Bell Hutley in our Pinafore Shirt
 
Our third addition to the #BritishDesignHub is one we're hugely excited about, providing ornately illustrated pieces designed for the home we're thrilled to introduce you to the emerging British talent that is Bell HutleyRead on for our exclusive interview with Bell and for chance to win goodies worth more than £280.
You are fresh into your exciting journey with your new brand, tell us what was it that spurred you into starting your business?
I’ve been an artist and illustrator since I can remember. Growing up, I wanted to illustrate children’s books and that passion grew and grew. Turning 21 with a big moment for me and the start of my career, as I realised I wanted to go far beyond just books and start illustrating and designing things which I could fill an entire house with!
We love your bold use of colour and the way you celebrate the beauty of beetles and bugs that aren't always linked to chic interiors. Tell us a little more about your aesthetic.

My aesthetic is constantly evolving but I always want my designs to emulate colour and detail; I think it’s important to be bold with colour and not be afraid to use it! It brings light and excitement into the house. My work has always been inspired by nature, and nature makes people happy, I want my designs to emulate this in colour and detail. My aesthetic is always changing and is very seasonal.
How do you manage the creative and the commercial sides of your business, do you have any support?
I’m extremely lucky to have two angels on my team, Alice and Christhl who cover sales, marketing and PR, all of which is a huge help and means I can focus on the creative side. I learn from them every day. It has been vital for me to have them as a sounding board and part of my team. I will always send them new designs and we edit and curate the collections together.

Another way I learn is through my customers. Feedback is very helpful, as well as picking up on what other designers and artists are creating. I always feel like a sponge, trying to watch and absorb everything 24/7. I also think it’s important to make mistakes, you learn SO much from getting things wrong.
You reference Tim Burton and the late Alexander McQueen as creative inspirations.
How much of a rebel are you in spirit?
I’ve always loved rebels like McQueen, people who take their industries and turn them on its head - they break all the rules. It’s so important to always question trending styles and fashion. I always aim to try and steer clear of being the same and try and push the boat out and innovate. You're never going to please everyone, that’s important to remember.
What is your typical day... how you like to start and any foodie/wellbeing favourites?
Over lockdown I’ve gone for more walks, I’ve done so much cooking and I’ve taken up yoga. I find my mind much clearer when I either take some time off for a walk or do a yoga practice. It’s now really important for me as sitting at my desk for too long can make me really stagnant and stunt my creativity. My brother and I are still hooked on yoga and do it together in our garden in Ladbroke Grove on most days.
How hard has lockdown been on you, and how has your business fared?
Lockdown was a strange moment for my business, initially, we were scared as the factories and shops shut, nobody knew what was going to happen. But once the initial fear subsided it was an amazing time. Online sales soared, and I was able to take the time to focus on new projects and designs, without the rat race pressures of normal life. I feel very lucky not to have been hit too hard and feel very sad for those who have.
Tell us a little about how you produce your designs - from mats to linens and ceramics.
I love designing for my placemats, they are the closest to a piece of art in my mind. My illustrations print onto them like little round canvases. They are manufactured in Lincolnshire by a family-run business who have been so lovely and helped me a lot, especially when I first started out. Linens and fabrics are so much fun to make too. I’m still learning a lot about how my designs translate onto the different textures. My designs are also printed up North in a big printing mill. I’m constantly on the hunt for new factories. My aim is to have everything made in the UK and Europe. There's a lot of amazing craftsmanship out there and I can’t wait to explore it further.
You look beautiful in the TROY Pinafore Shirt, why did you pick out that design from the summer collection?
I love the shape of the Pinafore shirt, especially the shoulders flicking up, it’s so elegant and flattering. Also white goes with absolutely everything, it’s so feminine and graceful; perfect for summer evenings. It’s also very diverse, you can style it up with a big necklace and belt or wear it with a simple pair of floaty trousers.
What is next for Bell Hutley?
I hope to just keep creating new artworks and finding new exciting products to create. I have had so much fun in the last two years creating my brand. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, working with brands like Troy and working with new materials.
Inspired by the likes of Tim Burton and Alexander McQueen this artist turned illustrator is as rebellious in spirit as she is with her colourful designs. We sat down with Bell to discuss her nature inspired brand, the evolution of her business in light of Covid 19 and what the future holds for this exciting young company.
"I love the shape of the Pinafore Shirt, especially the shoulders flicking up, it's so elegant and flattering.."
 
To perk up your week we are giving you the chance to win our Pinafore Shirt with Bell Hutley's Beetle Placemats valued at over £280
Simply enter your details below and the winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday 4th August and notified by email.
You missed a spot...
Bell's beautiful range of linen Napkins are also available through the #BritishDesignHub
We'll end with our favourite quotes from the one and only Alexander McQueen;
"The world needs fantasy, not reality. We have enough reality today"

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