Skip to main content
Custom Painted Upcycling | Eco-Prints | Pet portraits | Charity collaborations

About my time working for and with my favourite clients to date- Lucy & Yak and Pangaia

About my time working for and with my favourite clients to date- Lucy & Yak and Pangaia

So I talked to you in my last blog about how I got into three big High Street stores as a small niche brand. I’m still in shock now at some of the opportunities I have managed to get, considering I have barely any press coverage, no marketing strategy, I don’t even run ads, it’s all been based on the emails I’ve sent and my heart and passion for my work.

Since We Are Hairy People started in 2011, I’ve always loved selling direct to customers. I love seeing people wearing the items, seeing the names of the people it’s going to, especially if I can make something personalised and spoke to them. I’ve always cared about that sense of community that art and fashion can bring.

By the time I was running my community art studio for mental wellness in 2019, I was really hoping to land some more environmentally friendly and ethical brands to work with, who were more in line with my own values. I was also trying to support a lot of other artists in the studio, and I needed more brand work to be able to do that.

I started focussing on finding clients who also valued community, as well as more creative clothing, and who were achieving much better social and environmental standards. The next three brands that I worked with and loved were Lucy and Yak, Lefrik, Pangaia, and Big Wild Thought.

My journey with Lucy and Yak is still going strong now! I think our first collaboration was in 2018… We’ve done lots of collections together, and when I needed a break from self-employment in 2022, I was able to approach Lucy and propose that I could come aboard as an in-house resident artist for a certain amount of time, to upcycle their slow-selling stock. We’ve made so many beautiful pieces, and worked together for so long, they feel like my family. Their brand also fosters a great community that I really loved being a part of. They are one of very few brands that are willing to do unusual things, and I can’t imagine anyone else remotely even considering my proposal. They’ve now grown at a tremendous speed, and are starting to outgrow me, which I totally understand, So I’m not sure whether we will be doing any more collaborations in the future, but I hope so!

Lefrik and Big Wild Thought are two more amazing eco-friendly brands, and we were able to make some beautiful pieces together. My friends at Big Wild Thought are closing down this year, and starting a new adventure, which is incredibly brave… I have become very worried about the amount of small brands, closing down recently, though… Especially as I’m trying to relaunch! But we will see!

The next client want to tell you about, is probably my most unique and high-end client I’ve ever had. Pangaia are a materials science company, creating luxury loungewear and activewear out of innovative and environmentally advanced materials. We made an adults wear capsule collection, and then up cycled quite a bit of their children’s wear too, by adding paintings of selected endangered animals. They have been the most organised and clever brand I’ve ever worked with. Everything they did was well thought out and considered, my buyer was so talented and still stays in touch now sometimes.

To land these 4 clients, I emailed hundreds of places. I reached out to loads of brands that I love, paying particular attention to ones that I really cared about, such as these, to try and nurture relationship, and prove my worth. Sometimes you just have to knock on a lot of doors and see which ones want to open it, and whether they’re gonna shut it in your face or not. If and when they do, you just get up and get going again, because business isn’t personal, it’s just business.

For both Lucy&Yak and Pangaia, I started working with them when they were a smaller more reasonable size, and they’ve both blown up massive now. 

I’ve just finished my artist residency at Lucy and yak, and will miss the community there. 

I will always be grateful to the brands I’ve worked with, to grow and nurture my craft. And can’t wait to see who I’ll have the chance to work with in the future. I have some brands in mind of course! 

They’re gonna need to be forward thinking, creative, value & purpose driven, and willing to try something really different and interesting, like me!