From Debs’ workshop in mystical Mullion, she makes every single windbreak from scratch; measuring, dyeing, sewing and even hand pointing the eucalyptus poles. With a mission to stop people using disposable windbreaks, Deb’s has created the ultimate stylish, environmentally friendly best friend for all those classically windy Cornish beach days.
What made you decide to start Stick in the Sand, and what's the inspiration behind it?
The idea behind Stick In The Sand came to me one day when I was stretched out on my local beach working on my children’s book series. The wind kept flipping my pages about and it was just generally distracting me. I wanted a windbreak but I have a real aversion to those nasty plastic ones that you see all over the place, so I decided to make my own using materials that fit with my ethos of eco-friendly living. My pretty green windbreak was easy to spot amongst the rest of the uniform stripes and it was handy for when my kids or friends wanted to find me. I was soon asked to make one for a friend of mine and word kind of spread from there. At first I was only making one or two a week for friends, then someone recommended turning it into an actual little business and I began to create a little online presence.
What did you do before creating the Stick in the Sand?
I have always been a bit eclectic in my work roles. Before Stick In The Sand my nine to five role was as Account Manager for a fantastic graphic design company. I also freelanced managing the social media marketing for a few small businesses. As well as this I have a series of published children’s books which I write and my partner, Jenna illustrates. I also like to switch things up and have worked as an extra in movies and provided narration for some audio books. To say I enjoy keeping my days varied and interesting would be fairly accurate.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the beauty of nature. I love bright colours and find them really impactful when they are highlighted against the white sands of our Cornish beaches. My most popular windbreak by miles is my phosphorescence inspired indigo and green one. When the sun shines through it the green really glows and is absolutely stunning to look at.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story on your journey so far?
The biggest challenge has definitely been finding the space to iron out the huge lengths of windbreak. It sounds like such a small thing but as I work mostly from home now I really struggle to find the space, it involves a lot of furniture moving and negotiations with the family pets.
I did have a workshop for a while out on a lovely jersey cow farm in Cadgwith but it unfortunately didn’t work out. Ideally I’d love to find a little workshop somewhere that I could use as a small outlet too in the future. Another issue I found was that my canvas is so thick that I was constantly breaking my sewing machine. Now I have a more sturdy industrial machine and the sewing goes far smoother.
How would you describe Stick in the Sand in three words?
Practical, sustainable and unique.
What is your connection to Cornwall?
I’m a Cornish girl, born and raised. While I have travelled lots over the years Cornwall is always my home. I feel so connected to our little corner of the UK.
Do you have a special spot in Cornwall that inspires you?
Standing on the cliffs above Mullion Cove looking out at the island is my favourite place to be. Watching the sunset from here on a summer evening is like heaven on earth. The colours blending from the sea and the sky are just phenomenal from here.
What's next / any exciting plans?
Currently Stick In The Sand is branching out into wholesale ordering and I am looking to take someone on to help me in the workshop as popularity is growing and we are getting better known as an eco brand.
I’m just working out the best way to offer a rental option next year to be able to provide unique and eco-friendly windbreaks on a daily basis directly on the beach. I’m hoping that by providing a rental option we’ll see less of the striped plastic ones on the sand and disposed of at the end of the day.
Stick In The Sand is already proving to be very popular and we can only see it growing from here. It’s wonderful when I step onto a beach and see one of my windbreaks standing out in the crowd.
Shop Stick in the Sand here.