It’s Indie Friday! This week’s guest: Hels from Lionheart magazine

Every Friday, I will share with you an interview asking independent champions to share with us their love for small brands and indie shops.  This week’s Small Business star is Hels from the Lionheart magazine. Have a read!

If you are interested in sharing your love for indie, please contact Geraldine.

Please introduce yourself and tell us what you’re up to at the moment?

Hello! My name is Hels, I am a writer, editor and copywriter. I’m a mother of three, I live in Bristol and I have two cats. I started Lionheart back in 2011 and Leopard – a magazine for kids – in 2020.

I love creating magazines, seeing them come together with little bolts of electricity! The theme of the new issue is JOY, because experiencing and feeling joy is so powerful and unique for us all – I love that it can surprise us, somehow override other emotions and be something so physical, deep within us. I also think it can create total clarity, seeing the world and what’s important within it so clearly. It takes us somewhere and grounds us at the same time. I feel like I am literally soaring when I feel joy – even for a moment. We all need joy and it’s been so hard for so long. I think sadness is the other side of joy and there is something beautiful in moving and feeling your way from one side to another. Joy can be relief, freedom, connection, love. I’d love to share the joy of this magazine. I feel like it’s in the pages, I hope readers feel it too.

I’ve have also recently been writing fiction, which has opened up something new. I started the year unsure if I ever wanted to write again – I couldn’t tell you why – I enrolled in a fiction course, which I cycled to once a week, I took a deep breath, I started to work on the magazine and slowly I saw there were many so places I could explore. That there could be a place for my fiction too, even if just for me. I love writing and I always have, I feel like I had to be ready for fiction and it’s been up there with a big question mark. I wasn’t sure whether to walk away, or towards it.

In addition, since I love independent businesses and have worked with, interviewed and got to know so many over the years, plus I have a background in working with brands in a content agency, I’d like to begin to offer a copywriting service. I’m planning to do this with a fellow journalist friend – it’s all very new, but really good. We love words, stories and connection! I feel like getting to know a business is like understanding a character, seeing the world through their eyes and understanding what they would like to communicate and achieve. Point of view is really important to me. I love to help people flourish!

Please tell us why you love shopping with independent businesses

I grew up just by Brighton and went to college in Hove, so I spent all of my teens in the Laines. The shops, cafes, pubs, clubs – I loved them. The independent businesses in the city are so varied and brilliant, I love how they each have such a strong identity and everyone is so friendly and relaxed! That human interaction is like a village. I worked in a few independent shops in the North Laines and South Lanes and when I left to go travelling I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. But then I travelled, went to university in Cornwall and wanted to stay in the South West, so it was Bristol.

I soon started writing for independent magazines in the city and training for my journalism qualification at the local newspaper, both of which allowed me to get out and about; writing music and theatre reviews and meeting many independents all over the city. I loved discovering (and living by) Gloucester Road. I thought it was magic how when you’d think of an idea in Bristol, people would always say: ‘Yes! Do that!’ and support you. Starting the magazine, freelance writing for Mollie Makes etc. social media growing, events, markets and more, meant that I discovered independent businesses all over the country. So much talent and passion, I think it’s brilliant.

I love to shop with independents because of the human aspect; the human/product story, the care and dedication. I know the hard work and love that goes into everything. To me, shopping with independent businesses feels so special. I love to share in the passion, creativity and skill. I love to ‘ahhh and ooh’ over something unique.

Have you got favourite indie makers and brands you’d like to share with us?

Way too many! Check out the latest issue for some of my current favourites.

Do you visit markets regularly? If so, please let us know which ones and why you love them?

I used to and I intend to again! I love Frome’s Independent Market, but I think the last one I went to most recently is the Stroud Farmers’ Market

About Hels

I am Hels, I love writing, music, baking, gardening, cycling and meandering about. I also love CATS! if you would like to work with me!



Bristol Market

We support independent and ethical brands across the UK – check our directory for inspiration to treat yourself or a loved one. We help you shop for ethical gifts that were made with care, love and the planet in mind.