I’ve been published! Hoorah!

Last month I worked on a piece of work for the website Contributoria. This is a site, set up and currently funded by The Guardian, for journalists to pitch an idea to their peers. If the story they are proposing to write is popular with people then they will back it and the work is commissioned.

Once you pitch an article plan (this will include vague details of your investigation, your fee, the article length etc), you have to gain a certain amount of points – which other users can award to you if they like your idea – and if you reach your allocated points target then you are fully ‘backed’ and can now write your article for the next issue.

Last month I proposed an article which will follow a case study of a young pregnant lady who was struggling to cope with pressure from her local council to pay the bedroom tax.

I won’t give away too much on here…but the article was fully backed and so I got to carry out the investigation and complete the story for the May 2014 Contributoria issue!

This also means that I will receive payment for the article at the end of the month, and there is nothing wrong with more P’s in the bank.

But it was great to know that the work I was proposing was backed by professional journalists, and that these people also helped support the drafting process of the article as it came along made a huge difference.

The article can be found here.


Bloc Beatz meets Disorder Boutique

August 13

The Bloc Beatz team took a trip down to Disorder Birmingham on Needless ally in the city centre to chat to Mark Howard, the founder of the Boutique. If you ever got bored of the norm, wanted to stand out more or liked being a trend setter? Disorder is for you. A beautiful store with a niche range of apparel.


One of the artistic T's in the boutique

One of the artistic T’s in the boutique

Mark designs and produces the products sold in store and said that travelling has had a huge influence on his pieces.

“I go to Burma a lot, because of its old connections with Britain, it has an eastern twist on modern British architecture. I just sit and draw. All of my clothing has a story to it, it’s rooted.”

If you have never stepped into the store, it is like stepping into another realm, full of vibrant colours and exclusive patterns that scream out from all over the world.

Quirky face - showing off the accessories in the store

Quirky face – showing off the accessories in the store

Disorder Boutique – where fashion meets fine art

As well as selling clothes and accessories, Disorder Boutique has a collection of Mark’s own artwork taken from his passion for art galleries. Mark’s paintings adorn the walls and add a true character to the shop, acting as a reflection of his own perspective.

“for me, painting should be about turning everyday things upside-down and re-looking at something. I wanted to set up an art gallery but then realised it was easier to sell clothes, they are a more accessible form of art. My shop is like my own little gallery.”

Disorder – breaking trend

Believing that society has become more about conforming, Disorder aims to provide a space in our second city for the creation of something unique.

The boutique, originally located in China town, is now situated down a quirky alley close to the high street. Now, we don’t think there is much competition from the high street brands, but Mark knows that there are pressures

“We are a niche store and as we are competing with the big brands, we have to provide an edge. These days people are totally seduced by big brands and they judge themselves accordingly. You can’t have a dynamic economy without new people coming through, there needs to be a place for that. I think our underground positioning makes us a little bit more interesting and gives us an edge”.

Disorder is a flagship for the underground scene of Birmingham, the products have attracted people all over the globe and national awards have given it recognition for its prowess.

“We want to surprise people and break down barriers”.

Surprisingly, the Disorder owner is not into fashion. “It is so difficult to be creative and so few designers make it nationally.”

Denim, Denim, Denim

Denim, Denim, Denim

The beatz behind the brand

“I love music, a whole mix, I love going to a place where you can dance. I try not to pigeonhole my taste, but I love psychededia, the music is quite random and experimental, I like it when you can tell that somebody has put time into making a track.”

Mark joked,

“We often have mix tapes dropped in by various DJs, I don’t always know the genre, but I know that I like it”

But, when it comes to designing, who doesn’t love a little bit of Jimmy Hendrix eh?

“sometimes you put music on, it fades out and you will get into the zone. His music is free and imaginative, I like that”.

Which person would you love to represent the Disorder brand?

Now, aside from the fact that the legend is deceased, Hendrix was Marks immediate response, alongside David Bowie who he defined as “incredibly clever with the things he did and how he did them.”

Describe your brand in three words


and at Bloc Beatz, we totally agree.

Photography by Sophie Drake Imagery