Growing up in suburban Iowa, my understanding of design was pretty limited. Clothes came from designers, yes. But furniture and homewares? Those came from Target, or Slumberland, or maybe Ethan Allen. But mostly from Target. Design is often under-appreciated by society, unless you’re one of the few household names. Unfortunately it’s also completely overlooked as a career path; especially with students who feel lost when they realise they don’t want to be a teacher, lawyer, doctor or banker.
That’s why I’m particularly excited by Heal’s Discovers latest partnership with the Out of the Dark charity. Heal’s is one of the world’s leading design retailers, and has always supported new and emerging talent. It is easily one of my favourite places in London to look for inspiration, and will be a go-to place for some key items in our new home. Like these gorgeous hammered copper pendants that will live over our future breakfast bar.
As for Out of the Dark, it’s a charity that takes young people from challenging backgrounds, and helps them learn skills that will transition them into the working world. In this partnership, the young people will learn how to upcycle and refurbish vintage furniture. To do so, they will be working with a range of mentors in the design world (French polishers and chair caners to furniture makers and upholsterers) and the items will be featured and sold in-store and online as part of the Heal’s Discovers range. If you want to take a sneak peak, a few key pieces are already on display in the retailer’s flagship shop on Tottenham Court Road. The items will also form part of Heal’s central showcase in The London Design Festival, taking place 14 – 22 September.
I genuinely wish more businesses in the creative world supported programmes like this and helped young people realise the potential of their creative minds. I will definitely be looking for my one-of-a-kind piece in this collection, and hope you will too!