Festival of Thrift Interviews-Stella Hall

The third in my series of interviews with the people behind the Festival of Thrift, is with Stella Hall. Stella is the Festival Director, and according to my interview with Festival co-founder Wayne Hemingway, she is the best in the business!

Stella Hall Picture credit:The Festival of Thrift

Stella Hall
Picture credit:The Festival of Thrift

1) Can you tell us a little bit about you, and your involvement with the Festival of Thrift?
I am the Festival’s Director; which means I conceive the overall programme, invite the artists, workshop leaders and speakers then raise the money for them to come! I also vet all of the stallholders to make sure they are as committed to upcycling, recycling and thriftiness as we are!

I am the eldest of nine – and there was very little money about in my childhood – so I learnt to be resourceful – but I am also passionate about sharing skills and ideas about how we can live creative lives as a community.

2) The Festival of Thrift seems to have really caught people’s imaginations and last year’s inaugural event was hugely successful. Why do you think it has such appeal?
I think the wide and generous involvement of huge numbers of people both locally and from across the UK sharing their expertise and contributing ideas made it an event that belonged to us all. Its not corporate, its not off the peg – its been made specially for everyone to get involved in.

3) What was your favourite part of last year’s event, and what are you most looking forwards to this year?
I loved seeing people trying something new – whether that was learning how to dye fleeces, make sushi, build a pizza oven or hula hoop..

This year I am looking forward to seeing Shane Waltener’s woven installation take shape and watching the participants in our Scrapyard Orchestra and Oxglam Fashion Show perform.

Picture Credit: The Festival of Thrift

Picture Credit: The Festival of Thrift


Picture credit: The Festival of Thrift

Picture credit: The Festival of Thrift

4) Thrift can mean many things to many people-what does it mean to you?
And how important is it as part of your everyday life?
Thrift to me simply means making the best use possible of the Earth’s scarce resources –thinking of each of us as part of a wider ecology where nothing is wasted as everything has its use for someone.

 5) Do you think Thrift is just another passing fad, or is it here to stay?
And how do you think Thrift in the 21st Century is different from the post-war era?
Thrift is now a choice we make of how to live our lives; post war it was a necessity. It is how I have lived for the past forty years – so that’s no passing fad!

 6) I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times before, but can you give us your top Thrifty Tip?!
A pair of sharp scissors, sewing needles and thread plus your imagination is all you need to transform unwanted clothes, bedding, curtains into unique gifts your friends will always treasure – they’ve got a little bit of you.

Thankyou so much Stella for these inspiring answers!
The Festival of Thrift is happening this weekend (27th and 28th September) in Darlington. It’s FREE to get in and looks A-MAZING! Do go along if you can, and let me know what you got up to 🙂

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