Interview With Steph McLaren-Neckles Co-founder Of LBB Pop-Up School

G: Tell us about the project? What did inspire you to start?

LBB Pop-Up School is a curated programme of workshops, master classes and talks for creative industry running from the 17-28th March at Bootstrap Company (The Print House) in Dalston. The idea was to create a programme of events that we would want to actually go to ourselves. And we liked the concept of a pop-up school that would be curated specifically for creative industry and delivered by creative practitioners; touching on various subjects and interests like strategy and insight but also inspirational talks and culture. We run a creative business ourselves – a cultural journal and creative agency called Let’s Be Brief. We understand the kind of challenges that creative SMEs, freelancers and creative professionals face, so we thought we were in a good position to create a programme that would help develop our audience’s practice.

G: What is unique about your project?

Ohhh ‘unique’, that’s an interesting word and one that we tend to ban from our branding workshops. Not that we are dictators or anything. As Ansel always says, “there’s always more than one kebab shop on the high street.” Our perspective is that it’s more about your purpose – why you do what you do – and point of view that differentiates you. On that basis I would say our attitude to professional development and our insight would be our ‘thing’. We like to connect the dots between business, culture and communications for creative thinkers and doer’s. We think it’s an important dynamic in any creative practice that is often overlooked. Anyone working within creative industry (in a commercial capacity) is generally tasked to do just that – whether they are a graphic designer, photographer or musician.

G: What would you say has been your most memorable experience while developing this project?

Our strap line for the pop-up school is ‘Friendly Professional Development for Creative Industry’. Our team came up with a great idea for the campaign which is all the things which our pop-up school is not; such as dodgy teachers, strict discipline and boring lessons. Our illustrator Benjamin Rider produced a series of mad illustrations consisting of a nutty professor, a scary nun and a rather lethal looking baton that you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of.

G: Why do you choose Dalston to do this?

We are based in Bootstrap Company, The Print House on Ashwin Street. We’ve been here for three years and we love Dalston. It’s an area chocked full of creative people, so it seemed to be the most logical place to start.

G: Who/what are your favorite Artists/Businesses in the area?

Wow, that is genuinely a tough question as there are so many great creative businesses /spots in the area. Our first would have to be NTS Radio on Gillett Square. Admittedly I’m biased as we also have a radio show on NTS. But there are so many top shows on NTS such as Do You!! (Charlie Bones), CDR, 92 Points, Martello, Kutmah. I could go on and on…

G: What are your favorite places in the area?

For a good Turkish, I love Red Café – great food and good portion sizes. For amazing clothing and interiors it has to be Pelicans and Parrots. They’re super stylish and it’s like going on a treasure hunt exhibition every time I go there. There’s also an amazing tiny vintage record store called Eldica – a good spot for music lovers.

G: What does the future have in store for you and Shoreditch?

Last year we ran a pop-up island / boutique at Boxpark, so we would like to revisit that idea again, perhaps around design week. And if all goes to plan we would like to run some more pop-up school workshops in the area in the near future.