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Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with George from Thoughtcraft

Thoughtcraft is a one-man band graphic design studio set up in 2015 by George Hadley. George is based in the Fisher Street WERKS building and George has been with us since the day we opened in Lewes!

Thoughtcraft HQ at Fisher Street, Lewes!
10 Questions with George from Thoughtcraft
1) Firstly, can you tell us in your own words about what your business does and its mission?

I’m a Graphic Designer who focuses on branding. Depending on the project I either work alone or collaborate with other creative specialists to produce work with thought and craft. I aim for creativity with substance (ideas, meaning and longevity) and work with clients and design studios that aim to make a positive impact in the world.

2) What inspired you to start your own business?

A variety of reasons, creative freedom, flexibility with family life, first-hand experience that full time creative jobs aren’t the most stable and maybe a bit of naivety!

3) How do you find inspiration and what sets you apart from the competition?

Inspiration… That comes in many forms: conversation (with clients or people detached from the work - friends and family), the usual methods - online searches, books, magazines, exhibitions and in more random ways - whilst walking, cycling, listening to music/radio and even dreaming!

What sets me apart… I’m the son of a nurse and an actor, from them I inherited the skills of listening and caring combined with communication and imagination - which when mixed together are the perfect ingredients for graphic design.

4) What skills do team members of Thoughtcraft develop during their time within the organisation?

I studied Graphic Design at Kingston University, worked for 12 years at agencies small and large in London and Brighton with a brief spell in Melbourne (Australia). I moved to Lewes in 2010 and since 2015 have been running my own practice. As a one-man-band set up I’ve had to develop lots of skills beyond being a designer, such as - looking after the admin and finances, communicating with clients/suppliers and selling my services to keeping the work coming in.

5) Describe your typical work-day?

I’m very lucky to live a 5-minute walk from my studio in the Fisher Street (Lewes) building so I have a very easy commute. The working day is a combination of making lists (hopefully crossing some things off), emailing and speaking with clients, scribbling in a sketchbook and tinkering on the computer. It’s nice to have the buzzy cafe downstairs with friendly staff and other folk from the building, some of whom I’ve collaborated with. I make sure I get some fresh air and a break from the screen at lunch and always make it back to eat with family in the evening and chat about what we’ve all been up to.

6) What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?

The initial period of the pandemic, early 2020 was pretty tough from a financial perspective. It was just radio silence whilst everyone figured out how they were going to operate and being a newly set up limited company there was no government support. I kept in regular touch with my contacts and a month or so in I got a 2 day a week contract with a Brighton based charity helping their design team. This got me back on my feet and then gradually clients and projects started to reemerge.

7) What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Work-wise… Well, surviving the uncertainty of the pandemic is up there, but more simply being able to support my family doing something I really enjoy is something I’ve proud and very grateful for.

8) Which small businesses and/or entrepreneurs influence you / to do you look for guidance?

Other design agencies where I’ve worked in the past, friends who’ve set up their own businesses, podcasts and interviews such as Design Matters, The RSA’s RDInsights, Know Ideas and the magazine Courier.

9) What advice does Thoughtcraft have for anyone looking to get into eventing or kickstart their own creative enterprise?

Take the time to make a plan, something I didn’t do at the outset. Thoughtcraft has evolved organically which has worked out so far, but having some sort of map for where you’re trying to get to is something I’m still learning how to do. You have to be adaptable as a small business but the guiding plan in the background helps inform your decisions.

10) Where can we find Thoughtcraft online?

Visit my website -

Any questions, email me -

My online scrapbook on Instagram -


Huge thanks to George from Thoughtcraft for their time.

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