Member Story – Brennan & Burch

By stuart duncan

Shining a spotlight on Lisa Brennan (left) & Majida Burch (right), founders of Brennan & Burch, a fashion turned British interiors brand where Lisa’s fantastical, colourful illustrations and hand-drawn characters decorate wallpaper, rugs and art prints. 

Brennan & Burch… intriguing name! What do you guys do?

When we started out in 2000 we made illustrated streetwear and, as with many creative partnerships in fashion, we decided to use our surnames to create a name which we felt evoked British quality.

After a decade of producing clothing, we realised that what people were really busy was Lisa’s artwork and so we decided to reproduce that on homewares. We saw a trend for fashion houses branching out into interiors and we decided to do the same. We now create illustrated wallpaper and art prints to makes spaces as unique as the people that use them.

Where do you take your inspiration from?

Lisa’s designs are inspired by acid house, graffiti, pop art, punk, retro, street style and vintage. I help Lisa turn her hand-drawn artwork into wallpaper repeats and I am also responsible for business development. 

Have you had any lightbulb moments since starting the business?

When we accepted that our signature style is the strongest thing we have. It took a while to develop but we realised it is quite unique and Lisa’s thought-provoking style is timeless, recognisable and unites everything Brennan & Burch creates.

We learnt to love our quirky flaws and realise that they are actually opportunities. For example, our artwork can be quite dark and macabre and isn’t to everyone’s taste – but those who like it are really passionate about it and become raving fans.

What attracted you to join Echo?

My dad was always fascinated by the time banking concept. Back in the 70s in India he created a give and take box where passersby could put in anything spare or take anything they needed. When I heard about Echo I felt it was the perfect way to help others whilst getting skills that our business needs in the process. I have been a member since helping out at Echo Summer Party in July 2017.

What are you offering on the marketplace?

A creative brainstorming session allowing people to bounce their ideas off an experienced artist/product designer. If you’re interested please get in touch!

What useful skills and services have you received on Echo?

We’ve done a lot come to think of it. I had help decluttering for me and my family with member Katherine using the Marie Kondo method. Jonathan and Holly from Make Happy helped us learn how to tell a compelling story about Brennan & Burch. 

We’ve had profile pictures taken by the super cool Dareth, who I met whilst volunteering at an Echo event. Dareth is great at portrait and interiors photography. Sarah’s help us update all our MailChimp newsletter templates, classified lists and overall set up.

We needed to review our website and marketing strategy and Michal who I met at an Echo Social reviewed the site, then met up with me to give his feedback. We’ve even had help with PR both generally and on a very practical level with Peter Walter from Buzzramp. 

Finally, Lisa from Boogles Bookkeeping ran through our Xero set-up and helped with the nitty-gritty of how to handle expenses. Something so useful but always slips down our to-do list. 

All of this happened without us spending a dime! 

What’s been your favourite Echo experience to date?

Volunteering at clothes swaps across London and getting to use the clothing display skills I honed as a market stall trader/shop owner/streetwear brand owner. The Echo member, Irene De Pasquale, who runs Betsy’s Closet Swap Shop is really cool and I have made friends with her and all the other volunteers.

What advice would you give to someone just joining Echo?

Log in regularly to see new offers and requests. You would be surprised how many people need the skills you have to offer, and on the flip side, there are things you can get with Echoes that you never could have imagined – West Ham tickets anyone?

What’s coming up for you/focusing your energy on in 2019?

We are curating a book about London/Essex artists and creatives. We have already got some big names from street art and illustration signed up along with some up and coming local artists. It’s all a bit hush hush at the moment as we are currently going for an arts grant. We will launch the book in early 2020 with an art exhibition in Romford. All the artists will also get a copy of the book to promote their work.

What’s your favourite hidden gem that people might not know about?

Cult Classic Tattoo in Romford. Neal Bridson is an amazing artist who has tattooed both B&B girls with more inkings planned very soon. Looking for a tattoo, check out his work. 

You can find more about Brennan & Burch: