September’s ‘You Got This’ Unibox included an exclusive Goal Planner designed by Haus of Heather, and Heather Shears is working with The Unibox again on a new item for the November ‘Sweet Dreams’ box. We probed Heather to discover a bit more about the person behind the brand…
1. Describe Haus of Heather for us.
Haus of Heather is my creative journey; originally it was my online portfolio, which consisted of styling, makeup, photography, illustration and more. Now, it is my freelance business in illustration, mural art and branding.
2. We included your exclusively designed Unibox Goal Planner in our September Unibox and you’ve designed something special for our November Unibox. Tell us a little about them in your own words.
(Unibox Founder) Daphnée and I hit it off straight away; she is a very inspiring and driven woman and knows what she wants. It always hugely helps when you are on the same wavelength with the client and understand the brands direction and ethos. Daphnée wanted to bring some edge to the Unibox but still keep the clean calm style and inspire her Uniboxers to be the best they can be. I believe the goal planner hit the nail on the head and the November item is another edgy-but-cute delight to add to your collection.
3. When and how did Haus of Heather come about?
I needed a title that encompassed my eclectic set of skills, and in typical artist fashion I struggled to decide on just one path. I had a critical analysis with my Tutors Jasper Goodall and Roderick Mills in 2010 that completely turned my art around. Jasper pointed out that he didn’t create what he truly wanted to until his mum passed away, and Roderick showed me the Lady GaGa Bad Romance video; I said to him I was probably 90% of over a million hits the video got on youtube and he said ‘what are you waiting for?’ Next thing I knew I was painting myself black wearing a pink wig and taking pictures of myself with a remote. The Haus of GaGa truly inspired me to explore all avenues of creativity and that is how Haus of Heather came to be.
4. What are you most proud of and what would you have done differently… and why? I am proud of what I achieved at Uni, I came out with a 2:1 after pulling my grade up from a 2:2 in my final year. I struggle with anxiety and dyslexia so getting a B in my dissertation was a win for me, even though the thought of writing a huge essay broke me into a sweat, and I got that grade because I asked for help. Brighton recognised my dyslexia and gave me a dissertation tutor. I couldn’t have done it without him and would recommend any students in a similar situation to ask for it.
What I would have done differently is had that honest critical analysis with my tutors in the first year rather than the last, and not been afraid to try the unknown. My biggest regret was not finding industry experience while I was studying. I focussed too much on my grades when at the end of the day you come out of Uni and employers/clients want to see experience as well as grades. Even if you just shadow someone who inspires you in the industry you are considering entering whilst you are studying, this will be hugely valuable for your future.
5. Did you go to University? Has it had an impact on what you do today? (If you didn’t go to Uni – please tell us about the path you took instead!) I went to Brighton University to study Illustration in the Grand Parade campus next to the Brighton Dome. It was an inspiring and eye opening time – as I mentioned before my tutors were pretty out there! Uni certainly had an impact on what I do now, but also life after Uni is what you make it. Being a Graduate does not automatically give you the right to the job of your dreams – you must go out and find the experience (for a creative industry it helps to have an eye catching portfolio and contacts).
6. What tip would give any of our students who might be thinking about launching their own brand or business one day? Do your research. Be driven, organised, and don’t try and do it all on your own. Take professional advice and hire people with the skills you don’t have and treat them fairly.
7. Tell us something that will surprise us. I once worked in a fabric factory!
8. Finally… what do you do when you need to relax and take some time to yourself? I enjoy being with friends, some people need alone time but I need ‘close friend time’, even if we just chill and watch Outlander back to back. Genuine friends are hard to find. …and if they are busy you will find me in the steam room!
Thank you Heather for being very open and honest. Some excellent tips for current students.