August 27, 2014
When Emy Gray came up with the idea of her own shop, she decided to open it in the bustling neighborhood of Brixton. “Running a creative business in London is tough – it’s a brutally expensive city. But if you love what you do – it’s always worth a battle.”
London has been home for the last seven years. No seven year itch yet. I’m waiting, I’m almost expecting it – but nothing. Says something about this wonderful city. Moving here was never really a decision, it just came up. An offer of cheap rent, a change of scene, a new adventure – no real plans. And here I still am – fully suckered in by this city’s chameleon like wonderment! It’s a tough place though. It treats you like for like. You feel crap, low, down – it rubs it right in your face and some more. You feel light, energetic and positive – it gives it back tenfold and even does a little dance for you! I know which I prefer. But – rough with smooth, that’s the deal. London lets you feel her presence, her history, her gravity. Everything feels possible here. This is a place where things happen – it’s a contagious feeling. It’s why I’m still here!
Not until I moved to Brixton did it feel like home. It’s a question of finding the right neighbourhood. Brixton is just wonderful (for me!). It doesn’t judge you. It’s a very accepting place and that’s rare in London. The wildest of outfits, the teeniest of shorts, the biggest of arses – barely and eyelid is batted! You can leave home in the foulest of moods and as you waft through Brixton there is sure to be something to raise a smile. It’s joyful, noisy and chaotic – I love it! Like anything, it requires a little balance though. As much as I love the chaos, I require the calm. It’s all about trees and sky for me. South London does green well – it helps to counterbalance the chaos. A selfish part of me doesn’t want to share my secret, calm places. We all have to keep something back.
Running a creative business in London is tough – it’s a brutally expensive city. But if you love what you do – it’s always worth a battle. I opened my shop in 2011 in Brixton Village Market. It was a fairly natural progression from markets and websites. The glamour of a physical shop was always pretty alluring – a roof, a door, electricity – stuff like that. I’d always had a soft spot for Brixton Market and its madcap goings-on and wanted in. I’ve an art school back ground and had always found there to be a huge disparity between the creative talent here on offer in the UK and the generic, soulless tat brought and sold on the high street. BRIXI has always been a place to showcase these talented individuals – a shop come gallery space if you like. I really don’t think I’d still be in business if it wasn’t for London. I don’t think BRIXI could or would work anywhere else. It surprises me everyday that I’m still in business; in that I sell largely unnecessary things. Saying that – I find beauty very necessary!