Laura Cartledge meets the couple making it their mission to change the way we shop.
While husband and wife team Dean and Jeska Hearne say their business is a ‘24/7 vocation’ they admit they ‘work’ more now than ever before.
The Future Kept is described as ‘an online lifestyle store, selling goods with an honest provenance’ and was launched by the pair who live in Fairlight, near Hastings, last year.
“We have wanted to do something like this for a long time, but last year it finally felt like the good time to make the jump,” says Jeska.
“There is never a right time to do anything with risk, or anything that will result in a huge change to how you live your life, but that is what makes it all the more rewarding.
“We wanted to do something that would hopefully bring about a change in how people consume,” she adds, “as it was a change we ourselves were going through.”
That change is to put the focus on to items which are made to last and not to ‘fuel the throw away nature of the modern world’.
The Future Kept cites its aim as to ‘inspire a curiosity and desire within people to make more sustainable and ethical choices’ and by doing so the Hearnes believe both people and the planet benefit.
These philosophies form the couple’s ‘code’ for sourcing items to sell – from the pocket knives made in Sheffield by the ‘legendary Trevor’ and Dusk Lip paint to the beautiful blankets and ‘delightfully scrunchable’ washable paper bags.
Despite the hard ‘work’ and long hours it is feeling ‘free and excited’ about the discoveries and events each new day brings, along with being their own boss, that makes it ‘so rewarding’.
The interest in carefully selected items with stories seems to be on the rise, with many deeming it a reaction to the fast fashion eras, but Jeska insists there’s still a long way to go.
“It may seem like a growing trend, but take a walk down the majority of high streets and you will see in the big wide world the message is still hidden,” she says.
“So the more and more people with this belief that start to promote this message the better – for honest makers, businesses and individuals.”
However, once found, she believes the ‘special things’ should be used daily and not just kept for best.
“What better way then to surround yourself with things that have meaning, that will last the test of time?” asks Jeska.
“All while enhancing someone else’s life by supporting the craft they have chosen to dedicate their days to.
“Too much of what is mass marketed is throwaway, a non-sustainable culture where the people at the top of the chain benefit, and the people making it do not.”
When it comes to interior design advice, Jeska’s top tip is to ‘go with what feels right to you’.
“It is your personality and uniqueness that will shine through, take influences from the outside, but going with your own feelings and taste is the only way to create something with meaning,” she enthuses.
“Don’t get sucked into trends, it has all been done before.
“They are useful in bringing styles, items and tastes to people that may not have seen them, but they are not the be all and end all of how you should live your life.
“Price doesn’t always mean best,” adds Jeska, “learning to appreciate the beauty of an old chipped mug with its associated memories and stories is more rewarding than a top of the range kitchen.”
As for putting a space together she reveals the key is to ‘choose items with different qualities’.
“Textures, finishes, materials, old, new, collected, inherited and found – throw them all in, then pair back and just keep subtly shifting things until it feels right,” she agrees, before warning that ‘faddy impulse buys’ are the biggest mistake people make.
These are the things which ‘do not last’ and that people ‘fall out of love with quickly’ as they are ‘not thinking about the long game’.
Speaking of which, what are the hopes for the future of The Future Kept?
“We would love to eventually have our own bricks and mortar shop space, where people can come visit us, touch and try the products and where we can regularly meet face to face with our makers and customers,” Jeska replies.
“But generally we take each day as a blessing. It has been so overwhelming to us, all the kind words and support that everyone has given us, each and every time someone orders something from the store it still baffles us that people even know we exist.”
To find out more about The Future Kept, visit www.thefuturekept.com