After one too many Netflix binges, Londoner Lee Estelle decided to use lockdown to explore resin art. Attracted to the material’s marble-like look, the young designer spent months tinkering with the material, eventually landing on three signature products: a matching ashtray, incense holder and coaster set. They’ve had to be restocked twice since the brand’s June launch, which the 24-year-old hopes will, “inspire other young black entrepreneurs and empower them to explore their creativity.”
The uncertainty of the pandemic left 23-year-old Borys Korban looking for a much-needed distraction. “Lockdown was the first time I sat down and did things I wouldn’t normally do,” the London-via-Poland FACE Fashion Assistant says. “I thought releasing a capsule jewellery collection featuring mushrooms and weed could be fun.” The resulting five-part capsule, all made from crystals and freshwater pearls, is now being stocked at multi-brand concept store Aune, with orders being placed from as far afield as LA and Tokyo. As for what’s next: “I’m planning on getting my ears pierced so I can wear the mushroom earrings too.”
At the beginning of lockdown, Norwich-born PR manager Jess Stratton bought herself a stick-and-poke starter kit and started posting the doodles on her body to Instagram. Now over 125 people have let the 26-year-old tag their bodies, including both her parents (!), with view to committing to the calling full time. “I’m just practicing drawing as much as possible and honing the skill,” she says. “It’s so nice to feel like I’ve finally found my medium after so many years.”
Like a lot of young people, Odalys lost her job back in June during the first coronavirus peak. However the 22-year-old former waitress believes the upheaval “pushed [her] out of [her] comfort zone and into the world of yarn and fabric”. She started Odd Rugs just a few weeks later and today the Yorkshire-based, Instagram-only brand has built up a 2,000 strong following thanks to designs including green gummy bears, Texas-worthy cowboy hats and psychedelic love shrooms. It’s just the kind of furnishing you need to ride out a second round of stay-at-home orders.
Twenty-year-old Bella Gaziza Muller was in the Land Down Under when the seriousness of the pandemic set in. Not ideal, but on the 21 hour flight from Australia to London the gap year student made a promise to not mope around. Instead, the about-to-be fashion fresher dropped Crochet Daze, an Instagram-only cottage core knitwear brand. Slide into her DMs for itty-bitty, patchwork halter necks and fantastical, fairy tale-like bucket hats. Each piece is handmade and can be customised with your preferred colourway so readers, get creative.