In 2017 Sebastian Jefford, quit life in the Big Smoke and made the move to Cardiff. After falling out of love with the fashion business he started up his own bespoke knitted art and upholstery business, 4ty9th.
What does your studio space mean to you?
This workshop means everything to me. Just to have a space to go to and be creative. I think it’s important to have a space where you can try things out and ‘test’ things. Meeting people and also having that buffer to talk about ideas is important as well. Plus, you are meeting new friends!!!
Sometimes moving out of London can feel like a brave move. Tell us about your decision to move to Cardiff.
I moved to Cardiff with my then fiancée (now wife). She is from a little village in Carmarthenshire, so it was the only choice for me if we were going to move closer to her family. But Cardiff is amazing!! I wouldn’t have been able to start my business and do what I want to do if I lived in London. It’s way to expensive and there are too many people trying to be something. A lot of people think it’s the centre of the universe but towns like Cardiff give people a new perspective and outlook for all sort of things. I’m more creative in Cardiff than I was in London.
Can you tell us a little about how 4ty9th started?
When I lived in London I worked for the knitwear brand SIBLING. If you name it then it was most probably knitted by SIBLING, gimp masks to socks. I fell out of love with the fashion business, and I was a bit unhappy so decided to retrain as an upholsterer. I worked for the company Takara Belmont (they make dentist chairs and barber chairs) for about a year and half. Then me and my wife decided to move to wales and bish bosh bash 4ty9th was created.
What are the best things about your job?
The best bit about my job is the freedom I have. I am able to do what I want to do and choose the work that I want to do. I find it tough working for people and hate being told what to do.
…And the toughest?
The balancing of all the work and then the business side of things (tax and things like that). All I want to do is have fun a create fun things.
If you could have given yourself one piece of advice at the beginning of your journey, what would you have said?
The main bit of advice I would have told myself is not get stuck in a rut. I’m not spiritual or religious in any way but I believe (to a point) that everything happens for a reason, so I wouldn’t have changed anything, but I would of definitely liked to not get stuck in a routine that I wasn’t enjoying. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing then you should find a way to enjoy it. If that means move then move if that means talk to somebody then you should talk to somebody, there’s not point in doing things that you don’t enjoy. Life is too short.
For anybody looking to move to Cardiff, what would you say are your favourite things here?
Ok, so I actually live in Penarth not Cardiff and I must say I love Penarth. It’s such a beautiful little town, its right by the sea and got some lovely restaurants and pubs. And it’s so close to Cardiff. I’ve got best of both worlds. I think the main reason why I love living here though, is things are new. I don’t mean time wise I mean experience wise. Everything I do is new and fresh, so I love it. Depot is my favourite venue, Tramshed put on cool things as well. The potted pig is the best restaurant in town. A big mention to all the friends I’ve made as well. It’s so important to have people around you that you like to have fun with and can talk too. I cant forget my wife as well. She is no.1 on the list!!!
What do you have in store for 2019?
The biggest thing of 2019 for 4ty9th is a new machine!! It’s a semi industrial automated new-fangled thing. This will mean more art and also getting the clothing side of the business pushed to the forefront. I will be getting some apparel made like tees and wooly hats but also knitting my own jumpers and cardis. Really creating a brand that people can get behind. From floor to ceiling 4ty9th.
And lastly, do you have any upcoming events we should know about?
I have a small exhibition at little man coffee for the whole of march. They do the best coffee in Cardiff so go down for that first, then take a look at my artwork while you are there. I am also going to try and organise a lot more exhibitions.
Also getting more pallet pieces up in as many interesting places as possible. I put them up where ever I go but would like to get more up around the world.
More on 4ty9th
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