Dreamers’ Supply Company calls itself a ‘purveyor of the finest Oneirological goods since 1901.’ The date may be a fib, but they are producing some strange items designed to help realise your dreams. Young people and creative professionals have come together to design such rarities as rose-tinted glasses convertors and a customisable moustache.
Formally launched during the London Design Festival, the company is a project of Spark+Mettle, a youth charity that helps less privileged young people flourish creatively and professionally. The aim of Dreamers’ Supply Company, says Spark+Mettle founder Eugenie Teasley, is to “develop [young people’s] creative, collaborative and entrepreneurial skills by co-creating products alongside talented professionals.”
Eugenie found inspiration for Dreamers’ Supply Company from working for 826 Valencia, an American non-profit whose stores sell unusual oddities. The project is funded by the RSA’s Catalyst programme, which awards small grants to ideas with a tangible social impact.
“I like Dreamers’ Supply Company meetings. We get to meet cool people and we get to sometimes win prizes,” says 20-year-old Kareem Arafa, a co-creator of Spark+Mettle’s flagship Star Track programme. All profits from the sales will go directly back into Spark+Mettle’s charitable work, helping people like Kareem develop the skills, connections and resources they need to flourish.
The products themselves have been dreamed up by teams of young people and professional volunteers at events held in London since spring 2012. The prototypes have been made pro bono by Build design agency, and launched at the Design Museum on September 18. The creative events have been hugely popular with everyone involved, young and old. Alice Dyke of RSA says, “It’s really nice to be in a space full of creative and interesting people, to make things, and think about things you don’t normally think about.”
The whole process is overseen by Dr. Snooze, the enigmatic, Wonka-esque figure who features in videos about the products. As with all Spark+Mettle programmes, young people have had a hand in co-creating every aspect of the journey, from designing products to planning the events. Spark+Mettle hopes to expand Dreamers’ Supply Company in the future, offering more chances to dream up weird and whimsical products while providing vital opportunities for people from different backgrounds and generations to connect and work together.