08. MAP STORES x MAPPLY | Ten Questions

Derbyshire born Digital Marketing Manager, Scott Wood has captured our attention at Map Stores HQ with his uniquely stylish map prints. After inviting MAPPLY to become part of our Map Stores collective, we just simply had to know more…

What has brought you to where you currently are in your life?

Wow. Starting off with the big questions in life! :) I went to university wanting to leave my small hometown, Matlock, where i didn't quite fit in. I was more interested in music and art than academics. After graduating, I still was a little unclear on my direction but I did have a better confidence in myself to do things that made me happy. Being quite competitive, I found myself working in digital marketing as it allowed me try to rise to the top of Google whilst also being immersed in the nerdier/techie side of web development. 
.
Over time, I found that I was motivated the most when I was doing something that was mine. So the idea to start MAPPLY  was a perfect outlet for my creative and competitive side. I wanted to build a business around a product that I wanted to buy myself. As such, maps fitted in nicely with my interests in travel and passion for interior design.
.
Who or what influences you and why?

I draw a lot of inspiration from fellow entrepreneurs or people that have taken the leap in to doing their own thing. Whether it worked for them or not. My friend Tom Beverley from Fy! is a good example - a couple of years ago he ran a small jewellery business online. Now he's transformed that business and is seeking huge investment in his global marketplace, which is growing at huge numbers each month. If I can build a business from nothing like he has, then I feel like I have achieved my personal goal.
.
      
.
When you are not working where will we find you?

I'll probably be at the pub with friends or having dinner in one of Edinburgh's many interesting restaurants. Two new places worth a mention are The Little Chartroom on Leith Walk and The Walnut, which is a well-known but a somewhat hidden gem, right by my flat. Failing that, you'll probably find me travelling or up a hill somewhere walking with my partner, Emily. She's who I spend most of my spare time with.
.
.
.
What is your all-time favourite trend?
.
It has to be mid-century modern. It still persists throughout almost all design sites I continue to read and love that I can see the 60s/70s style looking fresh even today. I think it's primarily due to mid-century being a framework for developing your home decor style. You start with some well crafted pieces of wooden furniture and and pair it with quality decorative items and fabrics. It's even quite easy to get the look even with modern made items. 
.
 
.
What inspires you about where you live?
.
Edinburgh is quite fascinating to me as it has a big city feel in places, but its also really small. You can walk across most of it in 45 minutes. Inspiration wise, there is lots of creativity popping up all around and small independent business can still thrive. Leith, which is where I live is exploding with new businesses all the time and larger chains haven't really gotten too much of a stronghold yet. It feels like there is a resistance to it from locals. As such, there is attitude towards supporting small businesses, and thus local businesses tend to buy locally too, which made it an appealing place to start a business. Just within the last two weeks a company called 'Weigh to Go' opened below my flat which sells food and household goods by weight, to reduce plastic usage. A risky business idea to some, but they are very very busy.
.
.
.
Can you describe your dream home?
.
This really depends on where in the world I am. I have lived in a few cities around the world, so that affects my taste in dream homes. In Melbourne, my partner and I lived in a converted biscuit factory warehouse that was turned in to flats. It had original wooden floors, steel girders, tall ceilings. It was really something. I paired that with lots of block colour prints, 60s/70s furniture and light, breezy fabrics. Currently, I live in Edinburgh, so things need to be a bit 'cosier' :) But in general, I like the Scandinavian inspired mid-century style with plenty of contrasting colours. Then throw in lots of houseplants in to the mix. We have friends who live in Stockholm, so we draw lots of inspiration from their style.  If I could have any home and weather wasn't an issue, I'd probably want a huge Brooklyn-style loft apartment with brick walls, sheepskin rug, big artwork, cool retro decorations etc. I just need to find a few million down the back of the sofa to make it happen!
.
When working on a new project, how do you overcome your fears or challenges?
.
My background is in marketing, so I'm quite used to ideas failing and trying to figure out why. It has made me quite resilient and made me realise that it's better to get something out to market quickly and fail (thus learn from it) than to spend a long time planning and refining something, to then see it fail. Deliver things fast and often, whilst maintaining a feedback loop with customers is the sentiment that I try to operate by. In terms of challenges, a lot of starting a business comes down to "figure it out as you go along". When I lived in Australia, I set up a uber-for-cleaning style business. I had no prior experience in cleaning, but you soon figure things out quickly when you get a booking and scramble around trying to hire a cleaner to fulfil the job!! If you are switched on, and resourceful you can figure out most things as you go along. If not, simply apologise and make it right with the customer.
.
What do you want to accomplish in the coming years?
.
I would like to build up my business in to something that will have a truly global customer base. The best thing about maps and locations is they mean something to almost everyone in the world. Growing a business will allow me the opportunity to create more interesting products and flex my creativity. I am only then limited by my own work ethic and drive.
.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
.
I've always loved Gary Andrew Clarke's work. He's a Manchester based designer that does a lot of colourful geometric stuff. I think I have 3 of his prints at home.  I wonder if he could do an abstract map style? I would be really keen on that! Excuse me... whilst I go of an email him.
.
.
.
What would be one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
.
Take the jump in to something creative or risky earlier in your life. It's easier to bounce back from adversity when you are in your twenties and live a mostly care-free life. No one will get to later life and wish they had done less exciting things throughout their career.
.
__________________________________________________________________________
.
Thank you to Scott for taking part in this article +
.
All photos credited and all references have been linked.
,
Please reach out if you have any questions or comments about this, or any other, any Life Map article and if you have enjoyed reading, please share...