I recently caught up with colourful fashion blogger Helena Lester-Card, aka Helibells after meeting her at a SWEAT Southsea Barre class. Helena is on a mission to support female empowerment through her start-up Sassy World and the female collective Confetti Crowd.
How did Sassy World and the Confetti Crowd come to life and what does a typical Helibells day consist of?
Sassy World was my final major project at university which I started with the intention of carrying on as a business after I graduated. I came up with the idea after feeling frustrated that there wasn’t an online shop catering for my colourful and crazy fashion needs in the UK so I thought why not start it myself! Confetti Crowd came about as a result of my fashion blog. I was on a blogger shoot with Lulu and Heidi and Heidi explained to us that she had this idea to create a colourful blogging girl gang. We were all super excited about it and not long after that there were 5 of us and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.
How would you describe your style and what, or who are your style inspirations?
I would describe my style as rainbow, eclectic and nostalgic. I’m very much inspired by different eras, in particular 90s music and tv/film. Fran Fine in 90s sitcom the Nanny is my ultimate style icon!
Confetti Crowd by Lloyd Ramos
We recently collaborated on the Creative Census Portsmouth. One of the Census’ findings was that there was a calling from those involved in creative industries for “the raising of the profile of Portsmouth as a creative city.” Is this something you can relate to?
I’ve personally noticed how creative Portsmouth has become over the last few years and would love to see it become more recognised. At the moment I spend a huge amount of time in London for all of my fashion related jobs and it would be so great to see Portsmouth become a base for more creatives rather than having to commute so often.
People seem a lot more comfortable expressing themselves in terms of fashion and individual style in cities such as London, Brighton or Manchester than they do here in Portsmouth. Does being based here present obstacles or opportunities for a fashion industry start-up?
When starting up Sassy World I knew that Portsmouth wasn’t going to be where my customers are at. I’ve experienced first hand the odd looks from walking around in crazy ass clothes haha! But luckily thanks to social media and the internet it means I can reach out all over the country and even across the world so for internet based fashion start-ups I don’t see it as a problem.
You’ve amassed over twenty-five thousand followers on Instagram. How have you used social media to your advantage in terms of your business goals?
Instagram is my main tool for business growth! My career literally wouldn’t exist without it. It’s crazy how one person in the industry can stumble across your profile and then that can lead to working with a big brand. Myself and Confetti Crowd have been approached by and worked with brands such as Nike, Missguided, Uni days, Illamasqua, Festivals and more mainly because of our Instagram influence.
What are your favourite Portsmouth & Southsea hangouts?
My fave hangouts in Southsea have to be the beach, OBVS! The sea is my happy place 😊 Wild Thyme Wholefoods for amazing vegan lunches and Drift Bar for the best nights out with my girlfriends. Southsea Flea Market (which my mum runs, I’m not biased promise!) is an amazing event that takes place every 6-8 weeks and is full of vintage clothes, antiques, bric-a-brac and lots more. I take a lot of my old Sassy World vintage stock there and it’s great for finding bargains too!
Founder of SWEAT Southsea Luke Newton is available for personal training and the SWEAT gym is dedicated to personal training meaning no crowds, intimidation or extra fees. SWEAT opened eighteen months ago and has now firmly established itself. Other trainers forming the talented team include double Olympian Katy Sexton MBE and Team GB boxing coach ‘Q’ Shillingford MBE! You can find SWEAT on Haslemere Road. If you would like to know more, then head over to www.sweat.fitness where you can also find their list of pay as you go classes. Classes are open to all with no membership required. The timetable includes Barre, Pilates, HIIT, Kettlebells and Circuits. Physiotherapy and sports massage therapy services are also available.