Today, I want to introduce you to a lovely, new online store - Haykin.
Launched by Katy Barraclough, it is a store filled with goods of colour and simplicity. The products are so beautifully chosen, style-led and are infused with such fun and vibrancy. So many of the products leapt off the screen at me, not least everything in the stationery section. And how minimally chic is this ceramic pot? Lovely. To find out more about Haykin and its philosophy I had a little chat with Katy...
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I was born in Perth, Scotland but moved (or should I say my parents moved!) to Yorkshire when I was two. After leaving school, I ventured over the Pennines to Manchester for university and it was here, after completing a degree in linguistics, that my career in PR began, as a press officer for Manchester Camerata.
14 years and several in-house, agency and freelance PR roles later, I found myself at mid-thirties career crossroads; content and comfortable with a job I knew and was very capable at but unable to ignore the fact it was no longer making me happy.
WHAT LED YOU FROM PR TO RETAIL?
Owning my own shop and filling it with beautifully-designed, colourful wares has always been a fanciful dream of mine. I dearly loved the idea, 'one day', but never thought I'd be able to make a go of it having become so entrenched and established in PR.
Walking away from a steady income and the familiarity of a job I'd done for a long time, just didn't seem like a smart move. And I've never really been that much of a risk-taker, largely due to the fear of the unknown (and of failing).
But then a series of less-than-desirable personal and family events reminded me of the fragility of life and that our time is relatively limited. Carpe diem!
So with the backing of my insanely supportive and ambitious husband, I resigned from my full time job in spring last year, became fairly well acquainted with my bank manager (and taking 'measured' risk) and put the wheels in motion to launch Haykin.
TELL ME ABOUT HAYKIN AND ITS PHILOPSOPHY
I guess a quick backstory to the name may be a good starting point. My late grandfather, Harry Wilkinson, has very much been an inspiration for the shop: Haykin is a derivation of his first and second name.
Harry was an industrial designer by trade, but a hugely accomplished artist in his spare time. A combination of his eye for strong, functional design and his appreciation for fine art and a happy aesthetic, is something I've tried to incorporate into the Haykin philosophy.
On a more personal level, Haykin is very much a celebration of my long-standing pre-occupation with colour and pattern which dates back to my late teens as an art student. I loved the work of artists like Kandinsky, Mondrian and Yorkshire icon, Hockney. I've been smitten with Hockney's use of bold, brave pastel colours for a long time now and for me his work made me see art as something that can be playful and exciting, while still telling a story.
With Haykin, I wanted to create a store that echoed this balance of colour and purpose: the bolds, brights and pastels bring personality and intrigue but a clean, clever design style ensures everything is useful and, where possible, timeless.
HOW DO YOU PICK THE PRODUCTS?
Being a first-time shopkeeper, trade fairs were my first port of call last summer. I visited Stockholm for Formex, Amsterdam for showUP, Paris for Maison et Objet and then also London for the London Design Festival. And, running alongside these buying trips, were (and still are) Instagram and Pinterest marathons in search of goods of colour and simplicity.
Coming across or meeting designers, makers and small brands that share a similar aesthetic to the one Haykin hangs its hat on, is awesome and I've been very fortunate to uncover an inspiring group of suppliers that I think are fresh, exciting and, in some cases, new to the UK.
I've only been doing this for a few months but it's safe to say, nothing beats the thrill of finding an inspiring new brand or work you've never seen before so, where possible, I've tried to keep this in mind when sourcing stock. I think this drive to find little-known brands has paid off with Odd Pairs socks from Australia's Sunshine Coast: Haykin is one of the first UK retailers to seel these fun, colour-loaded odd socks which come in myriad colours and patterns.
WHERE DO YOU FIND DESIGN INSPIRATION?
Well, Hockney and Harry aside, I'd say these days I find most of my design inspiration from bloggers and creatives online. For example, Bri from DesignLoveFest has amazing style and a wonderful eye for light, bright colours. I also really admire how she's brought her personal blog and talent together to create a kick-ass business and, more recently, branded goods.
I'd say my fondness for Pinterest provides a level of inspiration too, alongside Instagram. The constant stream of visual goodness can be mind blowing (depending on how long I spend scrolling each platform!).
Travel also plays a part in feeding my imagination too. I'm convinced seeing the bright, colourful house of Capitola in California a couple of years ago was a landmark turning point in my colour-hunting mission!
Lastly, galleries and exhibitions. You just can't beat the grandeur of seeing paintings or sculptures in person and seeing the detail and skill that goes into creating these works. I'm really lucky to have Salt's Mill, which houses an impressive collection of Hockney's work, practically on my doorstep.
WHAT COLOURS / TRENDS ARE YOUR PICKS FOR 2016?
Ooh there's so much and spring/summer is when colours really come alive! I'd say I'm probably most excited to see more in the way of colour and pattern clashes, both in clothing and interiors. I recently discovered the work of textile designer Cassie Byrnes and I'm in love with her bold, abstract patterns and fresh, summery colours. Similarly Camille Walala remains a firm favourite (especially after seeing the Walala Dream Come True building in Shoreditch the other week: mind totally blown). Her Mondrian-esque colour palette and geometric pattern designs are delightful!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE IN STORE?
Eek! It's like choosing a favourite child! I'll get close though and pick two...
Homewares-wise, I'm more than a bit in love with our Hartô wooden candle stick holders which come in three pastel colours. They're fun, beautifully made and wonderfully different.
And I just can't get enough of our jewellery range which is handmade by Séverine Belanqueux in Paris. It's delicate and incredibly timeless but each piece has a bit of sass about it too: perfect for pepping up an everyday outfit.
Thank you so much for chatting to me, Katy!
NEED TO KNOW
Photo Credits: All via Haykin, with the exception of the colourful houses in the Capitola - image via Handful Of Sunshine