5 MIN­UTES WITH…

Se­cret Linen Store

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS -

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU SET UP SE­CRET LINEN STORE Molly Har­riet and I have worked together on and off on var­i­ous high street re­tail and fur­ni­ture brands. When I had my daugh­ter, I wanted to do some­thing more flex­i­ble, so I founded a sourc­ing com­pany, sup­ply­ing re­tail brands with bed­li­nen for their own la­bels. After about five years, Har­riet came to work with me and, at that point, we de­cided to branch out into some­thing dif­fer­ent. We played with lots of dif­fer­ent prod­uct ideas, from um­brel­las and ties to chil­dren’s shoes, but even­tu­ally ended up back at bed­li­nen.

Har­riet Bed­ding seemed the most log­i­cal idea, hav­ing both worked for big bed­room re­tail­ers pre­vi­ously, and Molly has ex­pe­ri­ence as a tex­tile de­signer. With en­cour­age­ment and the of­fer of some cap­i­tal to get started from our old boss, we de­cided to go for it in March 2013, and launched in Novem­ber that year.

HOW DO YOUR BACK­GROUNDS IN­FLU­ENCE YOUR ROLES? Har­riet Most peo­ple say they couldn’t work with their sis­ter, but our skill sets com­ple­ment each other. My back­ground is in mar­ket­ing and fi­nance, so I’m hap­pi­est with a spread­sheet. Molly is cre­ative and con­trols ev­ery­thing vis­ual, from the prod­uct to the brand­ing. Molly I stud­ied tex­tile de­sign – ini­tially I wanted to be a fash­ion de­signer, but ended up spe­cial­is­ing in printed tex­tiles, which lent it­self per­fectly to bed­li­nen. Ev­ery­day life is at the heart of my in­spi­ra­tion. I re­cently spent the day at a swim­ming pool that had a beau­ti­ful crum­bling blue wall – I couldn’t stop tak­ing pho­tos of it! Most of the pat­terns are in­spired by na­ture or plants – we want the root of the de­sign to be clear, rather than cre­at­ing some­thing too ab­stract. WHAT IS THE ETHOS OF THE BRAND?

Har­riet Sleep is im­por­tant for our health and well­be­ing, so we want to pro­duce bed­ding that will aid bet­ter sleep. We use nat­u­ral fab­rics and test ev­ery­thing our­selves. We’re fairly priced – we keep mar­gins low be­cause we don’t have any shops – and only work with fac­to­ries that we know and trust. We make ev­ery­thing in Por­tu­gal and the UK. Molly We’re adamant that the man­u­fac­tur­ing process re­mains as eth­i­cal as pos­si­ble and con­sider the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the fab­rics and pro­cesses we use. And although we have to use a thin plas­tic bag to keep the bed­ding clean, we avoid un­nec­es­sary ex­tra pack­ag­ing. We send out our bed­li­nen wrapped in re­cy­cled pa­per and the cal­ico rib­bons we use are un­bleached and undyed.

CAN YOU GIVE US A SNAP­SHOT OF YOUR OWN HOMES? Molly I split my time be­tween south east Lon­don (where I live) and the south coast, near Chich­ester, which is where our head of­fice, Har­riet and our par­ents are based. My Vic­to­rian prop­erty has lovely high ceil­ings, bay win­dows and big bed­rooms that I’ve filled with mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture. I have the big­gest bed pos­si­ble, piled high with feather-filled pil­lows and beau­ti­ful bed­li­nen!

Har­riet My home is a mix of old and new and I’m into dark and moody in­te­ri­ors – I re­cently painted my kitchen with Lit­tle Greene’s Hick’s Blue, which is gor­geous! My bed­room is my so­lace, and my bed is my ab­so­lute favourite place to be.

Top Molly (left) and Har­riet Above andbe­low Pure French 100 per cent linen bed­ding ranges come in beau­ti­fully soft colours, in­clud­ing Blush Pink (left), with pil­low­cases from £15 each, and a sin­gle du­vet cover from £85 FOR STORE DE­TAILS SEE WHERE TO BUY PAGE

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