Life's Pretty Dandy for Becky Morris Knight. Photo: David Parry
“When I started I decided to make a rule that I wasn’t going to try and go for a particular look. As long as it’s creative and a little unusual it’s in.” Says founder Becky Morris Knight about her interior design website, Pretty Dandy. She’s right, too, as the business is host to a veritable plethora of unusual and wonderful things.
Hailing from Yorkshire, Becky first came to Nottingham to study at Trent, and loved it so much she stayed. Fast forward a few years and she is now the pioneer of an online shop that sells lots of lovely crafty things, and has been garnering loads of attention in national media -- The Guardian and The Independent, to name two. Growing up with a passion for all things crafty - at fourteen Becky was refinishing furniture - a future in design was always on the cards, "I was working for my family, but I knew I wanted to start my own business, it was just working out what might be feasible and suit me, and I just kept coming back to homewares". And the rest, as they say, is history, as Pretty Dandyland was born in 2010.
Lovely (D)Andy Warhol print
The Pretty Dandy ethos is simple, “For me, it’s kind of about every time you walk up to your house and you put your key in the door, you should feel good - that’s what I feel people should have”. Taking a look around the website, you definitely feel as much. Designed by Angi of local band Fists, it is a beautiful place to have a browse and pick up some stunning gifts, or little treats for your own home. You may need to limit your visits to 10 minutes each time, however, as within a heartbeat your basket will be overflowing and you will be seriously hooked on all the delicious goodies. Currently Becky sources her wares from around the globe, but she has been working alongside some local talent too, such as Steve Handley, the creator of recovered metal candlesticks and artist Katrine Brosnan. Becky hopes to do more with local talent in the future, so you should probably give her a shout if you have anything you feel might fit the Dandy criteria.
Speaking of local finesse - inspired by a recent trip to Brooklyn and its brilliant flea market, Becky will be holding the first Pretty Dandy Flea this Saturday from ten thirty until six at the Congregational Church on Castle Gate – a quirky little place in itself. “It’s going to be a mix of craft, vintage and new. I love craft, but also I adore hunting through random funny old shops for treasures. I thought if you could combine the two, that would make for a great event”, says Becky. And treasures and curios aplenty there will be. Cushions, lampshades, bags, lightboxes and posters – in fact, you name it, Pretty Dandy Flea will probably have it. Stalls include FourBeatWalk’s ‘print your own art’ stall, where people can combine different printing elements to make personalised artwork of their own and Curiosity Haus, which makes the most lovely crafty gifts you ever did see. There will also be a pop-up-kitchen, where, rumour has it, there’ll be ham, pea and mint sarnies and some home-cured pastrami. DJs Daddy Bones and Anders of Hello Thor fame will be spinning discs on the day, alongside a record stall, selling all your favourite vinyl.
Wish this was my bedroom
With twenty stalls, Becky was pretty surprised at the variety of wares that will be on offer, and the local artists that will be displaying their stuff, "I thought there’d be lots of the people I already knew, but there’s lots of people I don’t all of whom make really wonderful stuff.” When asked about the design scene in Nottingham, Becky commented; “There’s loads of lovely things going on and I’m not sure Nottingham design it gets the profile it deserves. There are loads of artists and designers in Nottingham, I think the universities really feed into the creative feel of the city." If you need any more proof of that statement, you really should pop on down to the Pretty Dandy Flea, and see what your local craftsmen and women have to offer.
If you don't get time to visit this time, then get over to twitter for #DandyChat, a webchat hosted by Becky, which aims to bring designers and enthusiasts together to talk about recent trends and play a cheeky game of 'Hot or Not'. Perfect for an autumnal evening activity and a great way to do some local design networking. You never know, your stall could feature at the next event.
Pretty Dandy Flea will be at the Congregational Church Saturday 29 September 10.30am – 6pm. Entry is a mere pahnd.
Pretty Dandy website