My name is Anna and I am originally from the Isle of Man. With a travel journalist Mum, I spent a lot of my life travelling the world; not appreciating it at the time but in later life I’ve realised it’s left a huge impression on me. I went to university first in the UK and then the States (undergrad and postgrad), where I studied acting, directing, journalism, and figure skating…
I then moved to Sweden where I began teaching, but after seven years and at 30, I decided this was not the long game for me. I was always oppressing event management on everyone around me without even knowing it; someone would suggest a cinema trip and I would have organised invitations, costumes, theme, giveaways and catering before they’d even finished the sentence. It was my mother who suggested it might be kind to others to go into events for a living, to spare them, so I returned to the UK and took a diploma in Event Management.
This diploma sprang me into London’s Event Industry, but I quickly realised that a lot of it is very corporate so I used onemanstrash as a creative escape from that – I am a Theatre major after all… I felt very lucky to have it at this time. Only a few weeks before my internship started, I had been sent to a leather house in London’s Whitechapel to collect some fabric for a London Fashion Week designer who I was ‘running’ for. As I waited for the chap to get the order from the back, I spied the most amazing pile of stunning leathers, only to be asked by said chap upon his return why was I riffling through the bin… I took the scrap home, not really knowing what to do with it at the time. I’d always loved big earrings but the old lugs had starting to take a bit of a hit. The fashion students I lived with helped me put two and two together and onemanstrash was born.
That was 2014. It was only in March of this year that I realised I needed onemanstrash more than ever. The events industry pretty much died overnight, and onemanstrash was to be my financial and mental health saviour. I began to develop ‘collections’ not just sporadic pairs, which seemed to make it easy for people to appreciate and subsequently follow my page. I had 199 followers at the beginning of March. I began to spend more and more time investigating markets on Instagram, and more and more of them arose due to real markets dwindling. Throughout March and April my followers and sales began to rise slowly but surely.
Then my first Makers Market From Home in May was when my follower count really started to skyrocket. It felt like a real turning point. What I loved about MMFH was that Andy was a face, a real person, very present and there with us. He had time for stupid questions, was happy to repeat himself, and kept emphasising the importance of fun. That’s really what I needed at the time. By then I hadn’t worked for three months and he really helped remind me that I should be enjoying it. He encouraged us to encourage each other, and people who I originally saw as competition, are now dear Insta pals, and we shout out each others pages often, which feels so good to do. Overall, I’m absolutely stoked I found MMFH, and am really grateful to Andy, Mrs G, Lydia and all the others involved!
You can enjoy our Midday Makers chat with Anna on our MMFH IGTV channel.
Check out Anna’s Instagram account @onemanstrashuk