Have you always been creatively inclined?
I have always been creatively inclined. From a young age I have written poetry and shorts, but in school I excelled in drawing and painting, these medias all become a source of escape from struggles in life and mental health. However coming from a working class background it never felt like a viable career option. This is where my idea for little living room was developed. I feel everyone should have the opportunity to use creativity whether it be for personal development or leisure or for an income. We want to help people to do that.
Why do you think creativity is such a fundamental part of the LGBTQIA+ community?
We believe that creativity is such a fundamental part of expressing your identity. Something that not all queer people have or have had the space in their lives to embrace. It helps us to understand who we are and accept ourselves.
What challenges have you faced as a LGBT person in your career, how did you handle these, and what impact did this have on your career?
As a millennial it hasn’t had the impact that so many before me have faced. I appreciate my privilege in that way. I am able to vocalise both for myself as CEO, for my team as a group of queer individuals and for my community. We are sitting in a time with a lot of opportunity to showcase these elements of ourselves more freely, in our country at least. A thin line that we tread however is not making our sexuality or gender the focal point, making space for our Queerness without necessarily having to make it our full identities. It seems like an incredibly important balance to find and to share to the younger generations. We are all multifaceted and we don’t need to be one thing - being queer doesn’t need to define us but we do need to be comfortable with it. To reach this balance professionally and personally seems like the most important thing I have learnt in my queer experience and in building little living room.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride means being ourselves, standing up for others, sharing the mic and remembering those who have fought for our rights before us, as well as recognizing those who are struggling now.
What impact has little living room had on your life, and what role has SDX played in supporting your brand?
little living room is a space for women and queer people to speak freely, to share their experiences through their creativity, and to provide employability opportunities in the creative sector. Founding and growing little living room has massively increased my skill sets and my professional development as well as opening myself up to a community of so many wonderfully talented and open-minded individuals. SDX has supported us reach new customer bases and creatives that we may have not reached otherwise.
What advice would you give to LGBTQIA+ people who are starting their own business or facing the challenges you’ve gone through?
I would say to any queer people, and any creatives in general, to be true to yourselves and the missions you set out to achieve. Do not let yourself be caught up in other people’s discomfort with your identity, who you are is your business and your prerogative. Try not to approach your practice with competitiveness, but instead openness and willingness to learn from other people. You never know what nuggets of inspiration conversations with others will bring, who you may collaborate with or share your struggles. Also try to be kind to your self!