Imagine making a living from partying your Summer away at all the best festivals? Your job would be to capture every hilarious moment on camera, be a source of information for every festival enthusiast, and – most importantly – to style the outfits of everyone present. For many this would be a dream job, but for Sarah Flynn (above, right), an ex-building surveyor from Liverpool, this is actually a wonderful reality.
24-year-old Sarah founded Phestival in 2009. Her company consists of everything from running a full-time website to visiting each festival and selling her Phestival goods. Although the company sees it’s busiest times in the Summer (with a killer 19-hour shift for the night-long Global Gathering festival!) the maintenance of the company and website keep her going throughout the year.
What inspired you to launch Phestival?
I was actually a building surveyor stuck in a ‘normal’ 9-5 job… Bored with the routine, I spent summer of 2008 attending every festival possible! I’m obsessed with personalised items and realised that at festivals there wasn’t anybody providing a photo or key ring service for memories! That’s when I considered doing it myself, only, instead of personalised key rings, we thought t-shirts would be better.
Is managing Phestival a full-time job?
Most people think that we are only busy in the Summer time as this is the festival season; however, the preparation that goes on behind the scenes is actually 24/7! At the moment I am applying to the festivals that I would like to trade at – most applications are released in January. Also, now that we have the online shop and the website, I spend every single day updating the site with current news and information so that people can find out all they need to know about any UK festival through Phestival.
Are there any websites, magazines or celebrities you rely on to give you an indication of what will be popular in festival fashion?
I absolutely love Company magazine! They feature so much information on festival fashion and festival news that it gets me so excited. A celebrity that we rely on for festival fashion has to be Fearne Cotton. She is our ‘festival queen’. Everything she wears becomes an instant craze at a festival. Last year, for example, was the fluffy animal hat that she wore to Radio 1’s Big Weekend in May. After that people couldn’t get enough of the animal trapper hats!
Of all the festivals you’ve been to, which one did you enjoy the most, and why?
Our favourite festival so far has to be Global Gathering. It’s our favourite because it is relatively small in comparison to others (about 40,000 capacity). The team behind it are so laid back and fun that it rubs off on the festival and creates such a fun atmosphere.
Festival fashion has become a fashion movement of it’s own in recent years. Which 5 staple garments or accessories would you recommend to someone who was visiting a festival?
Festival staple garments haven’t changed in a while so they’re quite simple to follow…
- Bright coloured wellington boots
Everyone has a bright pair of hunter wellies with thick, colourful socks. No matter how nice the weather is, the grass still goes muddy because of the amount of people walking on it.
Whether it’s sunny or raining, sunglasses are an essential part of a festival outfit. Our biggest sellers are our RayBan Wayfarers as seen on Tinie Tempah and Rihanna.
It doesn’t matter whether its thunder and lightning, you still wear hotpants. All the dancing and walking will keep your legs warm!
- Flower garland
The latest festival staple is the signature flower garland. Complete with a very hippy feel, every girl needs a flower in her hair to complete her look. (I’d recommend Big Mare’s Marebands. You take a peek at her bands by clicking here – Rose.)
- A thin parker coat
Nothing too big, just something that you can throw on when the sun goes down or when it rains just to stay dry. There’s nothing worse than getting soaked and then sleeping in a tent, you just wont dry off!
Sarah’s top tips for starting your own business:
- Visit www.businesslink.gov.uk for information on setting up the business.
- Meet as many people as possible in your field of work – the more you can spread the word about your business, the more you’ll open doors of opportunity.
- Don’t feel threatened by other brilliant companies. Take guidance from other sources but just be sure to make yours better!
In an economy where everyone seems to be so glum about making a living, it is so nice and refreshing to speak to a career driven girl who loves her job and started it from sheer determination!
If you feel inspired to go for your dream job after hearing Sarah’s story, remember to read my ‘How to Land Your Dream Internship or Job’ feature.
P.S Are you a student in Liverpool? Sarah is currently seeking an intern to assist in her social media and marketing. You’ll only be needed for one day a week, making this a wonderful and flexible opportunity! Click here to view the vacancy and for details on how to contact Sarah.