During this year’s London Design Festival, we are hosting an array of creative businesses and independents at The Makers’ Market, the first pop-up of its kind at The Royal Exchange, which will be hosted on our grand mezzanine area from Monday 20-Friday 24 September. In a series of Q&As, we get to know the makers behind the brands.
Tell us about your brand – what do you make and how did you get started?
I started out in the first lockdown, after losing my job in film. I like to keep busy and I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with house plants, so needed a solution to make more space for more plants. I have now returned back to working in film full-time, but during the evenings and weekends I am constantly making plant hangers, which I love to do. I previously had a leather accessories brand for seven years called Tamzin Lillywhite and I still occasionally do work for this also.
How big is your team and where are you based?
I am a team of one, well, me and my in-house doggy model Olive who keeps me company on the late nights. I am based in Whitechapel, London, where I have been for the last eight years.
Describe the style of your creations in three words:
Minimalistic, functional and sexy.
Can you explain a little bit about your craft and what makes it so special?
I graduated in 2012 with a fashion degree from Westminster University and accidentally started a leather accessories brand in my parents’ shed while trying to work in fashion. I focused on developing my leather skills in my own time and started to sell around the world. Before I knew it, I was making more for my own business than I was in the fashion industry. Over the seven years of my brand I collaborated with other companies big and small and continued to create bespoke pieces while also teaching part-time at Central St Martins, which I still do alongside my full-time job working in film.
Over the last four years, film has dominated my work and this has become my main focus until recently. I believe what makes Hung Studios special is how it organically came from years of hard work in other fields and accidently started at a time when I was forced to take a break and I had no way of earning a living.
Quality and fun is my main focus with this brand, which makes it easy to enjoy working hard on. It brings me joy to see my hangers in shops and peoples’ homes.
Who or what are your biggest inspirations when creating?
Plants themselves inspire me to pick new colours and adapt my designs as I work. I take inspiration for the metal and hardware from my other business, Tamzin Lillywhite; giving the look of little harnesses for your plants rather than just the traditional hanger. I am lucky to work in such a creative industry and I am constantly being exposed to new inspirations and techniques.
What can visitors expect when they come to visit your stall at The Royal Exchange Makers’ Market?
They can expect to have their mood lifted and to realise that they have a lot more space than they thought for more house plants.
Hung Studios founder Tamzin Lillywhite
What advice would you give someone looking to explore your particular craft further?
It’s an organic process and working with leather is definitely a love or hate kind of craft. It can be very unforgiving, however, it is very rewarding when you start working with it and expanding your knowledge.
Why do you think it is so important to keep leather craft going?
I believe all the techniques that I have learned come from traditional ways of working and can be applied in different ways. Even though the world is changing and peoples’ opinion on leather has also changed, I believe these techniques and methods should be continued to be used and applied in different ways to keep the craft alive.
Do you have a favourite piece you have created?
The whole brand has been created to be fun and a bit tongue in cheek. I have enjoyed working on this brand and love seeing people’s expressions when they discover the product.
If you could learn any other craft what would it be and why?
I am very fortunate to be exposed to lots of different creative methods in my day job and I have wonderful colleagues who all have their own specialities and are willing to teach me new things. I have loved doing a little work in metal and sculpting and would love to expand on this and learn to make my own jewellery.
Hung Studios will be in residence at The Makers’ Market at The Royal Exchange, taking place on the mezzanine level from Monday 20- Friday 24 September 2021, 10.30am-6pm
Read more about The Makers’ Market and the exhibitors taking part here