Introduce us to you and your brand!
Hello! We are Whatever Next? We started in deepest, darkest lockdown in January 2021 and it was born out of conversations we found ourselves having again and again questioning what it was like growing up as a Chinese adoptee in the west. The three of us, Addie, Hannah and Jo met in Edinburgh in 2019 and haven't stopped talking since. We have built our project around exploring adoptee narratives and bridging gaps in conversation concerning interracial adoption, in particular adoption from China.
Adoption is a lifelong process. We want to create a space in which conversations about adoption grow alongside us to reflect our own entry to adulthood. We want to open up dialogue about what it means to be a Chinese Adoptee in today’s world for those both within and without the adoptive triangle.
How has your brand/work developed since you began?
We really have snowballed since we started - we had very little idea of how we wanted our project to go but we have since appeared on BBC Radio Scotland, LBC and led a discussion group with the Civil Service. We were lucky enough to win the 2021 Creative Edinburgh Student Award and are currently nominated for a Young Scot Award in April.
What are your main inspirations?
We want to make adoption a less lonely experience and push against previous cultures of silence that have dominated the narrative.
What do you consider to be your most popular product? Why do you think it resonates with people
People are very attracted to Leafboi, our mascot because I think he conveys the slight confusion we sometimes feel at the world and how encompassing it can feel at times.
What piece are you the proudest of?
We are very chuffed with our CNY range featuring the Tiger and his friends.
What would you consider to be the most challenging aspect about being a working artist/designer?
Maintaining a *healthy* work-life balance and working out how to apply for funding! There's a lot of intimidating legal stuff we don't understand!
Do you have any past accomplishments you wish to share?
The feedback from adoptees, friends and parents has been very rewarding and we're very touched to be able to connect with members of the adoptive community here in Edinburgh.
How did you find out about SDX? And what made you apply to sell with us?
We really respect the work SDX does in supporting and promoting local artists and businesses like us!
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect to your business since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020?
There's a degree of compassion-fatigue that goes hand-in-hand with trauma-mining. We've found balancing telling our own stories without exploiting personal trauma our toughest hurdle.
What do you hope to gain from working with SDX going forward?
We'd love to connect with other creatives in Edinburgh!
If you could share just one piece of advice to aspiring artists/designers who want to make a living from their creative talents, what would you tell them?
Just go for it!
Thank you to Whatever Next? For participating in our Featured Maker blog. You can find them in our Edinburgh shop