I’m super excited to feature one half of the fabulous ethical brand Sas and Yosh, where Britain meets Japan in a riot of cool design and illustration for glorious homes, imaginative kids and stylish grownups. Discover why Sarah believes the #MeToo movement needs women and men to work together in order to bring about the big change it hopes to achieve.
FF: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
SB: My background is in art and illustration, with 10 years art teaching under my belt before we started ‘Sas and Yosh’. Yoshie’s background is in illustration, children’s books and fashion.
FF: What does Future Female mean to you?
SB: Future Female to us is all about empowering ourselves and our children to believe that we and they can do and be anything. To believe we have the right to have equality and equal rights and to build a better future for our girls and our boys.
FF: The recent #MeToo hash tag caught the attention of many women who joined the conversation, what is your view and have you been affected by misogynistic behaviour during your lifetime and is it something you feel comfortable discussing?
SB: The #MeToo movement has essentially been a wonderful platform to enable both women (and men) who have suffered harassment to come forward and call out formally untouchable abusers and this can only be a good thing.
However I think it means different things to different people and how you feel about the campaign depends entirely on your own experiences.
Personally I think there are more lovely, kind fabulous men out there than predatory ones. I also think the predatory men won’t change just because of this campaign.
What I do hope now is that men and women that are harassed will now feel much more able to make complaints without fear, and that those who perpetrate this sort of behaviour can no longer get away with it so easily.
Women and Men have to work together to make this change though and this includes more good men calling out bad behaviour in their peers when they see it.
I have also of course suffered from misogynistic behaviour on several occasions who hasn’t!
But fortunately I have been treated with love, respect, tenderness, and friendship on far more occasions by men than I have been treated badly.
It has also been the men in my life, past boyfriends and my amazing husband who have most helped me with love, time and patience to work through being sexually abused and bullied as a child (by another child)
So I really do believe its something for both sexes to get involved in.
FF: Describe your current work role and your creative process?
SB: We work on all our designs together, so we both start by drawing lots of images for the theme we are working on.
Next we put them all together in photoshop to create the final design. If we get stuck when we are working on something we pass it back and forth between ourselves until we get it right.
There are some different roles we don’t share like the accounts which I do and all our Japanese jobs and contacts which Yoshie deals with.
FF: What do you love about being your own bosses, and what are the challenges?
SB: We love being able to set our own themes for new collections for our own brands, we also love being able to choose the commissioned work we do for other companies. Setting our own working hours around the kids is also great.
But then juggling work and mother hood is sometimes a challenge too, mostly because of the short days!
FF: Can you tell us about a project that is inspiring you at the moment?
SB: We have just finished a fabulous collaboration creating home sewing fabrics for Sanrio with their famous characters ‘Hello Kitty and ‘My Melody’.
We are also working on a great personalised children’s book for ‘Oh Zoe Books’
FF: There is a shift in how and where women work, was it a natural progression for you to go it alone and why?
SB: I was made redundant from my teaching Job otherwise I may well still be doing that. But I went back to University and then after I graduated I met Yoshie. She was looking for work and contacts as she had recently moved to the UK and it was her idea for us to start ‘Sas and Yosh’. So I guess it was the universe that bought us together at the right time.
FF: How important is it for your business to be ethical?
SB: Its very important to us to be environmentally responsible and ethical when it comes to the manufacture of our products.
All our garments are made with organic cotton and the factories we use are part of the ‘Fair Wear’ foundation. We also try and use local or UK factories wherever possible who oversee environmentally safe inks and processes.
FF: If there was one thing you would change about your life as a woman what would it be?
SB: Personally nothing. I was bought up by a super strong single mum who worked three jobs to send me to private school, where I was taught I could be and do anything I set my mind too if I wanted it enough. So I feel i’ve been very privileged. I would defiantly wish for more equality in work, pay and opportunities for women as a whole though.
FF: Are there key messages you are passing on to your children when it comes to gender equality, how important do you think it is to change your story around gender?
SS: I try and encourage my daughter to wear anything she wants and play with any toys she likes. We look for non traditional activities as well like ‘tech will save us’ which encourages stem and science learning. She loves ‘Rebel Girls’ and i’m mostly trying to teach her to love who she is and be confident to be an individual.
FF: What are you reading at the moment?
SS: I’m a bit of a graphic novel and Urban fantasy fiction fan. I’m currently reading ‘Bound’ by Benedict Jacka. Im also leafing through ‘The Decent of Man’ by Grayson Perry.
FF: How would you describe your style?
SB: Eclectic, pattern obsessed, colourful, unique and detailed.
A massive thanks to Sarah for being our Friday Future Female, we love your ethos. Do check out the Sas and Yosh instagram feed for your daily fix of their fab playful print Sas and Yosh Instagram