Lola Hoad is a letterer, designer and small business coach based in Brighton, and one of my favourite people. Not only has she successfully honed an aesthetic and strong message that’s rapidly become synonymous with supporting independent brands and creatives, she has also developed a beautiful brand and powerful entrepreneurial ethos that propels her work and inspires others. Her ‘Shop Independent’ illustration has become the face of an online revolution and influenced a shift in the way we all think about what and how we shop and consume.
In the last few years, Lola has founded LH design, a paper goods company, and One Girl Band, a welcoming collective for female entrepreneurs and creatives. I’m also proud to say that this year, Lola joined me as one of the speakers at my Google Campus event sharing her wisdom, tips and experiences. Now, as I finish off the gift shopping, rumination and reflection essential to December, I’m delighted to be sharing her story with you…
What are the main themes of your work?
My lettering work is very minimal and monochrome. It’s quite simple as I think that makes the words and phrases I write more powerful. I’m inspired by everyday life; the trials and tribulations that we encounter, as well as our wins and successes.
What prompted you to launch LH Design?
I started LH design in May 2014 after a redundancy from a graphic design job. I’ve always been creating silly greeting cards for family and friends, and I realised that although I was endlessly searching for a new job, I didn’t really want to go back to a normal one. I don’t function very well in a conventional job, in fact I barely function at all, so for my mental health, wellbeing and for me, I decided I would go self-employed. It sounds incredibly cliched, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
What kind of challenges do you face as a small business owner
Income is obviously a big factor. It can make or break you, but if you keep bringing your best work to the table, and you’re 100% committed and dedicated to your brand and its values, you’ll soon see results. Comparison and competition used to really affect me when I first started, but now I’m all for community over competition, and I believe in myself enough to not feel I have to compare and analyse myself against others.
Where are you based and how does this affect your work?
I’m based in Brighton, and I probably owe starting my business to that. It’s a very cultural, DIY-focused city, and if I hadn’t have moved here I don’t really know what I’d be doing. One Girl Band, the female creatives collective I founded, definitely wouldn’t exist as I wouldn’t have met some of the amazing women that I’ve bumped into whilst living here.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Next to design, music is another huge passion of mine so I spend a lot time gathering records and going to shows. It’s fairly rare for me not to be working, such is the life of a small business owner, but when I’m not at work, I try to see as many pals as possible and just relax.
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently something huge for One Girl Band, which I have to keep under wraps for now, but do I keep telling friends because I can’t keep it in. I’m hoping I’ll be able to divulge soon but for now, let’s just say it involves ‘co-working’. I’m also working on LH Design’s new collection which will be launching in January, and lots of new coaching packages for OGB. I like to stay busy.
What are your greatest influences?
Wonderful people who are doing their own thing, and carving their path in the world.
Tell us about your stockists and where we can find your work…