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How It All Began.....

Written by Sarah Horner-Sigre

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Posted on December 10 2020

Welcome to The Way We Live London and our first ever blog post!

I hope that by landing here you love our products as much as we do. Let me begin by telling you a little about how I got here.

The idea to start a homeware brand has been on my mind for some time. I have always been a firm believer that even the most functional items – be it a table or tea towel - can be an expression of your style and a great way to inject your personality into your home.

Last year we renovated our house and I spent (countless) hours searching for unique features to fill our new space. I found myself searching high and low for a playful, unusual, statement basin at a price point which I could squeeze into my ever-expanding renovation budget. Mission ‘Beautiful Basin’ was on…….

Step forward to the year that has been 2020. To say the least, it's been a hard year for all of us. We have seen a devastating effect on so many lives and businesses.

Thankfully, my family have been safe and healthy but it hasn’t been easy for my (now non-existent) long-standing freelance career in the events industry.  Overnight, all events stopped. And so did our family income. With my husband also working in events, you could say this was somewhat of a Covid career crisis.

It was during this time, spending hours upon hours standing in front of my basin singing Happy Birthday (twice through, 20 times a day) that the lightbulb moment came……. the rest as they say, is history!

The wheels were set in motion for some fabulously unique and unusual handcrafted basins but I also needed some classic, well-made vanity units upon which my basins would sit. It just so happened that I had been working with a very talented joinery workshop who have been operating for over 50 years and who created my dream kitchen last year.

The skill and craftsmanship that goes into their bespoke furniture is unparalleled and every piece is created with the greatest care, attention to detail and the finest materials. Alongside these fantastic craftsmen, I have designed a capsule range of luxury vanity units of the finest quality.

But that was the easy bit...There were many more elements to setting up a business and with this being my first retail rodeo, the last few months have been a huge learning curve. Everything from creating branding, building a website, putting together a photoshoot and learning the ins and outs of the world of e-commerce among many more things big and small. However, I have definitely had help along the way and I may not have seen it through without some pivotal people.

My wonderful and dearest friends gave me their opinions and lots of encouragement when I had many wobbles of self-doubt.

One of my oldest friends Helen (aka Helga) gave up days of her precious time away from her 3-year-old boy to help me with the epic task of my first photoshoot (more on the photoshoot for another blog post!). This turned out to be the most amazing time to reconnect with each other away from our families and sharing our lifelong passion of chatting interiors and 'faffing' with homewares! 

And of course, I can’t not mention my pretty amazing husband, who from the first mention of this idea, told me in no uncertain terms it was a great idea and to ‘just go for it!’. 

I also had some really unexpected help and expert advice from two people I never knew before starting this and I must say a very big thank you to them for giving up their time and advice to essentially a stranger.

Jess at Mustard Made – we were put in touch by our dads as Jess and her sister Becca started off their amazing brand of lockers a few years ago and have built up the most amazingly successful business. When I got in touch with Jess, she immediately took time out of her busy life to give me advice on things that she and Becca have learned along the way and which have ultimately been invaluable to me. I highly recommend you check out their fabulous storage solutions in the way of luscious lockers by two inspirational sisters -  www.mustardmade.co.uk

Secondly, is James from The Foundryman. I bought my kitchen hardware from James last year and he was the first person I turned to when I wanted great fixtures for our vanity units. I called James to tell him my plans and from that moment he has encouraged me, offered to guide me, made great suggestions and given up hours of his time on the phone. He is so knowledgeable and his start-up success is inspirational. You need look no further if you want the best brass hardware out there www.thefoundryman.com

I seem to have entered a world of wonderful entrepreneurs who are so open, kind, keen, and generous with their time and advice. I only hope that if anything comes of this that I can pass on my learnings and do the same for another small brand with a big dream one day.

So, there we have it, that is how The Way We Live London came to be.

I’m looking forward to sharing lots more with you in the coming months.

 

Take care & stay safe,

Sarah x

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