Re//Store Sisterhood: Lilly Creightmore
Lilly Creightmore has this magical ability to capture, mesmerise and enchant you at any given time. I met Lilly in her cosy London flat with the best views over London from Crystal Palace. She made me a great lunch of sourdough toast with kale and mushroom and we chatted about her work designing hats and photography, sustainability, wellness and more.
Lilly is one half of amazing hat designing duo Gipsy and the Bean. All their hats are produced in Luton, known as the centre of hat industry since the 17th century. I am a big fan of their timeless styles that work throughout the year and love the fact that they choose to produce locally. Next to the hat label Lilly is a self taught photographer and filmmaker working both in analogue and digital formats, mainly focusing on the neo Psychedelic music scene.
How would you describe your personal style?
A constant battle between tomboyish rock n roller and shamanic maven.
And the style of your hat brand?
Our hats are made to represent the individual in their wearers, but our brand aesthetic is as above 🔝
What made you decide to start your company?
For as long as I can remember I’ve made myself one off pieces of clothing (badly) and with time I realised I had an eye for what others might want. I partnered up with my friend Reinette De Villiers in 2012 and we set about developing my vision with her insatiable knack for crafting anything with her hands and far superior patience with a sewing machine.
Is your brand sustainable and if so in what way?
Our felts, blocks and hats are made locally in Luton, supporting independent family run business at a difficult time for the British textiles and craft industry as a whole and being able to correspond easily with our blocker, who is the last in the UK, is extremely important to us. All the finishing details, hat bands and packaging Rei creates herself using recycled materials where possible.
What are your favourite elements of your job? And biggest Challenge?
Seeing a happy customer wearing a product we can be proud of and the variety of each day.
Time is our greatest challenge, we both have young children and I’m juggling three jobs at once as a photographer and filmmaker as well.
What role does yoga play in your life?
I don’t currently attend a class, but try to practice at home a few times a week. I find Yoga to help hugely towards enabling the body and in turn the mind to breath and function properly. When I don’t practice for a while, my body punishes me for being lazy and I get sick often, so I believe it’s within all our interests to learn to breathe properly and take time out regularly to care for ourselves in this way.
Do you practice mindfulness and in what way?
The practice of mindfulness is very important to my personal growth and development in tackling depression, which seems sadly to be the norm for a lot of us in this society. Succinctly, mindfulness has become the first point of call to managing those problems, and a practice that is openly discussed amongst my friends when we are trying to make sense of all the madness within our lives as individuals and the world in general.
What is your favourite indulgence within the world of wellness?
I treat myself to a massage or a swim in the ocean when I can…
Where do you go when you want to find inspiration in London?
Music, film and art are my lifeblood, so gigs, the cinema and museums are frequented often, and we have a great city for it!
What do you listen to at the moment?
I’ve been listening to a lot powerful lyricists this past month, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Nick Cave, Siousxie Sioux, Kate Tempest, Grace Slick and Nina Simone come to mind.
I find Yoga to help hugely towards enabling the body and in turn the mind to breath and function properly. When I don’t practice for a while, my body punishes me for being lazy and I get sick often, so I believe it’s within all our interests to learn to breath properly and take time out regularly to care for ourselves in this way.
Could you recommend an organic / local produce cafe / restaurant in your area?
Saturday is the best day in Crystal Palace, as we have a weekly farmers market with locally sourced farms, bakers and a fishmonger selling their goods. I tend to do the majority of my weekly shop here, as well as tasting 100% better than food from the supermarket, it also lasts. Antenna Coffee next to the market is also a great local hangout.
Where do you go to shop for clothes / accessories?
I tend to buy vintage and secondhand in my local thrift shops and on eBay, I love the rush of finding a pre-loved treasure that hasn’t been mass manufactured, for a few quid!
And in terms of wellness?
I live practically opposite Planta Healthfoods in Crystal Palace, so that is my go to for most of my cooking basics (organic soy, miso, oils, grains etc) I also get all my cosmetics, supplements and household cleaning products from there.
Who would you like to see on here in the future? (Somebody within the world of wellness / sustainability, all fields)
Any of the powerful lyricists mentioned above.
What is your favourite plant based / Vegetarian recipe?
At this time of year I have low energy and low appetite, so I tend to live off one or two dishes that are quick to make, full of nutrients and tasty enough that I don’t mind eating over and over.
Field Mushrooms and Kale on toast is a great vegan or veggie feast for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Slice one clove of garlic, thinly.Chop the kale leaves, taking out the stalks, I tend to use Cavalo Negro and the mushrooms, 1 or 2 depending on how hungry you are.
Heat up a table spoon of coconut oil in a small saucepan.
Once the oil has melted, throw in your mushrooms and add a little salt or soy sauce.
To keep everything moist and flavourful I also add a little pre-mixed miso paste and water, enough that the mushrooms can simmer without burning.
Once soft, add your kale and garlic, with a squeeze of lemon.
Leave to simmer and slice some bread to toast, sourdough works really well with the earthy flavours of your topping.
Once the toast is done, drizzle with virgin olive oil, scoop your mushrooms and kale onto the toast letting any excess miso drain off so as not to make the toast soggy.
Top with parsley, hot sauce or if you’re not vegan and possibly hungover, a poached or fried egg goes deliciously!
Thank you so much for the lovely interview Lilly, I loved the toast and our inspirational talk!
Interview and photos by Maaike Mekking www.maaikemekking.com