How to grow robust & sustainable creative businesses?

Well it’s a good question and not one that can be ironed out over a cuppa…

I understand how overwhelming it can be to look at making your business and your life more ‘green’ and/or sustainable – this has been a passion of mine ever since primary school and a workshop we took part in on packaging – see the slide with the After Eights boxes…

Open To Create… is my day to day expression in the world of being part of co-creating an inheritable world for many future generations of all species on this planet.

I trust you enjoy and find inspiration in the slides from my workshop “Giving Your Business The Green Light” run in partnership with University of East London as part of their Make It Global programme with The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship

Make It Global: Giving You The Green Light… creating green creative businesses…

Proud to be designing this one day workshop to inspire women running creative businesses to get creative around the green aspects of running creative businesses…

And excited to meet the group and hear their ideas and solutions to make their business as sustainable for now and the future…

Thanks to the wonderful team at University of East London Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship

GO GREEN!!      Book here…


Create a business that will sustain not just yourself…

Giving centre stage to London’s less well known creative communities…

You know of amazing projects happening in your own backyard, perhaps you even run one or attend a group that inspires you to reconnect with yourself after a hard day, unwind after a long week and more importantly feel a sense of connection to where you live or work…

Seeking out such groups on some of the more well hidden nooks and crannies of London has been at the heart of co-curating Anxiety Arts Festival London 2014 – and now June is finally here do take the many opportunities we have cooked up with The Dragon Cafe, Mental Fight Club, Mind and Soul Choir, Friends of Cathja, Cooltan Arts and Lambeth Addiction recovery just to name few… blink and you will have missed so many treats!

I am Visible 2014 conference @ UEL CEWE 6th & 7th March 2014


Elevation Network conference celebrating all that it means to be a woman in 2014

Super excited to be a speaker at this 2 day event at UEL Centre of Excellence for Women’s Entrepreneurship.

You can follow all of the action via Twitter @Visible_Women #iamvisible

I am speaking 10am – 10.30am 6th March 2014 about Being Real… the power of being authentic to support wellbeing BOOK your FREE tickets to the two day event HERE

ELCBWN 30.09.13 guest speaker… Jessica Rose – founder of the London Jewellery School

Guest speaker for September 2013 meet up of East London Creative Business Women Network

Guest speaker for September 2013 meet up of East London Creative Business Women Network

The East London Creative Business Women Network is ever evolving and with Petra, co-founder deciding to give it 100% to her own and deep:black projects I was a little stumped about how to harness such collaborative energy for the post Summer East London Creative Business Women Network meet up…

As luck would have it on that day I received an email from JESSICA ROSE, Award-Winning Entrepreneur and Founder of the London Jewellery School… asking if ELCBWN invited guest speakers…

And thus I had my answer and excitingly Jessica is now the guest speaker for our next gathering… phew! Creative Collaboration back into full swing again…

What you can expect from Jessica on Monday 30th September 2013…

Jessica will give an informal talk about her experience and journey in setting up a multi-award winning creative business from scratch, sharing the good, bad and everything in-between for plenty of inspiration, ideas and advice. Following this there will be a Q&A session and some creative brainstorming.
Everyone is welcome to come along no matter what stage they are at with their business bring your ideas and questions and we look forward to seeing you there. 

Book your place via we ask you pay what you can on the night to keep the events as open & inclusive as possible.

A bit more about Jessica and her background: 

Multi-award winning entrepreneur and business expert Jessica Rose is the owner and Director of the London Jewellery School, the world’s largest jewellery training centre. She set up the business aged just 21 in 2009 with only one class a month from a community hall in South London and now the school is a huge success having trained over 7,000 students with the running of over 50 classes per month. Her achievements in building a thriving business from scratch have been recognised by the local and national press including features in Marie Claire, The Times, Vogue, Daily Mail and Daily Experss to name a few and she has stared in interviews/ documentaries on the BBC, ITV and Sky News. She is also a regular blogger for huffinton post and ambassador of a number of organisations supporting young people and women in to business. For more on her story see – and for more about the London Jewellery School visit

5p bag tax – Urging the Government to tax the supermarkets who insist on using unethical, unsustainable plastic packaging…

I did actually laugh when I heard the Government is proudly bringing in a 5 pence tax to consumers from 2015 for using plastic bags from supermarkets – BBC from 14.09.13

Not that I am against this… and the money does go to charity (said in a Smashy & Nicey voice) but it falls so massively short of the bigger issues that where the laugh or was it more of a chocking sound, sounding like a laugh or sharp intake of breath?

Like an older lady I have for sometime now (about a year) been collecting all of the plastic packaging that comes from my supermarket purchases which are ‘not currently recycled’.


Because I increasingly feel uneasy, if not queasy about throwing this rubbish in the ‘general’ rubbish for its longer term consequences or throwing it away into the recycling thinking”that’s someone else’s job to deal with’ and risking contaminating the recycling which also has massive consequences.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t right…

Well not in a going straight to hell type way more in I don’t think its sustainable to hoard this amassing pile of plastics in my flat… they’ll end up doing one of those hoarding shows on me, and that’s not so cool.

So my question to the Government – is what are their policies on any companies who in the 21st century are still rolling out thousands of lines in ‘currently not recycled packaging’?

It’s all sorts as well from Tescos, Sainsburys, Morrisons through to those you’d hope would know and act better – Waitrose and The Cooperative – see my photos below.

It falls on us all to check out packaging more and demand brands stop the use of such non-ethical and biodegradable materials… it’s so last century when smaller brands such as Suma Food products have been using PET packing for the last few years. If they can why can’t the big players too?

TAX them for using these materials and you’ll soon see a turnaround as it will effect the bottom line – which is after all what the companies in question are driven by, whatever their mission statements may claim

image by Anna B. Sexton

Sort it out Coop… call yourself ethical, shame on you!


You can do much, much better than this Morrisons…


Waitrose, once my favourite, most trusted supermarket… now as bad as the rest

Are you Open To Create… 3 month volunteer placement offered. Deadline 20th September 2013

I have been a volunteer on and off for over 20 years and know first hand the amazing benefits of volunteering. I have run different volunteer, intern and work placement programmes for over 15 years and love the satisfaction of a person willing to contribute learn and grow from being willing to give to a company.

Charlotte Hogg was an intern whilst I was working with Bow Arts – she was an awesome, go getting woman on a mission to suck up as much experience from working in the gallery, curating P1 show through to handling the rain on the opening night of the Open Studios with grace and good humour. She went onto to secure a place on the Whitechapel Interns programme and now works for the Royal Academy… 

See Charlotte’s reference below…

  1. Charlotte Hogg

    Charlotte Hogg
    Press Assistant at Royal Academy of Arts
    Anna has a clear can-do attitude which makes even the hardest of tasks seem like light work. Dependable, committed and loyal, Anna is a pleasure to work with. Being a natural people person she is happy to share these wonderful qualities with an ever growing professional network, one that helped me begin my own career and which I know has helped many others in turn. My time…more

    May 24, 2011, Charlotte worked indirectly for Anna B. at Bow Arts Trust

So it’s a little nerve wracking to admit to limitations of any kind? Especially when it requires bringing new people to your inner world of your business…

But it’s time to take the plunge at Open To Create… so I can focus on more strategic grow whilst knowing the detail is being handled.

We are offering a 3 month volunteer placement at 1 day a week…

Deadline for applying is 20th September 2013.

See below for a link to the role description…

Have a creative power day


How do you creatively power your day up?

Today I meditated,  cooked up a power breakfast of veggies, artisan bread, British goat’s cheese followed by a power cycle into the wind.

I have a lovely creative catch up with Marianne Hartley – Hartley & Soul Designs @ Tate Modern.

Then some r&r at my acupuncturist.

Followed by reviewing what’s new on the creative project horizons.

What do you like to do to create your most powerful days?

Do tell!!

Posted by Anna B. Sexton out & about on creative & playful journeys
Find out more about Open To Create…

How to catch a copy of ‘To Catch a Rabbit’ by Helen Cadbury?


Very proud of Helen Cadbury’s 1st published book – the 1st of many!!

For today (18th July 2013) and tomorrow (19th July 2013)  To Catch a Rabbit is on very special offer!

Free Kindle download day!


I have known and been working with Helen since 2009 and it’s so amazing to she how her focus, determination and vision have manifested ‘To Catch A Rabbit’ – a crime novel based in the UK which has very strong chances of making it onto a TV screen near you very soon…

Check out Helen’s website

Check out Moth Publishing’s website

A ‘new national curriculum for the Arts, Design, Dance, Film? More like a bad day for future creative learning…

Image by Anna B. Sexton

Stop tinkering with the creative curriculum in such an unjoined up way Mr. Gove

A picture speaks a 100o words, right?

Well here’s what I think about the newly released national and particularly creative subjects curriculum served up by Mr. Gove,  Secretary of State for Education.

I don’t get his thinking and can’t see how he and his team have the bare face cheek to release the curriculum whilst it so clearly has not been created in relation to what most teachers and educators believe is needed for our current and future learners.

We must keep speaking out, sharing about this deliberate shun of both common sense,  a well rounded creative curriculum across all subjects and what this means for our children’s basic human rights.

At a time when so many people are becoming more sedentary and unwell through lack of physical exercise to leave dance out as a distinct art form is foolhardy and will prove costly in terms of personal physical and mental health and collective spend in health care in the coming years.
Equally to leave out to film and drama in such a way leaves me cold given how well our theatre and film industries have been doing in the last few years. These industries are part of our global exports and a creator of much needed jobs, income and taxes. So one wonders what Gove sees will replace these if our students don’t have the access to the subjects and be able to access HE & FE post school without the basic grounding in these subjects.

To have such low level of linking up of the curriculum to the creative industries shows just how little joined up thinking there is within this government.

No wonder more and more employability courses are being taught as pupils are being left ill equipped to face into their futures whatever career pathways they chose.

These measures also buy into the ‘intern’ culture so many companies use to ‘give’ young people the real life skills needed to work in business, well as long as it’s for free.

I find the time, energy and investment in bringing into being this ‘new’ curriculum  an utter shame on Gove and his teams and one that we and future generations will be paying for in so many ways.

I do agree with Karl Wozny’s comment

“Gove has not taken any notice of Henley or recognised Rose or Cambridge Reviews, all of which champion the arts in education. Gove has also failed to listen to teachers, the people on the front line. Which school in their right mind would want this curriculum? I guess Academies and Free Schools can choose to opt out, and many schools are already choosing independent Curriculums like IPC. The only good thing I can see here is that it’s up to arts organisations to help liven up this new uninspiring curriculum and we can hope to trust in schools to enable this and that extra funds promised by Gove to do this will be given. I think schools should follow the Australuan system whereby every parent pays around £100 a year into a ‘pot’ so that their children get a continuous steady flow of cultural enrichment. Those that can’t pay can have it funded by Pupil Premium. I think it’s time to take control and try different methods.
Karl Wozny 09 July 2013″

But don’t just want to get into business mode of seeing this as an opportunity to make in roads into the massive gaps left by Gove’s new structures.

I want us to keep pushing this Government to see society as a well rounded whole. One where not everyone has the means or background to find it easy to access the additional measures and schemes he is suggesting… i.e. weekend creative clubs hosted in local universities.  Many parents of children today, and likely more so in the future, did not have a good relationship with their own schooling, let alone the funding to access FE/HE so we are being called to look at the issues raised by the new curriculum together, creatively and in 360 degree fashion so it really reflects all of today’s learners  and the many challenges they and we face.

Read more about the latest changes via The Cultural Learning Alliance website – thankful this organisation exists to keep us all updated on the changes.