Young Suffolk business owner sets up upcycled household goods store


11:00 am 22 November 2021

A 20-year-old with a talent for recycling and making unique and original household items shared her professional journey.

Lily Wood, 20, of Ipswich, owns Abstract Frog – a business she relaunched in May this year after starting at just 17.

It was during her teenage years that Lily decided college wasn’t for her and instead became her own boss, studying art full time.

She said: “Everyone was kind of pushing me to go to college and I didn’t really know what I would like to study, so I was like, ‘why don’t I start my own business and start everything what I like to do?'”

Lily makes artwork, canvases and prints, and more recently she has started making household items such as cutting boards and coasters using recycled items.

Lily makes coasters, trinket platters and recycles items such as cheese platters
– Credit: Danielle Booden

She often frequents charity shops to turn unloved items into modern pieces that the house will sell through its online store.

“I’m going to try and find stuff in charity and antique stores that I can use instead of buying things wholesale – that’s the unique part of it.

“I like to recycle and find out the story of an item, then make it into something more modern,” she added.

Lily holding a recycled cheese board and a canvas with an abstract design

The 20-year-old will often use items she has found in charity and antique shops
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Lily embraces and incorporates the past of each element and tells that story through her work.

She said, “If this is a really unusual item, I’ll ask the person in the store when did it happen and do you know anything about it?”

“I’ll try to take note of this just so there is a story behind it. It adds a bit of character rather than buying something from the range.”

A photo of Lily's hands as she uses a tool on a wooden coaster

Lily recycles items and reuses waste
– Credit: Danielle Booden

For other young people who are considering starting their own businesses, Lily says to keep it simple and organized.

She said, “Get your prices and values ​​set – what is unique about your business and why people should buy from your store instead of Amazon.” Also, give yourself as little as possible.

Lily hopes to develop her clientele and wants to showcase her work at local fairs in the coming weeks. She would also like to collaborate with other artists in the future.

To find Lily products on Etsy see here.


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