Interview with George Hodgson, Founder of MAISON DE CHOUP, 21
The fashion house with a mental health cause at its heart. MdC has evolved from a single voice into a unique collective of young artists and designers, creating contemporary minimalist essentials.
What inspired you to create Maison de Choup?
Stemming from my severe anxiety episode of 3 years back in 2014, Maison de Choup started as a mere project in my father’s office. I began putting the sketches I’d frantically drawn through the height of my anxiety onto T-Shirts in Photoshop, as I did this I thought to myself “I could take this further to create something beautiful”. Maison de Choup was born and the journey to help young mental health sufferers through fashion begun.
What have you learned from starting a business?
Mistakes make you grow. I get quite a few people asking me for advice about wanting to start their own business, and the first thing they say to me is ‘oh but what if I make a mistake’. The truth is, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s how you learn, you learn from them and in turn, you grow.
How did you become involved with YoungMinds?
When I was suffering I used YoungMinds’ website as a resource to learn more about my conditions and how to cope with them. When I recovered and Maison de Choup became a fledgling business, I wanted to give back a portion of proceeds from certain designs to a charity that helped young mental health sufferers. I asked YoungMinds if they’d be interested in the partnership and they loved the idea. I now also work with YoungMinds as a Youth Advisor on the Amplified programme as well.
What advice would you give to people suffering from anxiety at university?
If you’ve recognised that you might be suffering from anxiety or any other mental health condition, the first step I would recommend is to tell someone you trust, whether that be your parents, a friend or a loved one. After this, it might be worth then contacting your GP for further guidance. The one thing I will stress is that you are NOT alone, everyone suffers from mental health issues and university can be very stressful. Do not feel ashamed to admit that you’re suffering or talk about what you’re going through.
Do you have any advice for students who want to help charities while at university?
If you’re passionate about making change at uni, student unions are a good place to start. If you wanted to take further action, I’d advise emailing charities asking them if they would be interested in getting involved with the university.
What inspires the minimalist designs of your products?
My style is very minimalistic. I wanted to portray this through the modern and simplistic designs and also express positivity and empowerment showing that we are stronger than our mental health.
What advice would you give to uni students?
Work hard and have fun. University is essentially setting you up for the real world, it’s very important to take it seriously and dive into any opportunities you get, but also remember to have fun and meet new people. Always network to build up a list of contacts (and friends) for the future, you never know when you might need them.
In the September Unibox er include and awesome “Warrior not worrior” patch from MdC!
Get £5 off your first order at Maison de Choup with code “UNI5” at checkout.