Inspiring Women in East London around the Mainyard Studios Locations

Mainyard Studios has 6 locations across East London. There are 2 in Hackney Wick, 1 in Hackney Central, Mile End, Walthamstow, Wimbledon and Leyton. What used to be an industrial hub, the East End has now become the city’s most liveable boroughs. Check out our recent blog “Why you should live in Leyton” to see why! Now many young creatives live here making strong community ties and is now known for its great food and buzzing nightlife. 

Historical figures of inspiring women in East London

Before regeneration, 4 women in particular have shaped the East End in their own significant ways. These inspiring women in East London have enforced justice and change in their communities and here we introduce Mary Wollstonecraft, Clara Grant, Mala Sen, Josephine Butler. 

Hackney: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Mary Wollstonecraft Inspiring women in East London

Mary Wollstonecraft, was a pronounced figure in the birth of feminism and happened to live in Hackney. Her renowned work, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) asserted that women were not inferior to men, and was assumed because they lacked access to education. This then made her one of the most inspiring women in East London  for her important treatise advocating for women’ equality. 

Mile End: Clara Grant (1867-1949)

Clara Grant inspiring women in East London

Clara Grant is known for supporting education in the East End of London. She is also featured on our mural at the Bow Road location! Click on the link out our interview with Jake Attwell who painted this beautiful mural and find out more about his story!

Grant challenged the education system as she found it dull and uninteresting for the children learning at the time. Simultaneously, Grant advocated for the welfare of the local people in the East End who live in poverty. Grant then set up the famous Fern Street Settlement where children would receive a bundle of toys and other items for a father, known as the Farthing Bundles. 

Waltham Forest: Mala Sen (1947-2011)

Mala Sen Inspiring Women in East London

Mala Sen, born in India, came to London in the 1960s. Sen was stunned by the prejudice against migrants, especially from the local authorities. She then found that the local authorities would often refuse to house migrants shifting the blame onto them for making themselves intentionally homeless. Many immigrants often faced racist threats. As a result, Sen co-founded the Bengali Action Group, who sourced empty council flats for homeless Bangladeshis. 

Wimbledon: Josephine Butler (1828-1906)

Josephine Butler

During the 19th century, Butler was a British Social reformer who became a key player in improving conditions for women in education and public health. Butler fought for further education courses for women at Cambridge University which eventually lef to the foundation of the all-women college at Newham. She then became president to the North of England Council for the Higher Education of Women in 1867.

Fast forward to present day, we have 4 Mainyarders who are making inspirational change in their community in their own way.


Katie Stockdale: Juno

Katie Stockdale - Owner of Juno, wellness space and cafe in Leytonstone

Katie Stockdale, owner of Juno has created an open space for open minds. Juno is a woman-centred wellness space & cafe in East London. They also host workshops and classes that challenge and change the female narrative; from periods to pregnancy, money to mindfulness, nutrition to new medicine. Click on the link to our interview we did with Katie Stockdale about her journey with Juno! 

@We.are.juno on instagram / https://msha.ke/we.are.juno/

Meagan SE Wellman: M-SEW

Meagan Wellman private office space in East London

Meagan Wellman has created her own fashion brand ‘M-SEW’ describing it as “island vibes with an urban twist” and explores the contrast of islands and city life celebrating the island in the city vibe. M-SEW strives for more environmentally friendly fashion practices and takes special attention to how their pieces impact the world. This also reflects their effort to give back to local communities. Click on the link to our interview we did with Meagan about her story with M-SEW! 

@msewofficial on instagram / https://www.m-sew.com

Lucinda Gallant: Dare Summer Music

Lucinda Gallant Dare Summer Music Studio East London

London based songwriter, singer and piano-player, Dare Summer, has been writing songs for as long as she can remember. She spent hours as a child listening to her jazz-musician father improvise at the piano. This then inspired her to write music that reflects her mood and situation. Further, Summer finds melodies in the harmony and words in her experiences. Click on the link to our interview we did with Lucinda about her journey as Dare Summer! 

@daresummermusic on instagram / Streaming on Youtube, Youtube Music, Spotify and Deezer 

Iris Anson: Solely Original

Iris Anson

‘Solely Original’ has brought custom made-to-measure shoes online. Based in Tower Hamlets they have developed an online platform so that you can experience the services without having to leave the comfort of your home. 

They use a 3D Fitting Sock and foot scanner, which creates custom-made shoes. Using the website’s design engine, an image of your design is only a click of fingers away.  Click on the link to our interview with Iris about her journey with ‘Solely Original’!

@solelyoriginal on instagram / https://www.solelyoriginal.com