Leigh Life is the creation of Francesca Quinn, a local Leigh-on-sea resident. A journalism graduate from the London College of Fashion, she currently runs a marketing agency with her husband, predominantly taking care of the graphic / web design and PR side of the business. Inspired by the thriving independent scene in Leigh, Francesca decided to use her skills to showcase and promote local businesses whilst also fulfilling her ambition to own a print publication. Having previously launched and run a human rights website and a fashion website, she decided to take a step back from the digital world in favour of something tangible.

She says, “There’s a real satisfaction in holding something beautiful in your hands and saying – I made this – and that’s something that many of the retailers featured will be able to relate to. So much is ‘throw away’ these days – be it the masses of digital online content, fast food, cheaply made clothes… and I think it’s really important to preserve the personal service, small scale production and big expertise that independent businesses provide. It’s about choosing quality over quantity and bringing back the idea of shopping and dining as experiences.”

In sharing the stories, recipes and products of Leigh’s independents, Francesca hopes to build upon the existing sense of community and encourage even more people to shop locally and appreciate artisanal goods.