Meet the Maker: The #GirlBoss Behind BN1

By Milly Hailstone

I've wanted to do a post like this for a while now. I'm not trying to hide behind my website or Instagram account, in fact, I want my readers and customers to get to know me. So, let's break down the barriers and virtually shake hands. If you've got any more questions for me, please leave a comment below. 


-Where are you from?

I grew up on the Isle of Wight, a small island off the coast of England. But it was when I moved to Brighton, after University, that I started my company. You probably wondered what the BN1 stands for? It’s the Brighton postcode and I have the same letters tattooed under my chin.


-Can you introduce yourself and what is it you do?

Hi, I’m Milly, I’m 24 years old and I make clothing from denim. Everything you find in my shop is handmade, by me. I make my items in small batches, and every denim piece is totally unique. I also Lino print on garments and make patches.


Have you always been creative?

You could say that, my Mum taught me to sew when I was small and I’ve been doing everything creative ever since. When I’m not sewing I’m usually carving Lino blocks or writing.


-What is it working with the materials that you particularly enjoy?

I love being able to sculpt my designs from a flat piece of fabric. It’s amazing to watch the transition from fabric to piece of clothing that somebody loves.


-Can you tell us what inspires your items?

My ultimate inspiration comes from the punk subculture. And you could say non-conformity, I love that my company is slow fashion. I always wanted to offer something different from the mass-produced garments you see in most shops these days.


-How do you make your items? (i.e. what techniques do you use)

I make my items from fabric. I design, pattern cut, and sew everything together. And if it’s printed, I’ll spend hours carving Lino blocks to create new designs.


Tell us a bit about your studio or where it is you work from?

I’m currently living in Vilnius, Lithuania, and I make all of the things for Straight Talk BN1 from my studio loft. I moved to Vilnius from England almost 6 months ago, I wanted to taste a different culture from the one I grew up in. I was looking for new inspiration too, and I’ve definitely found it.


-Is there anything within your studio or workspace you could not live without?

I couldn’t live without my sewing machines, it would take far too long to stitch everything together by hand! And my teapot. I might’ve left England, but you’ll still always find a cup of Earl Grey on my desk – probably one I’ve accidentally dipped my paintbrush in, but still.


-What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

To me, entrepreneurship is about going against the grain. It’s about being a wolf and not a sheep. Also, someday I’d like to think I’ve left my mark on the world.

-Who inspires you as a creative entrepreneur?

My Dad is a huge inspiration to me, he runs his own stonemasonry business and I grew up listening to him talk passionately about the things he carves from stone. Also, I’m amazed that I can just scroll through my Instagram feed and find some many other women bossing it.


-What is your proudest achievement so far?

The fact that most of the people I sell to have become repeat customers. That means a lot to me, people like what I’m doing and they seem to want more.