Lola Hoad, 22, originally from Buckinghamshire, moved down to Brighton in 2012.
Why did you move?
“My partner and I moved from our family homes in Bucks when we were 17 as we decided to shun University and head into the ‘real world’ instead. We wouldn’t change it for the world! And we moved out of Brighton as we had to move out of our lovely flat in the North Laine quickly but couldn’t find anywhere that would allow us to have our dog, Barney, so off to Lewes we went. So we’re currently living in Lewes after moving out of Brighton last September (but I reckon we’ll be back soon!).
How would you describe your business?
“I own a paper goods company called LH design, which I started up in May 2014 after a redundancy from a graphic design job. I design and sell handlettered paper goods, ranging from greeting cards to prints, that are intended to motivate and inspire. All of our production is done in East Sussex, and we exclusively use 100% recycled paper to ensure we’re as sustainable as we can be whilst working with paper. We now have a loyal online following and stockists all around Europe.”
“I also run a collective, One Girl Band, which is for female entrepreneurs and creatives to support and nurture one another. We have monthly meet ups in Brighton, as well as Expertise Sessions (when an industry professional comes in and does a workshop on their topic). I also offer coaching and branding services via OGB.”
How did you build LH Design and One Girl Band?
“I started LH design straight after my redundancy as I felt I wasn’t going to find a conventional job that would make me feel as joyful, or as fulfilled. I had no real, tangible business experience (being only 19 at the time) but I had the passion and drive; I spent the first 3 months of business solely learning and absorbing every piece of information I could. I built up my brand online, and made a name for myself via Instagram. One Girl Band started off the back of LH design, as I started to document the journey I was making, and soon realised there were a great deal of others in the same boat.”
Where would you like to see yourself taking your businesses?
“I have big plans for both businesses! I’m currently undertaking a huge project with One Girl Band that is a bit of a secret at the moment. Getting LH design into a major retailer would be a huge moment for me, as well as going down the route of more commission work (such as window displays, corporate advertising etc). I’d also love to do more speaking events.”
What makes you passionate about your business?
“I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be my own boss, and to make a difference in a community. I think having that desire and having that goal keeps my passion running.”
Where do you sell?
Have you got any other hobbies?
“My other love, apart from design, is music. I spend a lot of time listening to records and going to shows.”
What effect would you like your work to have on the world?
“From the beginning, I’ve wanted to make a real, impactful difference to the way women and creatives view themselves. We are all capable of such great things, and I think it’s so, so important to take time to invest in ourselves.”
What makes you happy?
“My work, my partner, my dog, my friends, my family.”
What is one of your biggest achievements?
“Last year, when I spoke at Google Campus about my journey to over 100 people. That was a moment!”
What do you love about Brighton?
“The DIY culture. There is such a rich community of self-employed creatives and freelancers here and they are what makes this city so great. Not to mention the independent shops (Resident, Wolf & Gypsy Vintage, Our Daily Edit to name a few) that surround us! Oh, and summer evenings on the beach (but not the seagulls).”
What would be your inspiring message for humanity?
“Be nice, and just do the work.”
Anything more that you might have planned for the future?
Keep an eye on onegirlband.co.uk for our future events, and you can follow me on Instagram to keep in the loop! @lhdesign_
Feature image by Emma Gutteridge.