Meg and Philip make for an explosive team.
Since they opened their first exhibition space in a Dutch mansion in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka, a decade ago they have not only nurtured the development of their own 130-strong copyright certified image library, beautifully printed and framed products and interior design portfolio; all showcased magnificently in both Galle Fort and at Costa D’en Brossa 10 in Palma; they have also developed 42 luxury hotelier and retailer points of sale such as The Shangri La and The Grand Hotel in Sri Lanka and Rialto Living and Natura here in Majorca.
This carefully curated expansion has enabled the husband and wife team to have hugely positive and far-reaching impacts both in the high-end tourism realm and in the global art buying arena.
The prolific British gallerists, who are increasingly becoming influencers in the luxury travel market and who have been grateful for the support of Guardia Civil in helping protect their copyright as their retro style travel poster designs have become more high profile island-wide, have a fascinating background. Philip started out in London as ¨a suit¨ as he puts it, selling advertising to the UK’s most prestigious brands and ultimately heading up consumer advertising at the Financial Times Group.
Meanwhile Meg, a first-class MA honours graduate of Edinburgh University, was already immersed in counter-terrorist risk analysis when 9-11 shocked the world.
The Cornish daughter of a senior army officer moved to the Middle East full time in 2003 to set up a 24-7 threat alerting capability covering many conflict zones (including Sri Lanka) and co-authored a book called Kidnapping in Iraq in 2005.
Philip, who like Meg had been a frequent visitor to Sri Lanka since the late 90s and survived the 2004 tsunami there, relocated to the United Arab Emirates in 2001 and gradually moved into the world of advertising photography.
“Aged 31 I was probably the oldest assistant in the industry” he jokes.
But he knew he had to make the change and learn from the best in order to ultimately establish himself as one of the most sought after creatives in his field, all the time honing a talent for shooting and art directing stylish ad photos inspired by stills from 1950s Hitchcock and James Bond movies.
The couple met in the Middle East in 2005, travelled in and out of Sri Lanka and Majorca frequently over the next few years, fell in love with both islands and, being fanatic surfers, decided to move to the Indian-Ocean-pounded southern coast of Sri Lanka full time when their first daughter was born in 2009.
“We wanted to do something original and uplifting that would raise positive awareness about the rich heritage and stunning natural beauty of these incredible yet perilously fragile island paradises all around the world”, explains Meg.
“To this day we remain drawn to Ceylon and the Balearics above and beyond anywhere else. We are entranced by their bizarrely parallel statuses as cultural cornucopias; by the extent to which they punch above their weight in their respective regions, attracting millions of traders and invaders amongst all manner of seafaring souls before us. Unfortunately, their ever-increasing popularity makes them especially vulnerable to over-development."
“It is heart-breaking to see, when surfing and snorkelling around their coveted coastlines, how much the surrounding reefs have perished in the last few decades alone. Imagine a future where these coral reefs are revived and can flourish again, even coming to surpass their full former glory.We recognised that Sri Lanka and Majorca are both much loved destinations, the survival of which depends on the respectfulness and good will of the millions of visitors coming to explore them each year."
“As such, both islands are beacon projects for environmental conservation, for marine regeneration and for eco, wellness, art and culture-orientated tourism. Everyone should be given opportunities to participate in the curative process. So we thought what better way to help visitors and residents engage than via purchase of our posters which celebrate the remarkable heritage and biodiversity of these places, and from which proceeds on all sales go to conservation projects that we sponsor?"
“Now that we have an excellent British-run management team in place in Sri Lanka, we have been able to reduce our own carbon footprint further by minimizing long haul travel. We have been painfully aware that we are very much active protagonists in the world travel, retail and art markets, all of which are major sources of pollution, so we have invested literally half of our time and energy into building an online sales platform that over-arches the two island paradises."
“The aim is to enable our clients to access our products without needing to travel. It has taken over six years to build customer confidence in buying our unframed and framed prints over the internet, but we are delighted to see that our online sales are growing fast and look set to exceed bricks and mortar sales within the next year or so”.
Stick No Bills™ is deeply committed to a number of conservation causes. They are major corporate sponsors of the Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Society while here in Majorca they are sponsors of Save The Med Foundation, unveiling seven images of the Balearics to date with which they help raise funds for the Balearics-born, marine-focused environmental protection and education foundation.
Earlier this year they also donated usage rights fees to the foundation which they gained by permitting the BBC to feature five of their inaugural ten Iberia region poster images in The Mallorca Files detective series. Their flagship Europe/Iberia region gallery on Costa D’en Brossa, just 50 metres from Plaza de Cort, is a Clean Wave Refill Station.
So staff and clients have no need for plastic bottles as they can drink osmosis filter water free of charge.
The company plants ten trees each month to help offset their carbon emissions and to compensate for their paper consumption.
“There are myriad reasons why local businesses, especially those with global reach like ours, should strive to become part of the solution”, says Meg. “We have an integral role to play in the protection of our immediate environment. Our children are counting on us to make the necessary changes to our lifestyle and consumer habits. We must not let them down. We therefore hope that our designs can serve to help cherish and promote the right type of environmentally sensitive travel to these exquisite island paradises in the years to come.”
Stick No Bills™ has produced 33 Majorca-centric best-selling images to date. Follow them at @sticknobillsposters for digital previews of new design releases imminent for both Iberia and Ceylon in 2020.
For more information visit: sticknobillsonline.com