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We’re delighted to have interviewed Joanne McEwan who recently launched Textured Lives, a new home decor online shop.
This online boutique freshly launched in January 2021: https://texturedlives.co.uk/
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit more about what you did before launching Textured Lives?
After graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 1990, I was lucky enough to have a successful career in the textile industry designing fabric, wallpaper and bedding for the world marketplace.
My first role was designing fabrics and wallpapers for a design studio on the outskirts of Paris where I learned very quickly how to design something that people actually wanted to buy. I returned to the UK and designed for Crowson Fabrics in Uckfield who was the leading fabric producer in the UK, and you could say even throughout the world market at the time. In 2000 I became the Design Director of the largest curtain manufacturer and retailer in the UK. This wealth of experience has formed the foundation for Textured Lives and I finally made the decision to make the leap and create my own home brand.
How did the idea of creating Textured Lives start?
After 30 years of designing fabrics and products for the consumer, depending on the market I was designing for, I really wanted to focus on my look and feel and only produce things that I would love to have in my home. It’s been a lifelong ambition, so it was a case of now or never!
It isn’t just about the designing of the product that I wanted to do but I really felt that consumers want more individuality than what the retail home stores offer.
Just because the high street doesn’t have a particular trend doesn’t mean you’ve got it wrong at home. I want to try and give the homeowner the confidence that it’s ok to create something themselves and work with what you have and add to it, it’s all about what feels good to you. We need to get away from fast trends in the home, it’s better for all of us long term.
The name Textured Lives is about us all having a textured life. We all have had and are living our own journey and we have all been through challenges personally and professionally. It was a brand name that says straight away that there is history behind the brand and it hasn’t just happened. Ultimately, I wanted to create a lifestyle brand to make it easier to style your home and make it your personal sanctuary.
Can you tell us a bit more about your products and your collection?
I’ve designed a full range of home products that can work on their own or that can easily be put together with items that you already have. It’s always been about adding texture for me, with soft organic colour palettes and natural imagery. Textured fabrics and rugs, organic designed cotton bedding, soft cashmere throws to touch and hard products that are organic in colour or material.
Where do you find inspiration when creating new collections?
Nature. I spend all my spare time outside, walking, running, gardening, or even doing yoga on the lawn (when the weather is better!). I think the term is biophilic but subconsciously I have always designed to bring the outside in. It makes me feel better, that either by touch, or imagery or colour that it is the greatest inspiration to me. I do it without realising.
What’s been the highlight so far since you’ve launched your online store?
Definitely the response from customers and professionals in the industry. It meant so much to hear their feedback.
Do you have any tips for new brands launching their online store?
I feel I could write a book about tips, I have so much to say. The main thing is before you go into it, have your eyes wide open. Even though you may feel you are in the creative world you need to learn and know so much about technical IT, finance and PR and that after designing and producing the product it is only a small element of the multi-tasking you will have to do. Even if you can afford to get other people to do certain tasks, it is your business, so you are the one that needs to drive it and make it happen.
What’s next for you and your brand?
As I have only just launched my biggest challenge is to get my ethos/message about my brand and who Textured Lives is out to the bigger marketplace whilst on a small budget.
View the Textured Lives press office here