Rituals: It's Nice That

Early one spring morning, we ventured east to the Kingsland Basin of London's Regent’s Canal to meet It’s Nice That founding directors, Alex Bec and Will Hudson.

The It’s Nice That platform has been championing creativity since 2007. At present, its many forms include a website, print magazine, a series of talks, an online shop and a creative agency. With a deep-rooted belief that creative inspiration should be for everyone, the team endeavor to share work that spans design, photography, art and fashion, with the widest possible audience. 

Intercepting the duo’s habitual morning meeting, we discover the women that are inspiring them in 2015 and the benefits of rising with the sun. 

How much of what you go on to cover on the site originates from someone saying, “it’s nice that”?

At the beginning it was loads. We’d only see what each other was posting when it went live to the rest of the world, there was no time to do anything else. It’s much more formalised now. Our editor-in-chief, Rob, came in with a proper editorial process. It’s much more structured and we consider what benefit the content will bring, and how useful the information is.

What would be your fantasy location for the morning meeting?

There is a danger that this sounds massively pretentious, but our meetings on the top floor of Shoreditch House, at 8 o’clock in the morning are quite nice. No one is there, you get the sunlight, views across London and someone making you a coffee and a sausage sandwich. We are creatures of habit, and you’ve got to go against that sometimes because you’ll get more out of it. If we did the morning meeting in the office every time, it wouldn’t have the same impact. If you go somewhere else you get a different approach. 

How do you define It’s Nice That?

We’ve been thinking about that for ages, and Apple just used the line that we’ve been trying to write for along time, which is, we believe ‘in the power of what creativity can do’. Thinking differently and using creativity to achieve whatever needs are needed, however big or small, is the belief that runs through this place. But we also don’t want to come across as these high and mighty guys trying to change the world because we’re not.

How did your morning meeting come about?

In the beginning, we were working on other projects, so in order to complete them and maintain It’s Nice That, we would meet early and stay late. We valued that time in the morning, and used it to get content on the site – we would always write and publish one thing every morning. We’d meet at 07.30am, and I guess that just continued.

What is so unique to you about the morning hour?

Having peace away from everything, to prepare the day before everyone arrives. You get to catch up and give things the time they deserve. It’s also about seeking privacy - we have, like crazy, encouraged a culture of sharing because It’s Nice That is about showing stuff to as many people as possible, so time to pause from that is important. 

What’s the last nice thing you saw?

The new Honda advert, it uses a new reading technique where they show you one word really quickly, it really engages with what they are trying to tell you. Also a book by Craig Oldham called ‘In Loving Memory of Work’ documenting the UK miners’ strike between '84 and '85, it’s a staggeringly beautiful thing.

You are giving a talk later today about women in the creative industry. Who will you be referencing?

For the talk we asked the whole team which women inspired them, and the following women came up; Penny Martin, Miranda July, Bjork, Margaret Calvert, Marion Deuchars and Nelly Ben Hayoun - who everyone loves because she’s just fearless and gets stuff done. Loads of people’s mates came up too, which was great.

The women that are admired here are admired for the same things as anyone else – for proactivity, for creativity, for doggedness…there’s no difference for someone being a woman or a man as to why they come into this space. Democracy and creativity is something we have encouraged – it’s the spine of the business. 

What was on today’s agenda?

We’ve been catching up on general stuff…the thing is, it’s exciting working here, and it’s exciting because it’s our own thing - so as every update happens we want to tell each other. Without the weekly meeting, we’d just talk for 8 hours a day about the email I just got, or the photographer Will just met, so we try not tell each other everything. You want to save something for the meeting. 

Where did the name come from?

It was just a joke. We lived together at university and Russell Brand had a pod cast at the time on BBC Radio 6, he’s so colloquial and he said ‘oh it’s nice that’, so we’d say it to wind each other up. I really like that it’s a nuance, not elevating something to the nth degree or putting it on a pedestal, just saying there is something about it – for whatever reason. It can be an illustration student next to the world’s biggest ad agency, and they both can sit side by side on the merit that there is something about it, that’s just really nice. 

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