hypebeast flea squarespace clova me old china angels nailz grillz jewelery ceramics nail art london event market creative streetwear
hypebeast flea squarespace clova me old china angels nailz grillz jewelery ceramics nail art london event market creative streetwear
Hypebeast Flea: Angel’s Nailz, Me Old China and Clova
Three of London’s most exciting brands discuss what to expect at the event.
Presented by Squarespace

As we gear up to debut Hypebeast Flea in London this September we have partnered with Squarespace, whose mission is to support entrepreneurs and give small businesses the tools they need to bring their ideas to life, to spotlight three emerging brands that will be showcased at the two-day event.

Enlisting Clova, Me Old China and Angel’s Nailz, each of the craftspeople behind the burgeoning brands offer a unique flair to their respective fields whilst utilizing their Squarespace sites to elevate their business.

Occupying varying outlets such as ceramics, grillz and nail art, all of the vendors have a close relationship with the capital, but what connects them is their passion for creativity and mutual dedication to their intricate craft.

Check out the full interviews with each of the three brands below.

Make sure you sign up to get your free tickets for Hypebeast Flea on September 9 and 10 here.

For Angel My Linh, nail art is in her blood. Hailing from South East London, the British-Vietnamese artist was raised in a family-run nail salon and has been acclimatized to the craft from as early as she can remember.

Having first started doing nails for her teachers during lunch breaks in school, her entrepreneurial spirit has always been prevalent in her journey. When experiencing the exhaustive nature of salon work, however, her love for the art was slowly diminishing and she moved into a retail job at 16.

But, she soon after picked up nail art as a hobby and began to notice how much her content was gaining traction online. Launching Angel’s Nailz in 2016, and having since worked with the likes of Megan Thee Stallion, Coi Leray and Tems, to name a few, Linh has transformed the experimental nail art space from a passion to a fully-fledged business. “I didn’t know that this even existed or that nail tech could do things like this,” she explains about getting into the field.

As well as a selection of Flea-exclusive press-on nails, Angel’s Nailz will also be at the event showcasing some of her original paintings and exclusive prints. Linh encourages visitors to stop by her space and get a closer look at her craft and how she’s transforming the nail art scene.

Hypebeast: How did you start Angel’s Nailz?

Angel My Linh: I grew up in a nail salon and started doing my teachers’ nails at eight during lunchtime. I started Angel’s Nailz in 2016, began freelancing, and my first onset job was my entrance into the creative industry.

Salon work is so hard and tiring, it gets so busy that you have to eat between appointments, and sometimes clients aren’t nice to you. It’s tough, especially during the busy seasons. I hated it and I decided to never do nails again. I quit when I was 16 and thought I’d just get a normal retail job. But I then started doing more of the nail art side of things as a hobby and it re-ignited my love for it.

What’s the journey been like from starting your brand to where you are today?

It’s been crazy but I feel really blessed. I didn’t know that this even existed, or that a nail tech could do things like this, I thought it was salon work and that’s it. During Covid, it actually got busier for me, I think that the more content you make whilst everyone’s at home, they also want to try it out and do their own DIY nails. But then after the pandemic, it just blew up more than I imagined. People really love the video content I create, so I want to host master classes in the future, teaching people how to do things with nail art.

Flea is going to be hosted for the first time in East London. How does the city’s creative community inspire you?

Everything happens there. East London is like the place to be, for the creative scene anyways, all the jobs and the cool pop-ups are there. Everyone knows Truman Brewery, it’s just the place to be on the weekend, going out with friends, going to Brick Lane, getting a bagel, and going shopping. I’m South till I die, but East is a close second.

When I first moved my business outside of my bedroom, it was a studio in Dalston, East London. That’s where I first started. I love it there, great food, and amazing people. I liked it a lot.

What have you got planned at Hypebeast Flea?

I’m going to be showcasing some handmade press-on sets that I’ve been working on which I’ll be selling on my Squarespace website soon, but these will be made specifically for Flea. I’ll also be creating a few original paintings as well as prints of them for people to buy. All exclusive to Flea, you won’t be able to find these anywhere else.

What other vendors are you looking forward to checking out at Hypebeast Flea?

One of my good friends, Junior, is behind Cremate, so I’m very excited to see him there and will be buying some incense — I’m always burning incense in here [laughs]. I’m also a big fan of Johnny Hoxton. I love his jewelry, the opal ones and smiley faces, and would love to see what he’s got going on the day. Everyone that’s there is really cool, so I’m excited about it, but I think those are my top ones.

See what to expect at Angel’s Nailz stall at Hypebeast Flea on the brand’s Squarespace site.

Despite only founding Me Old China last December, Nick Dynan’s relatively early start hasn’t hindered his success as he continues to go from strength to strength. Finding a niche in the pottery market, he creates hand-painted ceramics inspired by childhood memories of taking trips to London’s pubs. “There was always a swear jar on the bar and it kind of triggered something in my head,” he explains.

Coming from a graphic design background, the North London-based creative had worked on brand identities for a wide range of brands before he made the leap to launching his own business. Starting with what he knows best, he established the identity for Me Old China and ran with the first iteration he came up with. “It’s my bread and butter, I just knew how to make a brand and then it makes it feel more real,” he says.

Hypebeast Flea will be Dynan’s first real-life showcase of his products. Looking to talk to people about his journey, he’s encouraging visitors to stop by his stall, ask questions, and even if you’re not buying a Flea-exclusive vase, to learn more about what makes Me Old China unique in the homeware space.

Hypebeast: How did you start Me Old China?

Nick Dynan: Me and my girlfriend were on the sofa and she had bought a few vases from different places. I just said ‘I really want to paint a vase tomorrow’ and we went down to Victoria Park and grabbed the biggest vase I could get. I painted a tiger on it and waited two weeks for it to come back, and in that time I came up with the idea for Me Old China. I made the brand identity, set up my socials and when I got the first vase back I thought ‘Yeah, I actually really want to do this.’ Getting a tangible item in my hand, something I could hold, rather than doing brand identities digitally where I might not see the end product, was just satisfying and more exciting.

What’s your journey been like from starting Me Old China to now?

I started Me Old China in December 2022 as a side project in my spare bedroom and it’s spiraled out of control. It has got much bigger than I expected, I’ve now got my own studio space. I thought I’d just be making vases for a few of my friends and family, but now I’m getting orders from around the world.

I’ve done brand identities for various types of businesses in the past, so the first thing I did was create the identity for Me Old China because that’s my bread and butter. The first iteration I did is the one I went for. I just knew what the brand was and what I wanted it to be, it makes it feel real. The aesthetics of it work quite well in terms of the blue and cream colors, but the look and feel of the vases have developed, and I think that will always happen as I learn new techniques and explore different fonts, it’ll just keep evolving.

Flea is going to be hosted for the first time in East London. How does the city’s creative community inspire you and your brand?

I used to live on Bethnal Green Road, at the top of Brick Lane, two minutes from Truman Brewery. Living there definitely had a big influence on me in terms of seeing the development of graffiti on the streets and on the shutters when walking home at night. Seeing all the graffiti down Brick Lane changing literally every day was crazy, especially how much it’s painted down there.

Graffiti has always had a big influence on my style, from the colors that I use, the way that I paint, and even the process that I do is very similar. I sketch it out, fill it in and clean it up, that’s basically the same steps. So East London has definitely influenced what I do now.

What have you got planned at Hypebeast Flea?

I’ve got the swear jars that say ‘F*ck, sh*t, bollocks’ on them. I’ve always done these in blue, green, black, or red, but I’ll be doing some exclusive colorways for Flea. Making them a lot more eye-catching by mixing up the colors and incorporating multiple colors into one vase. I haven’t explored all of these routes yet, so they will be new to me as well as everyone else.

What other vendors are you looking forward to checking out at Hypebeast Flea?

I want to see Johnny Hoxton, I was actually very close to buying a ring from him a few years ago and never went through with it so I’ll see if I can get one that day — maybe even a trade. Definitely looking forward to seeing the archives pieces Holsales has, Too Hot as well. I want to see some of Soho Yacht Club’s T-shirts, I really liked the recent Duke + Dexter collaboration. I also really like Cremate’s branding, the Old English font which is like mine, so I’d want to have a chat and see what they’re about too.

You can shop Me Old China’s ceramics through its Squarespace site now.

An innate fascination with mouth jewelry is what inspired Clova Rae-Smith to pursue launching her eponymous brand. “I used to love going to the dentist and thought braces were so cool,” she explains. Having completed her studies in jewelry design at Central Saint Martins, the London and New York-based artist incorporated her passion for intricate craftsmanship into grillz after being drawn to its rich legacy. This, in turn, has led her to create highly conceptual pieces that have elevated her in the industry and attracted the likes of Jorja Smith.

Viewing the craft through a sculptural lens, Rae-Smith uses the same precision on every bespoke piece she’s commissioned to do and works closely with her clients to bring their most aspirational ideas to life. As well as creating the grillz, one thing she notes as being the best thing about her job is seeing the customers’ reactions when they get their final set. “The best part of the process is when a client first gets their custom piece,” she says. “Grillz just have this way of making people light up that I haven’t experienced with other forms of jewelry.”

As well as taking molds on-site, making the most of her time in London to connect with her UK community, Rae-Smith will also be introducing some accessories to keep your pieces safe. Be sure to check out her space at the Squarespace section of Hypebeast Flea over the weekend.

Hypebeast: Explain your brand to people who may not know you yet.

Clova Rae-Smith: I’m an independent jewelry designer from London, living in NYC and I’m mostly known for making custom grillz. My approach to grillz is sculptural, which has led my style to be organic and abstract. I love pushing the boundaries with my work and making sure my customers are happy.

The best part of the process is when a client first gets their custom piece. Grillz just have this way of making people light up that I haven’t experienced with other forms of jewelry. It’s the excitement it gives which is why I love making them.

What has the journey been like from starting your brand to where you are today?

I studied jewelry design at Central Saint Martins and established an online presence to sell rings and other pieces, mainly to friends so I could afford expensive materials for my course. I wanted to launch my own brand after leaving uni so I knew this was a good way to get started. In my final year, I was experimenting more and always wanted to try working with grillz, figuring out how they worked technically, and it was just a bit of fun making them sculpturally. When lockdown happened, I did a giveaway which I thought only my friends would enter. It was only for a silver tooth cap but I hoped it would make someone happy in such a dark time.

I honestly didn’t get into grillz thinking I would sell them but the giveaway got over 7,000 entries and so many people were contacting me to buy – I struggle saying no to things so I just started making them for people. Then I was doing interviews for magazines, working on covers and meeting amazing people, all while I was at uni and I just kept it going. Now I live and work in New York and have worked with people like Jorja Smith which I never thought would happen.

Flea is going to be hosted for the first time in the UK. How does its creative community inspire you and your brand?

The UK’s creative community is where I started, I have a lot of love for it. I have to say going to a creative university like CSM was a big inspiration. Just having being around that powerful energy entering the campus inspired me a lot and challenged me. I also don’t think I would have my brand without this community, a lot of young creative people, at that time especially, at universities in London shared my giveaway and I am where I am today because of this.

What have you got planned at Hypebeast Flea?

I’m planning on dropping an accessory specifically for grillz that will help with the biggest issue I’ve encountered — losing them. I was being so careless with mine I just had to come up with something to stop this from happening so I’m very excited for everyone to see. I will also be doing moldings for grillz, everyone will get their pieces before I go back to NYC so no shipping costs. Hopefully, I’ll also have some other jewelry pieces available to buy too.

What other vendors are you looking forward to checking out at Hypebeast Flea?

Milk and Honey, I respect their brand a lot and the work they’re doing at the moment is impeccable. I’ve been wanting to meet them for a while so I’ll definitely be popping over to say hi on the day if I get the chance.

To book appointments and check out Clova’s price list, visit the brand’s Squarespace site.

Explore Squarespace’s products, tools and templates and how its unique offering helps emerging creatives bring their ideas to life digitally here.

Senior Editor
Ali Mohammed-Ali/ Hypebeast
Carlota Lopez/ Hypebeast
Benji Reeves/ Hypebeast
Senior Producer
Natalia Palacios/ Hypebeast
Aaron Crossman (london), Nate Shuler (new York)
Olivia Velvet Gilson (london), Hayden Bullard (new York)
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