At a show for a French couturier, who had a bespoke list of high profile clients, when working as a Creative Director I just happened to have to pass the models changing area when looking for my Head of Events when I saw one of the girls I had commissioned going through the rituals of Anorexia pre-show. Its hard to admit but I probably had walked past these behaviours many times but on this particular occasion it resonated. I made an effort to speak to the girl after the event and what was remarkable to me was that this girl saw the Eating Disorder as merely a cost of a very successful and lucrative career. She said ' it wont be forever I know that and for now it works for me', I remember in that moment thinking am I part of the problem in this role. Well the answer is no, of course not, I am merely a part of a complex chain that places its demands on everyone involved, my commissioning is dependent on stakeholders and brief, its not an excuse but is the reality of business, but I also knew that I could also make it easier for this model. So fast forward a year, and I had generated enough funds to establish Mr Eds Shed Ltd, our principle site to provide respite, coping and management training for those with disordered eating.
Our delivery was to be through five acres of green care and a pathway that involved animal assisted care, we planned to use horses in helping people better understand their emotions and act as a safe other to act through psychodrama.
Due to the amount of personal investment I decided to commit I established the centre in rural Staffordshire, my home County, and wanted to develop a fully sustainable business model that would provide its own independent revenue stream to fund a community arm that would enable those without financial means to access services.
We forecast that it would take two years to set up the site and train our horses, rescues from the local RSPCA centre, and thus started to operate in September 2019. We took our first client within months a former Gucci model, who used to walk for Tom (Ford) and was committed to actually giving up the Eating Disorder and addiction that the industry had left her with.
Operating between France and Notting Hill homes the concept was sseemingly coming together, and on this basis we also took on a number of NHS clients at our cost. On January 29th 2020 COVID 19 hit and although we could still operate given we were an outdoor low ratio operating centre, social movement was halted, which meant that travelling from either London or France was also halted, meaning our private revenue stream stopped.
We ceased our operation in 2019 but are determined to reopen this faction in 2025.
Opening: SS 2025
Location: 52°54'52"N, 002°04'10"W