In the first of our series of interviews with Brands We Love we talk to Caroline and Rosie the founding partners of one of our favourite textiles brands. Well known for their vibrant use of colour and pattern Wicklewood has a luscious collection of stunning homewares.
Here's what they said in our interview.
HOW DID YOU BOTH MEET AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Caroline: We met at school in London when we were 12 and grew up together as best friends. I moved to the states for university where I studied history at Yale. Afterwards, I lived in NYC for five years, working in fashion, returning to London in 2015 to start Wicklewood. Rosie’s a Graphic Designer by trade and moved to LA in 2017 where she designed for numerous brands. I asked for her help on the logo for my business (which at the time was not called Wicklewood) and the rest is history. We joined forces officially and launched Wicklewood together that Autumn.
Rosie: Like true modern nomads, we have been moving from place to place over the past decade (seventeen different flats in seven different cities). We sought to bring each new place to life by decorating in their signature style, making it feel like home. Frustrated by the lack of affordable design options that can change with each season, mood or move, we launched Wicklewood in to provide people with an easy interior design solution, to transform simple spaces into beautiful homes.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT FOR WICKLEWOOD?
Rosie: There are two that instantly spring to mind. The first was opening our first pop up shop in 2018 in Chelsea. Seeing a whole shop filled with your product for the first time is such an incredible feeling. The second was seeing our products in Liberty London, sitting alongside global brands, that was pretty surreal.
WHERE DO YOU START WHEN STYLING A ROOM?
Caroline: An area rug is a great starting point as it helps to anchor the room and can help you to scheme the colours you want to use. Then you can pick the right cushions to adorn your sofa or bed, a quilt or a throw that is decorative by day and cozy by night. Handcrafted decorative accents are the perfect finishing touch.
WHICH COUNTRY DO YOU FIND THE MOST EXCITING FOR DESIGN INSPIRATION?
Caroline: Guatemala. This is one of my favourite countries and played a hugely important role in inspiring our inaugural collection. My great, great grandmother, Lilly De Jongh Osborne, was a prolific collector of textiles and crafts from Central America in the 1930s. Lilly was a Dutch woman raised in Costa Rica. She had a love of meeting new people and spent her days traveling on horseback through the highlands, exchanging new textiles with old. She carefully documented her discoveries and dedicated decades to becoming a pioneer collector, writer and lecturer. Her collection, which is now on display at the University of Penn, was what inspired the designs in our first collection.
HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED YOUR BUSINESS DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC?
Rosie: As the pandemic has significantly affected all distributions chains globally, we had issues getting the fabrics and pieces we have made in South America, South East Asia and Europe into the country. Because of this we decided to focus our attention on artists, creators and makers in the UK. We knew that due to lockdown measures many talented craftspeople were at home with little or no work. We wanted to support these dynamic creatives by partnering with them and launching a capsule collection. The response was over whelming and the aptly named ‘At Home Collection’ will be launching on Wicklewood.com this September.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNG WOMEN STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS NOW?
Rosie: The three skills that we consider key to start any business are adaptability, optimism (endless optimism) and perseverance..
Caroline: Diversification has also been very important for us- don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This lesson can be applied to multiple aspects of the business – whether it is the products we have chosen to make, the people we have selected to work with or the team that you surround yourself with every day.
IF YOU WERE GOING TO FRAME JUST ONE HOLIDAY PHOTO WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
Rosie: Hugging a 275ft Sequoia Tree in Sequoia National Park, California.
AND FINALLY DO YOU HAVE ANY EXCITING PLANS FOR THE FUTURE OF WICKLEWOOD YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Caroline: We were meant to open our first shop in May with our sister company Blithfield, but due to C19 it has been delayed until 2020. Watch this space!