‘Sas and Yosh’ the design house was founded in 2014 in the U.K. with a focus on quality design and beautiful illustrative prints, by two creative like minded artists the lovely Sarah Bellisario and Yoshie Allan.
I had the pleasure of meeting Sas a few weeks ago in London and she's even more lovely in real life. We asked them a few Q's about the brand and the all important question party in or party out?!
Tell us about Sas and Yosh - how did you guys meet /start the brand?
Yoshie and I had a mutual friend who thought we would get on well and introduced us to each other in early 2014. I don’t think she ever would have thought what an amazingly wonderful thing she did in getting us to meet up. We pretty much fell in love with each others work right away and started hanging out together. Four months later Yoshie suggested we start a business together, and Sas and Yosh was born. The idea was that every illustration and design would be a collaboration. Drawing on both of our strengths and experience, and creating our own unique illustrative look.
The gorgeous Little Flea logo designed by Sas & Yosh.
We spent the summer designing and creating patterns, researching stockists and choosing products and officially launched in Oct 2014 with our own homewares range of wallpaper, teatowels, mugs, aprons and prints.
Since then we have continued to work on new products including our sweatshirts and t-shirts, and also create bespoke and commissioned design for a wide variety of clients making murals, logos, textile design, magazine illustration and much more.
Do you have any kids?
We both have kids. Sarah has an eight year old daughter and two older step kids, and Yoshie has a boy and a girl aged 7 and 5.
How do you fit your work around your kids?
Ha ha now thats the question! We work mainly during school hours mainly either at home seperately or together in Sarah's studio space a couple of days a week. We talk endlessly on messenger and phone each other when we are not together.
Our work is a mixture of hand drawing and computer work so we can work anywhere. Its always a real struggle to get everything done and sometimes when we have big jobs on the short days can be quite stressful.
So sometimes we have to work evenings and weekends if we have a lot on, which to be honest seems to be most of the time at the moment!
Illustration for 'enfants terribles' magazine
Where do you find inspiration?
We find inspiration in everything. The world around us, especially pattern and design from different cultures. Other artists and illustrators, we both collect graphic novels and children's books. And most importantly our own imaginations!
What did you do before you started the brand?
Sarah: I studied media at University then spent nine years sharing my love of art with kids teaching art at Princess Helena College school, eventually becoming Head of Dept. I also spent a year at NH college teaching art foundation.
I decided to go back to University a few years ago and did an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge school of Art and decided it was time to turn my passion into something that I could do every day! That’s when I met Yoshie!
Yoshie: I dreamed of being a Manga comic author until I was 11, then when I had my first dog Koro I became an animal lover and decided to be a vet. So I went to university to be vet in Central Japan but soon became more into making clothes. I started a sewing and pattern evening course at a fashion college and studied for 2 years alongside my vet degree, then I decided to quit my uni and went to a fashion college in Tokyo.
I studied fashion for 3 years and graduated then worked for a fashion company as a designer assistant and learned about the fashion industry, but soon I started feeling I would like to be a freelance something. So I started my illustrator career in 2006 and luckily had some opportunities to publish my own picture books with a couple publishers in Japan. While I enjoyed my work and travelling around the world to get many inspirations I met my husband, who is from the UK. Thanks to him I’m now here in the UK with my lovely family and enjoying my artist life and working with my special design other half Sas!
Any other independent brands you’d like to spread the word about?
What kind of music do you listen to?
Yoshie loves Radio Swiss Jazz and crazy Japanese Pop
Sarah loves Rock and Female Folk. But mostly listens to radio 4.
Have your kids inherited your music taste?
Yes Scarlet has just discovered rock bands and is turning into a little rock chick. We have been discovering Bowie, Aerosmith, The Doors and anything with a good guitar solo. Yoshies kids like doing karaoke to Japanese pop and cartoon songs!
Party out or party at home - Discuss!
OUT OUT! We love going out and discovering new bars and restaurants. Also this means there is no clearing up to do.
What’s next for Sas and Yosh?
We are currently working on a personalised children's book and some new designs for sweatshirts and tee's for our brand.
Also look out for some cool collabs coming soon.
You can follow Sas & Yosh on