5 MINUTES WITH…
Secret Linen Store
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