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  • Lucy Bentley

Hex & Henbane: The Story Behind the Brand


Degree Show
Myself at the Degree Show Stand.

It's already been a week since the launch of the Witch Fever collection, and I felt it was time that I introduced myself properly, and told the story of how Hex & Henbane came to fruition.


I've always been creative; ever since childhood I've spent my free time drawing or painting, taking things apart to find out how they're made, teaching myself the skills I'd need to make my ideas a reality. At the age of 10, on a long haul flight home, I was given an issue of InStyle magazine - I was obsessed. I spent hours pouring over the adverts from fashion houses such as Chanel and Dior; I told myself that that's what I wanted to be a part of. I spent hours and hours sketching my own fashion designs, teaching myself to sew on an old Singer sewing machine given to me by my Grandma, begging my mum to take me to buy fabric so I could try and make my creations come to life.


This fascination with the fashion world continued for years and years; all through school I favored the creative subjects, taking Art and Design at G.C.S.E and then again at college, where I specialized in Fashion and Textiles and ultimately created a 20 piece collection inspired by 1950's styles and silhouettes. So, how did I end up here?


There's no denying my love for fashion even now, but during my final year of college something changed. I wouldn't say I'd fallen out of love with fashion, but rather with education. I hadn't enjoyed the course and the thought of continuing at university to try and find work in one of the most competitive sectors filled me with dread. I left feeling rather disillusioned, and against the advice of my tutors, I decided not to apply to university and instead take some time off to really think about what I wanted to do and what I'd need to do to get there.


Time out from education turned out to be the best decision I could have made; if I had gone straight to university I can guarantee I would've ended up on a course I didn't enjoy, where I wouldn't have worked to my full potential, and ultimately would've ended up unhappy. Instead, I chose to work for two years and carry on exploring my creative side in my free time. It was then that I stumbled across interiors brands such as Timorous Beasties and House of Hackney; that's when the 'light bulb moment' truly came. That's what I wanted to create; something beautiful and unusual, that could impact every day life and be admired for years to come.


I remembered visiting the Nottingham Trent Degree Show, and how one course in particular stood out - Decorative Arts. I started looking into the course, and the more I read the more perfect it sounded for me, so I applied. The course was local, and offered the option to create a business plan instead of a dissertation - this is what really piqued my interest. I was given an unconditional offer, and from the very start I knew that I was going to use the course to help me start my own home decor brand. I was going to opt to do the business plan, carry it out alongside my studies, and use the Degree Show as a platform to launch my business. And that's exactly what I did.


The last three years have flown by, and it still doesn't feel real. I've been overwhelmed with the support and lovely feedback I've received for Hex & Henbane so far, and I can't wait to see where this journey will take me. If the past week is anything to go by, it's going to be a wild ride!


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