Claire Holgate


:: Lifestyle ::

What does it mean to you to be quirky and what do you love about it?
I love that no day is the same. I can decide my own itinerary and I am answerable to myself (and my family – not always easy, but hugely important). Most of all, I have loved being able to follow my instincts – which has led me to creating a business based on happy, sustainable foundations. I have a long way to go, but the journey has begun and I’m loving being inventive and challenging myself.

What’s a secret, unusual talent that you have?
I really love to rollerskate. Despite being 37 (gasp), being a mum of two and living in a hilly village so never really having the opportunity to skate… My sister, brother and I spent most of our childhood on 8 wheels!

:: Quest ::

Where do you find your mojo?
This is a tough one – I tend to find my productivity comes and goes with my mood and staying motivated is a constant battle. I have to be relaxed and calm to produce good work. Mostly, I look around me and notice what’s happening out there, plus I practice mindfulness which really helps. I find Nature amazing and often a bit of fresh air and countryside will clear the brain fog and get me fired up and enthusiastic, full of ideas. I also love to bounce ideas around a group of people – I get a lot of energy from others, the more upbeat and engaging the better.

Explain one experiment you’ve done that changed your life:
My biggest experiment has been the jump out of the ‘normal’ career pattern and into more of an entrepreneurial role. I spent a long time wondering if I was going to succeed and make anything happen (and sometimes still do…) but I’m pretty sure there’s no going back now. Everything has changed, I proved to myself that I have something to offer the world and I’m thrilled to have had some great feedback. I’m now working on ways to get out there and make more great connections – and obviously creating some really awesome stuff.

What’s your favorite recent discovery for…
Your home: More of a re-discovery, I’ve recently really got into the Make Do & Mend agenda and I’m getting a lot of pleasure out of making the most of what we’ve already got and not buying new if I can help it.
Your body: Raw & vegan snacks – I made some flaxseed and cocoa energy balls which even the kids loved. As I get older, I’m more aware of what I put in to my body and the need to really try to be healthier… (I’m trying. Honest!)
Your belly: Homemade elderflower cordial, which I made this week for the first time. It’s so easy!
Your soul: Meditation, even just for a few moments – it keeps me calm.
Music: Nick Mulvey and his debut album First Mind. Such beautiful, soothing sounds.
Writing: New notebooks are always a treat – I write down (or doodle) a LOT and my notebooks are great to look back on… it’s amazing how much inspiration can be gleaned from thoughts and ideas previously forgotten.
Art: Artists on Instagram – I’m loving the work of Jaime Derringer and Austin Kleon in particular at the moment and I really enjoy seeing their works in progress and the insight into the way they produce their art. Really fascinating.

:: Mission ::

How do you celebrate the deliciousness of being quirky?
I have to remind myself that I *can* follow my own path… I doodle regularly about what I see, think and feel… I have to make an effort to recharge my batteries and do nice things for myself, so that I have the energy to come up with new ideas. If I don’t nurture my creative brain, I don’t produce good work, and I feel less confident, less productive and altogether less quirky…. So it’s absolutely vital to keep having FUN. Not always easy with two children to look after, but luckily for me, they’re pretty fun too!

What is your #1 tip for a fellow quirkster?
Follow your intuition, have confidence in yourself and surround yourself with people who support and ‘get’ you. (Sorry, that’s 3 tips, but I think all of them go hand in hand!)

About: I started working for myself after having children and realising that my ‘normal’ 9-5 civil service job wasn’t ever going to fulfil me enough… I took redundancy, spent a year at home with the children and re-learning what I enjoyed doing and then I started creating stuff. And I made that into my job.


Claire Holgate