Cancel all your plans, draw the curtains, put on your slippers and make a cup of tea. We spoke to Olivia Mew, illustrator, designer and founder of Stay Home Club…
Can you tell us a bit about your background? Have you always been creative?
I’ve always preferred to hole up and doodle rather than, say, play team sports. So yes, I guess so!
What inspires you creatively?
You know when Matthew McConaughey made that dumb Oscars speech about how his future self was his hero? Well, in a similarly douchey way, my past (teenaged, angst-ridden) self is kind of my creative inspiration.
We love that we stock designers from all over the world. How does your location relate to your work and lifestyle?
Montreal remains quite an inexpensive city to live in, so that certainly relates to my lifestyle. If I lived in New York City I would probably have to have a million roommates. I’m also surrounded by some pretty incredible pals, many of whom are self employed and constantly motivate me. The low rent prices here definitely attract a lot of talented people who are determined to make a go of it.
What is an average working day like for you?
I’m lucky enough to have two “jobs” – freelance illustration and running Stay Home Club. So I get to switch it up between admin work for the site, order packing, etc and long days of drawing.
How important is collaboration and a sense of community to yourself and to Stay at Home Club?
The pseudo community that has built itself around Stay Home Club has amazed and delighted me. As a bit of a solitary person, I’ve never been too interested in that kind of thing, but through SHC I’ve come into contact with so many like-minded people and it makes me so happy. So at this point it’s quite important!
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not working?
SHC has developed a bit of a cult following around the world – are you surprised by the amount of people who wish to celebrate being anti-social and grumpy?!
I’m flattered that you think we have a cult following! It has totally surprised me how many people *totally* get it. None of us knew the others existed before because we weren’t going out and meeting each other!
What makes you most disgruntled?
We heard a rumour that you’re planning on eating pizza at your forthcoming wedding? We love this – tell us more..!
Indeed! Pizza buffet, doughnuts for dessert. What more is there to say?!
If you had to choose between only cats or only pizza – which would it be?
This is an impossible choice. I’ll have to choose death.
Is there a design or an item that you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
I wear various items emblazoned with “Awful” the most. I think that image appeals to my sense of self-deprecation really accurately.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting out in business again?
WRITE OFF EVERYTHING! Keep all your receipts and keep track of those expenses or you’ll regret it come tax time.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Hopefully still doing Stay Home Club, with a handful of extra people helping me out so I can put a little more time into the creative side of things.
We hope you enjoyed our interview with Olivia, if you’re inspired to join us Stay Home Clubbers, you can buy our current collection of Stay Home Club apparel online here and in our bricks and mortar Edinburgh Shoppe!