This is me: Unlimited design studio founder Sara Morrissey

Words by Sofie Jenkinson

Unlimited is a creative design studio in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine. Formed by husband and wife team Patrick and Sara Morrissey in 2008, Unlimited’s studio produces work for a wide range of renowned arts, cultural and educational establishments with clients including Thames & Hudson, the Design Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts and the University of the Arts London.

Unlimited’s design studio is now joined by Unlimited’s design shop and gallery, which showcases the work of a growing collective of like-minded contemporary illustrators, designers and makers.

We started Unlimited together about five years ago. I held our first ‘pop-up’ shop/exhibition three years ago at the front of our old studio space, selling and promoting a handful of artists who were friends and colleagues. And it has grown very organically since.

We have a beautiful and unique space in the heart of this vibrant city. Our brand spanking new shop, gallery and studio space opened for business at the beginning of August. It’s an exciting step forward as I’ve been wanting the opportunity to create to showcase the hugely talented illustrators, designers and makers that I love.

We want to create engaging design that communicates with clarity and invention. As well as producing intelligent and inspiring design solutions for clients both big and small.
I have always been hugely inspired by clever concept and great design. Growing up in central London, I was incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a wealth of information and stimuli including museums, galleries, libraries and shops.

I’ve always enjoyed being totally hands on and making/creating things. My foundation course was the most wonderful year – it was the first time ever I felt totally free to spend every minute consumed with the one subject I totally loved – art.

I get to meet a whole new set of people every day. Our artists pop in for a chat and drop off new stock.

Great feedback is such a buzz. Once that door is open the day can evolve in many different ways.

I definitely prefer being my own boss and working to my own rules. That’s not saying it’s not without an amount of stress or worry!

It’s always an ‘onwards and upwards’ philosophy here, so I am always taking on board feedback and working towards the next goal. At times it’s full-on and very busy, but it would be silly to grumble, as I’m lucky to be doing what I love! It’s been great to have had such a wealth of enthusiasm and support from our friends, customers and artists at what we are doing with Unlimited.

If you believe in what you’re doing you can make it happen. It just takes a lot of hard work and perseverance but you can get there. It doesn’t happen overnight. My goal has always been to create a really exciting and inspiring space where people feel instantly welcome and visually inspired. We also pride ourselves on making our prints and products unique and affordable and I think we’ve managed to do that. We want it to feel like you can browse and take everything in in your own time – enjoying the ideas that inform the work. Concept is definitely key.

Individuality and freshness of approach from the maker is what we look for. The design shop and gallery is carefully curated so everything comes together and works well as a whole – creating an appealing and stylish space.

Our works are all (where possible) hand produced – whether it be a limited edition screenprinted or a piece of hand-crafted jewellery.

I like to work closely with my artists. We have a good relationship and often, when they come on board as part of the Unlimited collective, they’ll create a new pieces for us. We’ve also held a few solo shows and group exhibitions which is always fun, and we’ll look to do more artist focussed events in 2014.

Always listen to people. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, it may not be yours but it’s what they believe in and we should respect that.

My mum is a truly amazing woman. She’s been an incredible support to me over the years and full of enthusiasm for what we do. Her own strength with everything she has gone through in her life is nothing short of inspiring.

There is a really unique vibe to Brighton. A city that can seem almost village-like at time with lots of independent shops and creative like-minded people.

The most considered, creative mind and talented designer that I know is my husband, Patrick. He my biggest hero and dearest friend.

Goal posts are always shifting on what you want to achieve in life. But I’m quite chuffed with getting this far with the business and looking onwards and upwards in terms of its growth, strength and popularity.

2013 has seen big leaps made in the shop’s development. We took part in this year’s Pick Me Up at Somerset House, where we were given a room to turn into our Unlimited gallery for two weeks as part of the UK’s most prestigious print fair devoted to graphic arts. It was a huge success and pushed our name out to a much wider audience than ever before.

I want to be the top design destination in these parts! I would love to expand the idea of Unlimited and the space to create more of a concept store vibe, including a more dedicated exhibition/events space.

Health, a little bit of wealth and a whole load of happiness is what I want in the future.


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