is a young boutique, which works with highly skilled makers from around the world in the design and development of beautiful, hand-crafted and traditionally manufactured works. In doing so, Story HH seeks to promote the luxury of craftsmanship and design through the unique stories of the makers. The following interview is with Story HH
founder, Heather Heys.
What made you found Story HH?
Born and raised in the Lake District, I recently returned to the UK, having spent more than six years living and working in Beijing as an energy lawyer.
During my time in the Far East, I travelled extensively, seeking out and building relationships with craftsmen and traditional manufacturers – something that I have continued to do on my return to the British Isles.
What inspires you?
The STORY HH makers’ stories are of real inspiration to me – their stories bear testimony to a real passion for their craft, to their exceptional skill, to their desire to marry beauty with functionality, to their relationship with the raw materials and to the luxury of craftsmanship and design.
What is your favourite part of working on STORY HH?
I love searching out extraordinary makers, their works and their stories; this search takes me all over the world. From drinking coffee over a wood burning stove with Takeshi Yasuda in Jingdezhen, the old porcelain capital of China, to sharing seafood with potters, Katsuya Hattori and Tomoko Murayama in a former silk worm farm in Japan, to the Lake District Fells, STORY HH spends time with each of its makers, listening to their stories. It is the unique stories of each of the makers that is really at the heart of the Story HH concept.
Who inspires you?
French architect and designer, Charlotte Perriand (24 October 1903 – 27 October 1999) is of great inspiration to me – and I like to think that certain aspects of her story resonate with my own. In 1940, Perriand travelled to Japan as an official advisor for industrial design to the Japanese Ministry for Trade and Industry.
During her time in the Far East, she studied both Japan’s industry, as well as its rich craft heritage, as she toured the country with Sori Yanagni, whose father Soetsu had co-founded the mingei Japanese folk craft movement in the early 1900s – this culminated in a comprehensive design strategy for Japanese exports. Deported from Japan in 1942 as an “undesirable alien”, Perriand was forced to spend the war years in Vietnam where she flung herself into the study of Vietnamese craft techniques and materials.
What’s your ideal Sunday?
My ideal Sunday would be to head out on hills and then follow this up with a good bottle of red, shared with friends and family over a home cooked roast.
What’s your favourite colour?
As a small child, I was given a silk scarf in a vivid shade of pink - and to this day, this remains one of my favourite colours. For me, the colour and the silk conjured up images of the orient – of exotic spices and perfume filled markets, and in doing so, they fuelled my desire to travel and to see the world.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Silk Roads – A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan.
Make sure to visit Heather’s stall, along with a carefully chosen collection of others at our Merchant’s Fair TOMORROW.
26 November – if you can't make this Saturday, why not come to our Maker's Fair the following week on 3 December.
St Augustine’s Church Hall, Highgate, London N6 5BB