Me and Lauren work here. She makes beautiful handwoven rope jewellery. I’m an illustrator, these cards are by me, they’re all on recycled card. They’re not wrapped in plastic, it’s potato starch, so it’s compostable. Very environmentally friendly! Everything’s by artists from MMU, it’s a launchpad. Finding the artists is a full time job in itself! I always go up to people at art events like “Where did you study? MMU? Get in the shop!”
I’ve had a studio upstairs for two and a half years, and I’ve been employed here since November. There’s ten rooms in the studio. My mum’s dogs are up in my studio today, Im looking after them. Two spaniels. I walked them here today from Reddish, really tired them out!
I hope the Underbanks stays a real community of small businesses. It’s like having friends that you know where they are all day. We all swap gossip, if I see from the bridge that anyone’s filming down on the Underbanks, we’re all texting each other about it, me and the other shops. People are always filming there. You just end up on the film set, trudging along with your bags – oh shit! I’m in the middle of a film!
I’m good friends with Emma who runs the plant shop, and Holly and Martin who do Rare Mags. They have an avocado plant called Mr Burns and they send me a picture whenever he gets new leaves, he’s really big, he’s about 10, 20 years old.