I usually assess what needs to be done the following day, or for the following few days, and keep a record of all this, plus meetings, in a spreadsheet. There are usually at least two meetings a week – this can be with our graphic designer, Concrete Nature, or various designers, speakers, members of the public, PR/media.
What is the ethos behind your business?
Encouraging audiences to shop with independent designers. Sustainability and buying better products which will last longer. Educating the public about different areas of the creative sector. Passing on valuable skills and experience to designers and audiences.
What has been the greatest hurdle in starting your own business?
Knowledge and finance! This isn’t uncommon, but patience has been so key in the development. Learning from previous projects has been a HUGE help in guiding what has so far (and hopefully continues to be) been a pretty successful leap.
What sort of space do you work in?
We’ve been based at The Briggait in Glasgow for about five months. It has been a brilliant new chapter as this year as I have also gone full time with SPOT. The studio is curated with objects we love and gives us space, as well as the space to grow.
What’s one thing people would be surprised you do in your job?
You name it, I do it, or will have a good go/find somebody who can do it. I think that’s the main surprise!
What is the most important lesson that running your business has taught you about life?
My life motto – Everything Always Works Out!
Any good advice for independent creative businesses who are just starting out?
Stalk your favourite businesses as much as you can, not to copy them, but to work out what you really love about them, and make lists of those things that you can perhaps work with in your own business. Plus, get as much business experience as you can; attend workshops and ask experts. Most importantly though, take your time and celebrate the small wins!
What does the next year hold for you?
We began our monthly limited editions on the 1st June… each 1st of the month we will be releasing a collaboration with two makers, pairing their work together. The first release was M A N I F E S T O, who has created one of a kind candle holders based on geology, featuring Madeline Adams organic curved candles. We are bringing out two new limited editions on the 1st September by Kate Trouw Jewellery and Lorna Freytag, with something special for the home office.
SPOT will be back in December with a big celebration and shopping experience – dates tbc. Makers can register interest in participating in our events starting later this year via our website.
Books I love: Sara Pascoe’s Animal
Creative Heroes: Far too many to mention, but we work with a lot of them!
Shops I love: @hoos @bawntextiles @artistsandobjects
Inspirational places: The Hampshire Downs and our studio
Instagrammers I love: @anneaarsland @yorkshireshepherdess @mollygoddard
All photography by Theodora van Duin