We are sisters Julia Harris and Sarah Valentin and founders of The Sustainable Studio. In late 2015 we embarked on a journey to find a new studio to work from and just happened to fall in love with a former munitions factory in Cardiff. With love, sweat, heavy lifting and help from our family, friends and the local community we opened our doors in July 2016.
"We have a passion to bring people in the community together from all backgrounds to share skills, inspire, learn and this is what we do best."
Sarah Valentin (Cofounder)
We are a grass roots community studio, focussed on providing a platform for people of all abilities to thrive and succeed.
We are proud of the diverse range of artists, makers and creative professionals that make up the studio. This unique mix means that success is inevitable! Nurturing talent through mentoring,
work experience and internship opportunities is at the very core of what we do.
By our community being able to access
affordable space and work closely with others in a supportive environment, the Studio has
become a launch pad for emerging artists and creative businesses.
Read more about Julia & Sarah...
2007 TO 2016
Ten years ago we started 'Zolibeau' a responsible fashion business on a desk under Sarah's stairs deconstructing clothes and remaking them in to wearable garments.
We sold our clothing at local markets and were featured in ethical fashion showcases in London and Manchester.
In 2008 we moved in to a small studio in Clarence House and worked with local charities and organisations teaching sewing skills, pattern cutting and clothing design.
Our collaborative projects with young women were displayed in Butetown History and Arts Centre, Wales Millennium Centre, the Senedd and Norwegian Church.
We built strong relationships with clients from various backgrounds, including refugees, asylum seekers, and people from deprived areas.
Our passion is to support and encourage individuals and families, enabling them to gain vital skills, build confidence and move in to further education or employment.
THE SUSTAINABLE STUDIO
April 2016 - Today
Our workshop suddenly became too small, we couldn't be as creative as we wanted to and it didn't match our aspirations to expand the brand and work more collaboratively.
We began to view spaces and came across the factory and loved the character and history of it; The Sustainable Studio was born. The building was the catalyst to do more collaborative and community projects and build relationships with other creatives.
We've been joined by incredible freelancers from all different creative corners and we wouldn't have it any other way.
The studio has given us a platform to connect with organisations such as Cardiff City Council, Wales Millennium Centre, Creative Cardiff, Ffotogallery, Wrap Cymru and IKEA.
We also work with University of South Wales, Cardiff Met University, Bridgend College and Cardiff and the Vale College, inspiring the next generation of creatives.
Our studio has grown, we have more members, new pods and another floor level of space and we can't wait to see what the future holds.
Julia and Sarah x