On the 7th of December, MUTREND LAB finished their countdown and opened the doors to creative minds at Portland Street. I had the opportunity to look at the finishing touches to the whole project and managed to have a chat with the main brain of this project, Sai Harrod.

The welcoming was very warm, the gathering felt rather acquainted and was an amazing opportunity to take an in-depth look at the new shop and what it has to offer. Mutrend Lab has a range of unique items, laid out perfectly in a way to capture your eyes and feel attached to it. It is bright, aesthetically pleasing and at the same time simple. You can find exclusive jewellery pieces, amazing quality bags and clothes to office supplies and Christmas garments for this season.

After a while, walking around the place we notice that Mutrend is not only a shop: “Mu, from Latin, means mutation, innovation, which I am deeply attracted to,” says Sai Harrod, after being asked about what is the meaning behind the name of this project. She continues “Trend, is my own opinion and what I try to devote to this space. We change all the time because of creativity. We need the change, but for what I see trend shouldn’t be for the sake of change. We all seek sustainability in our surroundings so the trend itself should be timeless.”

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By speaking with Sai Harrod, we could understand the love and commitment she put into this project to bring it to life, so it is way more than a simple shop: it’s about what is behind it. The hard work, the feeling of joy for having something done, the creativity that offers us, it is a dream, it’s creativity and what our beautiful minds can do – “98% is done by me, painting the walls, making the shelves, why? That is the inner part of the meaning and the joy. It reaches my inner Zen.”

The concept of the store is independence – “where we endorse good designs and timeless meaning creations.” – “We are pledged for continuous improvements towards sustainability, ecologically, socially and culturally.” While speaking with Sai, you could definitely feel the pride she has in her work and the happiness of it finally coming to fruition. She is a very intelligent and passionate person, who inspires those she speaks with. She explained how she defines sustainability since it is the aim of the shop – “it is not just ecological, it’s mental health and social equality. To me, it’s the environment we live in and it’s harmonious and balanced.”

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In this store, we can see that it’s not just a collaboration between designers and local businesses, there is a collaborative act and the urge to help each other.

We got to know a lot about the store but most importantly about the person who made it happen. I asked her how she would describe herself, as a person and as a professional – “I love people, I find people interesting, I am attracted to change, creativity.”

Sai seems very supportive of local and independent designers. In the future, she expects to expand MUTREND LAB, but for now, she sees a lot of potential in Southampton so she wants to be part of it. Also, she invites creative students to have some experience with her, she wants to connect with us in a creative way.

Visit MUTRENDLAB at 2 and A Half, Portland Street, SO14 7EB.

Check out http://mutrend.com/ and follow on @mutrendlab on Instagram.


By Mariana Almeida
Photos by Marco Maia
Video by Oscar Williams
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