Art Disco - homeware inspired by the Yorkshire coast

ART DISCO signature Whitby mug

ART DISCO signature Whitby mug - Credit: Archant

Whitby-based Lucy Catherwood and Marie France capture the coast with their homeware and lifestyle brand.

ART DISCO's Marie France and Lucy Catherwood

ART DISCO's Marie France and Lucy Catherwood - Credit: Archant

Creativity has always been at the heart of what makes Lucy Catherwood and Marie France tick.

Music, painting, design and print have played a part in their lives – and their creative spirit has now found a permanent home, and legion of fans, in the coastal town of Whitby.

The pair run ART DISCO, a cool little company which makes designs inspired by their coastal surroundings that work on clothing and homewares.

They tell a tale that many of us can relate to – who wouldn’t love to be in Whitby at the minute, as a saying on their enamel mugs invites? Salty sea air and a stirring breeze on the wind? If only.

One of the ART DISCO candles

One of the ART DISCO candles - Credit: Archant

The pair grew up in the Yorkshire Dales and met at high school, bonding over a love of art. Each went on to study fine art at university (Lucy in Leeds and Marie in York), but never lost touch - they were in a signed band and spent most of their time touring and recording together.

‘It was at this time we were offered a merchandising deal for our band and after learning how to screen print at uni we realised we would be better off doing it for ourselves,’ says Marie.

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They spent their advance on printing equipment and their merchandise really took off - ART DISCO was born, growing to become a stand alone brand.

‘After travelling with our music we were always drawn back to North Yorkshire. As our business is online we were able to base ourselves anywhere. We longed for the salty air and after a chance visit to Whitby we fell hook, line and sinker.

ART DISCO clothing

ART DISCO clothing - Credit: Archant

‘Whitby is such a creative place with an amazing sense of community and a vibrant entrepreneurial scene… it’s outwardly traditional but is not afraid to move with the times and embraces diversity.’

Days in their seaside studio with the beach on the doorstep are always busy.

‘Working for yourself means no two days are ever the same. We try to do some design work each morning and some photography in the afternoon when the light is at its best,’ says Marie.

‘A large chunk of every day consists of printing and crafting orders in the studio and replying to customer messages. Royal Mail collects from us at 5pm so the working day is usually at fever pitch until then. We work on social media after that. Any down time is spent at the beach or in the sea which is something we are craving right now!’

ART DISCO clothing

ART DISCO clothing - Credit: Archant

The product range includes quirky messages in designs with a nod to the nautical and touch of the tattoo. Products are popular with surfers and those who share Marie and Lucy’s passion for the pleasures of the seaside.

3 tips for the quiet times:

Learn something new, be creative, dust off that guitar or start a new craft project.

Be kind… connect with people now more than ever, whether it’s a FaceTime call with family and friends or messages and comments on social media

Start planning adventures for when this is all over…. the planning is half of the fun anyway!