An Interview With Lois, Lone Wolves Creative

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© Lois Gaskin-Barber and Sam Ryder

This week I chatted to Lois Gaskin-Barber, one half of Lone Wolves Creative. A fellow plant-based foodie, artist and traveller, Lois lives a life full of compassion, love and positivity. Accompanied by her partner Sam, their lives consist of travelling, delicious vegan food and anything and everything creative. Here we chat t-shirts, jewellery, favourite restaurants and what the future holds for their business.

Firstly, tell us what Lone Wolves Creative is all about? When did it all begin?

Lone Wolves started out when we moved house and I inherited a large box of vintage clothing that was stored away in our attic. My mum had put her favourite pieces into a box for me to sell, but as I went to leave I passed the skip and saw mountains of vintage Levis, sequinned jackets and tees. I jumped in an rescued around ten large boxes and bin liners of clothing and started my own vintage clothing company – Lone Wolves Vintage.

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Since then, and with the increased travel and alternative interests that have come into my life, it’s moved away from vintage clothing and evolved into an outlet for all sorts of artistic projects. I travel with Sam Ryder and we work on photography and videography projects with ethical and sustainable brands such as ENO, Fallen Broken Street, Buddha Pants, Hippo Sweat and GoPro. I run an organic clothing and jewellery shop through the site, Sam releases downloads of his music and we work with the concept of anti-contest creativity – supporting, encouraging and promoting other artists in our field.

I worked for a long time on trying to box in what I was putting out through Lone Wolves, but there isn’t a definitive description for what we do. It’s spontaneous expression in all forms.

You currently sell a variety of clothing and jewellery. What is the inspiration behind your products?

I want what I create to be an extension of my personal beliefs; that there are responsible and slower ways to shop, supporting small business. The t-shirts we have in the store are all organic, vegan and all hand packed and shipped by myself using minimal packaging. I started working with healing crystals and developed these into a line of jewellery so I could share some of my favourite pieces with others and spread the love!

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© Lois Gaskin-Barber and Sam Ryder

You have recently collaborated with VegansofLDN to create the Vegan Queen tees. How did that come about?

A school friend of mine Serena and I recently reconnected after many years over our love of plant-based living, health and mindfulness. She runs VegansofLDN and we wanted to work on a project together to share our love of all things compassionate, and so the Vegan Queen tees were born! They are 100% organic, vegan and hand designed by us.

You’ve travelled a lot, where’s your favourite place that you have been? Why?

Kauai is up there as a top travel spot in terms of amazing food, tropical jungles and deep blue oceans, we’ve spent many months there over the past few winters. Everywhere I travel to offers me something I need in that moment, so I don’t prefer one to the other. I’m back and forward to Nashville as we have a big group of amazing friends there and Sam and I love an impromptu European adventure. Cornwall is my go to for soul soothing surf and sea air.

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© Lois Gaskin-Barber and Sam Ryder

From one vegan to another, can you name three of your top places to eat a delicious plant based meal anywhere in the world?

In Nashville, Graze is one of my favourites. Their mac and cheese, hot chocolate fudge cakes and big big salads are a go to. On Kauai, Kauai Juice CoKauai Juice Co. has the goods with the best cold pressed juice I’ve ever had and delicious nut milks. In Canada, Lettuce Love Cafe (along with their juice bar Pure Love and fully vegan bakery Kelly’s Bake Shoppe) are my all time favourites, ever. Lettuce Love’s big plant-based bowls, cauliflower wings and grilled cheese are the best followed by the mile high brownies, cookie sandwiches and cupcakes at the bakery. It’s a must visit!

As a fellow Essex girl, where is your favourite place to eat in this county?

The Walnut Tree The Walnut Tree in Thwaite is one of my favourite UK spots. It’s a vegetarian pub with home cooked food, big portions and beautiful countryside setting. We’ll drive an hour out there to unwind and fill up on all sorts of delicious food. They also do take away frozen version of their meals which I always stock up on! London is full of incredible places to get plant-based eats, I head to Mildreds for birthdays or if I have friends visiting, Club Mexicana in Camden has the best tofish tacos and Cookies and Scream is where I’ll go for sweet treats. I also love Home in BOXPARK and out of London The North Hill Noodle Bar in Colchester (I worked there for 7 1/2 years, they do tons of tasty vegan options and are my quick fix for lazy evenings!)

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© Lois Gaskin-Barber and Sam Ryder

I see you have recently begun a Cultivate Creativity series. Can you tell us what it’s all about?

Sam and I create with the concept of anti-contest art. In my world, there is no such thing as competition, there is room for everyone’s expression. The Cultivate Creativity series is a showcase of beautiful women who inspire me in business and life, and who’s experience I want to share with others to get them inspired too.

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© Lois Gaskin-Barber and Sam Ryder

What are your top tips for somebody who is wishing to start their own business?

Everyone’s path is different. What initially worked for me was saying yes to most opportunities that came my way, but the minute I started saying no to things that didn’t align with what I believe, the pieces started to fall into place business wise. I used to do a lot of favours, unpaid work and projects I thought I had to do for ‘exposure’ because I didn’t feel the value in what I was doing and lacked direction. Now I still sometimes do free collaborative projects with people or brands but it’s always working on something that resonates with me. I got more focused and tuned in to my purpose through letting my work flow and not thinking too much about what was next. Now I always have projects on and amazing people to collaborate with around me, and the space in between these is filled with contented rest. Through mindfulness and awareness I have opened up a beautiful creative flow and it shows in what I create. Less talking and fussing about doing the stuff and more actually doing the stuff. Also money isn’t a negative thing, once you embrace the energy, positive power and ease that it can bring to your business and repair negative thoughts and resistance surrounding it, it’ll flow easier, pinky promise.

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© John Hersey

What are your plans for the future?

Sam and I are currently working on our biggest project to date, we’re opening an organic cafe, juice bar and lifestyle brand – Lone Wolves Organics! It’s all hands on deck at the moment and we’re excited to be launching in early June at a soon to be revealed location in Essex.

Besides this, we’re excited to be working alongside some of our favourite vegan and sustainable brands on summer campaigns showcasing and sharing their incredible products through our website and personalised videography and photography projects. We’ve been creating films from our travels and are currently sharing a Kauai edition on our website.

I’m constantly creating new pieces of healing crystal jewellery, organic clothing and art. We have summer travels lined up, and I plan to go with the flow and let all of these take me where ever I’m headed to next.

You can follow Lois & Sam on all social media platforms:

Website     Facebook     Instagram    Twitter     Youtube

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© John Hersey
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