Can you tell us a bit about Jolt and the history behind the brand?
JOLT is the new retail brand from Designs In Mind, a social enterprise based in Shropshire. Our studio works with people referred through mental health services. We wanted to create a brand which had a strong, design led identity and really challenged peoples expectations of people living with mental health challenges. It is bold, vibrant and cohesive as a collection.
What is the process behind the making of your products and what are the benefits for the artists and designers involved?
Each collection starts with a series of workshops in our studios. We use drawing, printing, lino cutting, and collage to develop work by all our studio members. This work is then refined into a cohesive collection to a colour pallette. There could be up to 50 people involved in the production process.
The benefit to our members, who make up the design teams, is that they can be part of every stage of the development process - from initial ideas to the finished product and selling in our new bricks and mortar shop. It is also a creative and supportive environment to work in and be part of. There is a lot of laughter and a lot of hard work!
What products can I find at Jolt?
You can find cushions, tea towels, notebooks, ceramics, jewellery, greetings cards. We are hoping to add more with our next collection.
Can you share some details with us on your wellbeing workshops - Shared reading, Makers studio and Stitch club, how we can get involved and what this would involve?
We have started a program of free/low cost sessions open to the public. Our members are referred to us through various mental health services, but we saw that there was a need for those who wanted to refer themselves, or were just outside the area we cover geographically. We also want to put conversation about mental health issues into everyday conversation and ensure people can access help when they need it. Stigma plays a huge part in stopping people accessing the help they need. We currently have a crowdfunding campaign running called #smashingstigma which is raising money for JOLT and our new shop lease. Have a look at our film here;
The Shared Reading and Stitch Club sessions are purely about company, making and having a chat. Free to attend it ensures anyone can come along and join in. They are relaxed, friendly groups where you can take time for yourself.
Jolt also offers a selection of workshops on screen printing, drawing and printmaking. How can we get involved?
We offer public workshops in our studio as a way of sharing skills, and inviting people into our studio. We are tucked away in the centre of our town, so it’s often a surprise for people to discover us and our studio. The workshops have been popular and are a great way of generating income and awareness for our studio and shop. The classes are small (kept to 6 max) in order to provide hands on teaching, and a thorough process, where everyone leaves with a complete product. You can book online for any of the workshops via our online shop.
What is your mission behind Jolt?
Our mission is to challenge the Stigma and low expectation which surrounds our makers. People are often surprised that people with mental health conditions and challenges have designed and made our work....well why? Why should it be surprising? It makes people take a second look beyond the mental health diagnosis or label. It is due to this that the JOLT tagline is ‘Look Beyond the label’
What's next for Jolt?
We opened our new shop in December, and so far so good! We plan to add more workshops, more drop in sessions and develop the shop itself to include a gallery space and more great products. We stock work by our studio Designs In Mind, the JOLT range, and we have also added products that have a mental health and wellbeing message, or are produced by other social enterprise businesses. Its shopping with social impact! It’s a bright, happy space with a friendly welcome..
Check out more of Jolt at - www.thisisjolt.co.uk