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Norwich. A city of mavericks and makers, creators and trail blazers. A big-hearted city beneath even bigger skies, and open air, open minds. In Norwich, everyone has a story to tell. And we’ll be sure to tell it. Every month, we’ll be sitting down with local writers, designers, makers, artists and influencers to discuss life in Norwich. This week we sat down with Fiona Burrage, founder of Nor-Folk.
Originally from Essex, Fiona moved to Norwich to study at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). After graduating, she moved into a career in graphic design. Today, Fiona runs Nor-Folk, a design-led lifestyle brand she founded in 2015. Since its conception, Nor-Folk has sold apparel across the world from its base in Norwich. Fiona and husband Bobby have also expanded the brand with their ‘Nor-Folk Stays‘ project, and earlier this year they launched Sop ~ Scents of place, a vegan, cruelty-free body-care brand. We sat down with Fiona to discuss food, drink, and life in Norwich’s thriving creative scene.
How did you get into your chosen career/profession, and why did you decide to pursue this in Norwich?
My mum moved to Norwich as her partner lived here and when I visited the city I fell in love with it. Compared to where I lived (Thurrock, Essex) it felt safe, fun and had such a great social scene. With my career, I never knew (and still don’t know really!) what I want to ‘do’. I think I’m probably the definition of a creative, I love to wear multiple hats so being creative director of my own brands gives me the freedom of creativity I thrive on.
What do you love most about Norwich and why?
Can I have two things? I love the people and the creativity. It is such a friendly city and it is impossible to walk into the city from our apartment and not bump into people and have a chat. And I think we have such an exciting range of creative people that live and work here.
Favourite place(s) to eat in Norwich?
Favourite place(s) for a coffee/beverage?
Can’t beat a turmeric latte from my best friend at Rabbit. I sincerely miss sitting in her sunny courtyard with an iced coconut latte.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Norwich now lockdown is easing? What did you miss most?
I love the independent scene, so the Bowling House was a favourite of mine and my son Stanley’s. And if/when lockdown is fully lifted I cannot wait to go out for a night with my girlfriends for a proper dance marathon at Gonzo’s.
Any lockdown tips/recommendations for our readers?
Being self employed and having a child I can’t say I’ve needed to find any activities to keep myself busy! Quite the opposite, but things I do to help me unwind include using Headspace for (mental clarity) and at least every other day going for a run. As well as weekly pilates class via Zoom that my friend, Christina Fulcher, runs.
And finally, what does ‘Norwich’ mean to you, or can you tell us your favourite memory of the city?
Norwich is home. It’s where I graduated, met my husband, bought my first home and our son was born. I love that we live in the city, in a factory near the football ground, so we can walk in and see friends. And lockdown has really made me appreciate what a fine city we live in.