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Q&A with Sammy Murphy, founder of Pier Journal

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Q&A with Sammy Murphy, founder of Pier Journal

This month at Sbri we've been working on something pretty cool. We've picked out some gems from our favourite local small businesses and artists to create the ultimate Dorset gift bundle, and we’re giving it all away to one of you.

Celebrating the best of the south coast, the bundle includes your caffeine fix, reading materials, sweet snacks and some gorgeous accessories for yourself and your home. Being founded in Dorset, our team have a life-long love affair with this patch of the south coast and we wanted to introduce you to some of our local faves in time for the festive season -- so even if you don't win, you might just come across a new small business to fall in love with.

In this series of blog posts we'll be introducing you to all the brands in our Sbri & Friends giveaway so you can get to know them a little better.

Pier is an independent community journal celebrating the creative culture of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Their free quarterly magazine is packed with interviews, features, events and artwork showcasing some of the south's most exciting brands and creatives, and it's always a joy to flick through.

We caught up with Pier founder Sammy to find out more about their story.

Sammy Murphy, founder of Pier Journal

What's the story behind your Dorset brand?

When my partner Chris and I made the move from bustling London to Bournemouth three years ago, we quickly fell in love with the vibrant creative and independent scene here. However, we noticed this aspect wasn't getting the attention it truly deserved. So, we were determined to shift the narrative and showcase the amazing creative potential of the South Coast, and that's when the idea of Pier was born.

Pier is all about celebrating the creative culture of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Through our quarterly journal, we are positioning the area as a united creative destination where people and businesses can thrive. We believe there's so much more to this beautiful place than just its beaches, and Pier is our first step in reshaping that brand narrative.

What is your most iconic product and what makes it special?

We offer a range of incredible artwork by talented local artists and illustrators through our website, many of whom have been featured in our journal. While it's difficult to choose a favourite among them, one piece that stands out is the 'Daily Grind' art print by local illustrator Izzy Weds. This piece quickly became a bestseller! It was initially showcased in Issue 1 of Pier Journal and beautifully captures a series of our top 12 favourite coffee shops in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. 'Daily Grind' is a wonderful celebration of independent businesses and the rich coffee culture in our region.

Has the local area inspired your product?

Completely! You know, they say location sparks creativity, and living by the coast has definitely played a significant role in inspiring our journey. Coastal areas tend to draw artists seeking inspiration, and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are no exception.

Our journal isn't just a product of the local surroundings; it's also deeply influenced by the abundance of talent within our community. The creative individuals and groups in our area serve as a constant source of inspiration for our journal. They infuse fresh energy into the community, contributing to the creation of a unified creative hub.

Pier is a reflection of this vibrant community and aims to provide unique and exciting opportunities. We strive to inspire individuals to not only stay in the area but also actively engage with it. By showcasing the diverse and rich creative talent in our region, we aspire to position the area as more than just a tourist destination—it's a thriving hub for artistic and cultural pursuits, attracting individuals seeking a deeper connection with creativity and culture.

What's your favourite secret spot in Dorset to visit?

I'd have to say the hidden beach by the Smugglers Inn pub in Weymouth. It's a magical spot where you can gather your thoughts, have a quick dip, and escape the usual tourist crowds. Definitely a hidden treasure!

Has your product brand made a positive impact on people or the planet?

Absolutely! During the pandemic while living in London, we had a shift in perspective. We realised we wanted to create design that made a positive impact on the world beyond the confines of the corporate bubble we found ourselves in. This realisation led us to move to the coast and start Pier within a year.

Our primary goal has always been to support the local economy and offer a platform for small businesses that had faced challenges during the lockdown. We firmly believe that art and culture contribute to creating healthier and happier communities. We're dedicated to making a difference in the area we're fortunate enough to call home. It's all about spreading the positive vibes and fostering a vibrant, creative environment for everyone.


Want to win the latest issue, a Pier Journal tote bag plus a hamper packed with more of Dorset's best small business goodies? Enter our competition here.

Sbri & Friends giveaway bundle


Sbri x Pier Journal giveaway