Spalding's Callum Brazzo is promoting a Long Sutton small business which is making a difference
The grandiose displays of Black Friday and the Christmas period attract so much attention for the big businesses but it can also take away from the smaller business out there too.
That’s where people like me step in.
I was meant to have been at the Christmas craft fair hosted by Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM), an autistic-led organization in London, but plans changed and so what I wanted to do for this column is dedicate it to the small businsses, in particular, a Long Sutton-based and autistic-led business, called Hoshi And Willow.
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Hoshi And Willow is all about eco-friendly handmade fashion, upcycling old clothes into fabulous new outfits for dolls and, following the theme of children and the power they wield, Hoshi And Willow offer great products for kids this Christmas.
You’re not just buying into a mass-produced message like you might with any other big-name retailer. Sure, the larger you become, the greater the burden to carry in terms of corporate responsibilities and I am not dismissing those challenges however there is something within me that is far happier to promote a struggle, a fighter, an innovator using what they have in life to push an organic idea forward.
One might call me biased towards the autistic community and that everyone deserves a seat at the table of wealth (whatever that means for you) and that may be true but when you have the history of people believing autistic people cannot be creative, cannot run businesses alongside the deeper-rooted disregard for our neurotype, it will always give me great pleasure to open the door for others in my community.
Briony Cait Mann is the autistic creator behind Hoshi And Willow and for her to earn a little bit of extra cash for things that make a difference in her life, against the sensory challenges that also exist in her life, it’s really excellent to see her do what she does.
It’s humorous to me that three years ago, I wrote a blog for Scope, an established charity for their 30 Under 30 campaign when I was 24. It had the tagline ‘Some people don’t think autistic people can be creative.’
Briony Mann, with Hoshi And Willow, is a shining example of autistic creativity.
We have always been here.
Explaining to me the reason behind the name, Briony says: ‘Hoshi is my cat and Willow is my in laws dog, I named it after them. I chose Hoshi's name as it means star in Japanese and at the time we got her I was in a stressful job I found difficult to cope with, so she's my little spark of light in the dark.’
To the autistic creators within our communities, and to borrow a lyric from a band, musical brand if you will, that you may be familiar with, I say…Let it Shine.
And to the stigmas? I say….Take That!
Further Reading And Events:
Hoshi And Willow:
Cool Capture Photography:
How I See (New picture and NO Photoshop!)
Autistic Lincs Facebook Page:
10 Artists Prove Autism Is No Barrier To Creativity (Metro.co.uk)
30 Under 30 blog for Scope in 2016:
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