Meet the HSDY partygoer: Sian Ellis-Thomas
Every month or so, we like to share the story of one of our partygoers. You're such an interesting bunch. This time it's Sian Ellis-Thomas, from Forest Hill, who just so happened to design our website!
What's your HSDY story?
If you believe in fate, then my introduction to HSDY was meant to be. It was early 2018 and a friend mentioned she’d been to a fab disco night that she knew I would love, called Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet at Stanley Halls in South Norwood.
I was running my website design business from a workspace in Catford at the time and the very next day, a guy that worked there as a business advisor said he had just recommended me to a woman called Nikki who ran a disco dance club called HSDY as she needed a new website.
Well, as if that wasn’t enough of a coincidence, Nikki arrived to our first meeting wearing her trademark huge sunglasses and sporting the exact same dungarees that I was wearing that day!
" So you could say we bonded immediately over a shared love of dungarees and disco. A match made in heaven! "
When you’re designing a new website, it’s important to get a good fix on the business, so I arranged to go along to the next HSDY night at Islington Assembly Hall with my husband and a couple of friends. That way, I could properly get the vibe for the night and its people (it’s a tough job!).
My husband Steve and my friends were a little apprehensive to say the least, but the moment we got there, we started dancing and pretty much didn’t stop all evening.
I was so struck by the incredibly open and inclusiveness of the night. In a world where people are far too invested in looks, age, clothes and the trappings of so-called success, here was a night where none of that mattered.
" This night was just about sharing. Music. Dance. And a lorra, lorra love".
So it was with even more excitement, that I started work on the new HSDY website which we launched just a few weeks later and just in time for me to go with a bigger crowd of people to The Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich. We all dressed up (I was Madonna obvs!) and we had a totally fabulous night.
So how did you get into web design?
Having worked in sales and marketing in the corporate world for years I was a bit jaded, so in 2017 I left my job to set up my own business www.setdesign.london designing and building websites on the Wix platform for small businesses like HSDY.
It’s such a joy to work with new businesses and helping them to get on their feet or improve their offering. My experience in sales and marketing means I bring a lot more than just website design to the party. I help steer clients in all kinds of other ways as well, which is good for them and more interesting and rewarding for me.
A lot of clients have subsequently become friends (just like Nikki) and I take great pride in being part of their journey and success. I love my job!
As well as being a slight workaholic, I have a huge interest in all things vintage and am a bit mad about glitter balls; they are all over my garden. I’ve even got one in my bathroom.
I love 50s and 60s styling and also collect art deco. I live in glorious Forest Hill with my husband, who is an exhibition stand designer at www.glass-shed.com and our two crazy dogs, Winston and Rachel. Rachel is a pug and she sits on my desk most of the day while I’m designing.
Although I’m a pure Welsh girl by birth, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but south London, it’s got such a big vibrant heart and Forest Hill is a great example. If you’ve never been then come and sample the delights, we have The Horniman Museum and gardens, great pubs including the Sylvan Post, and the Signal both of which serve great food and allow dogs (which is always a prerequisite for us).
There are more and more great shops opening up here too. Especially since the Gingerline finally started running a few years ago, which not only gives us Forest Hillbillies direct access to East London, but also means more people want to live here so it’s really come up in the last few years.
What's your favourite HSDY venue?
This would have to be The Trafalgar Tavern this venue has it all; a splendid red carpeted stairway to arrive by, a fab dance floor and the best pre-disco fish ‘n chips in London.
What's your favourite HSDY track?
So many tracks, so little time! There are so many tunes that have informed my life. I was around when disco just got started and I’ve always stuck with it.
I actually bought Donna Summer’s I Feel Love as a 7 inch single, so that would probably have to be top of the list. But I also love Prince, James Brown, The Pointer Sisters, The Bee Gees and Blondie.
I’m so glad that chance brought me to HSDY and to play a part in its continued success. May it continue to spread the music, the dance and the love.
Lord knows we need it!
Well that's it from this month's partygoer, if you'd like to be featured, then do get in touch, we love to share your stories. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you on the dance floor!