In celebration of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we're featuring women who inspire us throughout March. Each of the women we interviewed is a founder of a small business that continues to thrive and inspire our team. We're proud to support them by shining a light on the brands they've created and continue to grow.
Feeling unspired by her 9-5 job, Sarah Bell started her brand, Evermore London, in her own kitchen. From then on, her brand has evolved to be the must-have candle brand of the moment, now stocked in Fortnum & Mason, The Conran Shop and The Design Museum to name a view. Inspired by her work in building a brand from the ground up, with sustainability at its core, we photographed her in her East London studio to find out more about the woman behind Evermore.
How did you start on your career path and how did your brand come to be?
I started my career in London working as an online copywriter. I then moved on to social media and content for various beauty and fashion brands; as much as I loved what I was doing, I had the itch to do my own thing.
In 2014 I taught myself how to make candles at home, and what initially started out as a creative outlet soon became a small business the following year. I upgraded from my upstairs loft to my own studio space and continued hand-pouring candles for the next four years. It was incredible how quickly the business started to grow, I was really lucky to have support from amazing stockists and friends. In 2019 my husband joined the brand as Creative Director and we decided to completely rebrand and start afresh, and this is where we are now. When I look back, I do feel really proud of how the business has evolved and grown over the years.
What's the biggest obstacle you had to overcome when starting out?
It took a while for me to make the leap from full time work to working soley on Evermore. Sometimes it was really tough getting in from work and knowing that I then had to make candles and box up orders into the night.
So I guess managing my own time at that point was a bit of an obstacle, and sometimes I really had to dig deep to keep myself chipping away at it. If you know something is worth the time and you have the drive to make it a success, it’s all worth it in the end.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from so many places, I couldn’t pin down anything specific. It can come from a morning walking my dog, visiting galleries, reading books or travelling to new places. I’m a huge geek when it comes to space exploration and philosophy, so that does tend to have a little influence on some of my ideas. It’s also great sharing a studio space with our design agency as it means we can bounce ideas off each other. They have lots of different types of working coming into the studio, so there’s always a creative atmosphere when we come to work.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would say collaborating with Alexandria Coe and doing an event with her at The Conran Shop. She’s such an amazing artist, and to be stocked at The Conran Shop is incredible.
Being stocked at Fortnum & Mason is also quite high up there too!
What is your biggest passion in life?
Probably sustainability and trying my best to make a difference where I can. So much has changed in the last five years since I startedEvermoreand now it’s even more important that these values are a woven into the DNA of all brands - we all have a responsibility. No person and no brand is completely perfect when it comes to sustainability, but if we all make small changes and pave the way for the next generations, I feel hopeful that some of the mistakes made by our own generation and those before us, may be fixed.
When you’re not working, what can we find you doing?
My husband and I like to go on long works with our dog at weekends. We’ve just converted a VW van so we plan on doing lots of trips in it this summer, our first one is a road trip through France and Spain this May to tie in with a friend's wedding. I’m also quite into fitness, so try my best to stick to a routine, mainly swimming at London Fields lido and yoga classes, it helps to keep brain fog at bay!
Where are your favourite places to eat, see, and explore?
London is definitely one of the best places in the world to explore, I always have to remind myself how lucky I am to live here. Some great places to eat that I’ve visited recently include Pophams in Hackney - not only are they one of the best bakeries, but they’re also a restaurant in the evening, and their pasta is the best I’ve had in a while. I also have a real soft spot for Andrew Edmunds in Soho. It’s cosy and friendly with an unpretentious menu, and you can bring your dog too. Also Rochelle’s Canteen for brunch is always a top choice.
We did a big road trip around California a couple of years ago and I’m itching to go back again. The food scene in LA is incredible and I feel like we only got to scratch the surface while we were there. Travelling through Big Sur was pretty epic and I also fell completely in love with a small town called Point Reyes, north of San Fransico. Every now and then I daydream of a master plan to relocate over there.
Tell us one woman who inspires you and why?
Alice Aedy - for being brave, forward thinking and continuing to campaign for what she believes in.
Describe your style in 3 words?
Relaxed, comfortable and a little vintage.
What are your 3 favourite pieces from Lily and Lionel SS20?
I love the Frida dress, the sleeves are such a statement, I’ll be wearing it at my friend’s wedding this spring. I also love the Lara dress, it’s perfect for summer holidays and I’m a big fan of the colours and frill detail on the Rina top too, perfect for summer garden parties.