People often ask me how I thought of the name Redemption and it’s true it came to me in a bit of a flash. I was on a run in Australia with my best mate there Sam, and said, “maybe I should just call the bar – I dunno – something like, Redemption!” and she stopped and said, “that’s brilliant – just call it that.” Anyone who knows Sam will know that she doesn’t think anything is brilliant, so it was kind of a big moment. So that was it. At the same time I had a neon sign in my mind, so as soon as the name was born, its neon incarnation was born.
Pretty soon after I got back to the UK and started working on the business, the hand of fate introduced me to ‘the man who makes Tracey Emin’s neons’, Kerry Ryan, of www.neonspecialists.com. He’s a neon artist in his own right and they make neons for all kinds of people, including some of the world’s most prominent artists. I took him my logo and he said, ‘don’t use that – just write it with your own handwriting, on a piece of paper, with a Sharpie’. So I did. And a few weeks later Kerry put up the neon at Netil House, Hackney, for the first day of Redemption in July 2013, and we became friends.
Sometimes this story comes out over a long interview with a journalist and sometimes it gets short-wired and paraphrased and once or twice it sounds like I’m saying that Tracey Emin made my neon. Clearly she didn’t! That would be MADNESS. Doesn’t mean I love it any less though. Fact. x