What can you tell us about Sabi Studio?
The name Sabi is derived from the Japanese design aesthetic ‘Wabi-Sabi’, which celebrates beauty in ‘imperfection’ and in nature.
As Sabi earrings are hand-painted by me in my studio and are completely one of a kind, each pair is totally unique and they are ‘perfectly imperfect’.
Sabi launches collections monthly, updating the website with over 200 bespoke designs which change seasonally with the colours and flowers in nature. Designs tend to sell rather quickly, so we also offer a specially curated, made to order service, also inspired by the seasons.
You recently celebrated Sabi’s first birthday. What have you learnt about being a young female entrepreneur in the North East since your launch last year?
It’s so important to connect with other small businesses for support, encouragement, collaborations and building local trust through word of mouth and recommendations.
Doing so has encouraged a huge rise in my local sales. Our region as a whole, and the smaller communities within it, are a very supportive place to own a small business, which I feel so grateful for every day.
Can you tell us a little bit about you?
My creative journey started when I finished school with a real passion for art and design. Following my studies, I enrolled into The Northern School of Art, where I studied graphic design for a year, before specialising in illustration.
After college, I was accepted into Leeds Arts University where I studied printed textiles and surface pattern design for three years. After graduating, I was very lucky to land a dream print design job in Manchester for a renowned print studio.
Working there enabled me to travel to trade shows in Germany and New York and sell my work to companies globally. Even now I will walk into well-known high street stores and see my bedding or curtain designs and the buzz never gets old.
When COVID hit, I was furloughed immediately. I made the move back to the North East and that’s when I set up Sabi. I had no idea it would blow up the way it has and I am so grateful that my small business has enabled me to leave my job in Manchester to focus on Sabi full-time.
I’ve gone from working in my Mum’s garage to a studio space in beautiful Stokesley, with other fabulous small businesses and the River Leven on my doorstep.
You’re based in glorious North Yorkshire. How has the natural landscape that surrounds you influenced your designs?
It’s incredible to be able to step outside and be within a short distance of beautiful woodland, the coast and the hills. Nature has always been a massive inspiration to me, even in my print design career.
I used to joke that my job was just to draw flowers all day, but to be honest, that’s exactly what I did! Now with Sabi, my designs are heavily influenced by flora and natural colour palettes as well as the journey through the seasons.
I am constantly introducing new floral shapes and colour schemes into the monthly collections. Whenever I am feeling burnt out or uninspired, I can take a five minute drive to a beautiful scenic spot to recharge and gather inspiration.
Can you walk us through a day in the life of you at Sabi Studio?
Being self-employed means I can enjoy living my days quite freely. Some days I have to remind myself that just because no one is going to tell me off, I can’t turn up late to the studio and wear tracksuit bottoms every day!
I’m also still getting used to being my own boss, so self discipline is something I’ve really tried to focus on this year.
So most days, I’ll wake up and take my old dog for a slow mooch around the neighbourhood before heading to my studio in Stokesley.
I’ll start the day there with a big coffee and check my emails, responding to any customer queries or ordering any stock I may need.
I’ll then start hand painting slabs of clay which are then cut, baked, glossed, sanded and assembled.
I always try to film behind-the-scenes videos as my followers on Instagram really enjoy watching me paint and the process behind their earrings. I’ll then end my working day by packing any outstanding orders and taking them to the post office.
What can we expect to see from Sabi this spring/summer?
The summer collection will be filled with vibrant colours and lots of hand-painted florals and fruits. Last year the orange design featured in British Vogue and it’s been a long-awaited comeback.
I am aiming for new products to be released this summer too, so make sure to keep an eye out on our social channels.
Where can we purchase your beautiful pieces?
Over on sabistudio.co.uk where you can browse the current collection or check out our archive for inspo.
What’s next for Sabi?
After a year of building Sabi to be my full-time job, in the coming year I would like to combine my pattern design skills to create products such as stationery and homeware, along with new hand-painted products.
I also plan to hold workshops with customers when restrictions ease. That will be a lot of fun and a great way to engage with the Sabi audience.
Why the North East is so important to Sabi Studio >>
Your favourite places to unwind and enjoy downtime in the area?
My favourite place to eat locally is The Truffled Hog in Stokesley. It’s the perfect place for after-work drinks and nibbles.
To get a bit of a change of scenery from the studio, I love to while away the hours here editing photos while sipping coffee and tucking into sweet treats.
I also love to get out in the great outdoors – two of my favourite fresh-air spots are Guisborough Woods and the beach at Saltburn.
I definitely enjoy a bit of self-care when I can squeeze it in. I love a good pamper at Convey Salons in Stokesley.
Three places you take visitors?
Saltburn beach, Roseberry Topping and Cod Beck Reservoir in Osmotherley.
A shout out to another local business doing well in the area?
Wedding caterer turned takeaway during the pandemic, Damon from Big D’s BBQ has shown true resilience with the transition. For the best BBQ food imaginable, check out: @big_ds_bbq.
And finally, your three luxe things in life?
Red lipstick for instant confidence, Barcelona – my dream city to live, and my Anthropologie Perasima mug – the perfect size for a big cup of coffee to start the day.