Last weekend, at the Sheerluxe event we were asked as business women, why we do what we do and I have been thinking about it since.
Yes I want to work with beautiful fabrics, products and interiors but why do I want to do that and what is driving me? I have been able to whittle it down to four words - The Importance Of Home.
I went to boarding school aged eight - now as a mother, I find that an almost impossible thing to imagine for my daughters but it was the right thing for our family and I loved it (most of it) Almost all of my family lived in Ireland and so I found myself as a young girl often feeling homesick and so surrounded myself with things that made me feel comfortable, that reminded me of home. The woollen jumpers that smelt like the laundry powder my mother used and blankets that had a faint lingering smell of turf from being next to the fire. These things I wrapped myself up in, cocooned myself with and they made my tiny boarding school bunk bed feel a little more homely.
After I'd left home the family home was sold. I don't suppose any of us imagined we'd miss it as much as we did and still do. The only house I had lived in, if you ask me now where to find anything in that house I could still tell you twenty years later - the house remains vivivd in my memory, its nooks and crannies, the textures of the surfaces and different smells that each room had. It was a blow I was not prepared for to not to be able to 'go home' anymore, it unsettled me and made me flighty. I was living in London and lived in places for six months at a time, quickly moving on as I tried to work out where my new home was meant to be but each time bringing with me blankets and cushions, things that I could envelop myself with.
The same theme continued when I moved to work in Italy in textile design, a wonderful stage as my career started to unfurl but there was a steady pang of home sickness and I eased this by going to sleep each night nestled under blankets from home.
I am well and truly a homebird now with my own home and children. I tuck them up at night, I wrap them up in their blankets and tell them how much I love them because that feeling of safety and security you get from being able to just 'go home' when times get tough, when times are wonderful, when times are simply normal is invaluable and having not had it for some parts of my life I understand how important it is to wellbeing and happiness and therefore I think that is why I do what I do.
A happy tale of how fabric can transform a room, a state of mind and start a business...