Meet Sophie from Sophie Home
After a day of Sunday relaxing and recuperating after a very hectic week, it is only right that we focus our late Day 5 of #marchmeetthemaker on the fab @sophiehome_london
Sophie designs beautiful and colourful cotton knit accessories for your home, as well as gorgeous nursery toys for children. Sophie and Jess are a dream to work with and the quality of the throws and children’s toys are second to none… not only that but 5% of the profits go to @chooselove and the products are all ethically made! What is not to love!? Anyway, instead of listening to us going on about this fabulous brand, you can read a bit more about them here in the founder, Sophie Diaz’s own words…
Please can you tell us a little bit about you and your brand?
I launched Sophie Home nearly 10 years ago from the corner of our sitting room in South East London. We started with a range of shower curtains, cushions and blankets, and quickly refined the range to focus on what our customers loved best; the cotton knit cushions and throws!
In 2016 I had my first baby boy, swiftly followed by another in 2017 - and it’s a complete cliché - but they were soon followed by a kids and baby range which has grew from 8 pieces to 60+ in about 2.5 years!
I spent many years going to markets but over time it is the wholesale side of the business that has really grown - and I am now thrilled (and kind of amazed) to be stocked in over 350 shops, internationally!
Please can you tell us about your inspiration for your business?
I used to design mens underwear for M&S and we got to travel to amazing places to visit our manufacturers. I have hundreds of photos snapped from car windows of the colour and vibrancy of places like Bangladesh, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka. These photos were the very first inspiration for the colour and fun of the brand. The hand-writing and palette has been refined over the years, but my aim is always still to deliver colour, joy, wit - and something a little different. If a design ticks most of those boxes - it’s in!
What is the ethos behind your brand?
Our brand is underpinned by a core value of kindness and this informs every decision we make for, and how we run, the business.
Inclusivity and kindness are crucial. We look after our people; our suppliers, colleagues and customers. The business provides employment to several local women in various capacities - and will do soon to even more.
We donate 5% of our profits to Choose Love. As a woman born in the UK in 1981, I am so aware of just how lucky I am, and of the opportunities, freedom, security and choices I have. Choose Love is there for those who don’t have that same luxury.
What is the most enjoyable thing about your business?
People! I love doing trade fairs - and getting to meet our stockists in real life!
There is also no better feeling that when our boat docks - and we know all our lovely new stock will be unloaded and winging its way to shops and customers in a matter of days. Waiting for that boat can be the hardest part!
What are your top tips for anyone wanting to start their own creative business?
Work work work! You are in for some seriously hard graft. And be flexible and prepared to change things up. The best advice I was ever given was that the business you end up with will not be the business you started with.
How do you get yourself out of any creative slumps?
I have a really good tidy up! I tidy the house, I tidy the studio and I put some loud music on. I find a little scroll on Pinterest can simply kick-start the motivation too!
What songs feature most on your playlist for when you are working?
Elton John gets me out of the creative slumps!! There is also a playlist on Spotify called Retro Soul that gets played a lot, but mainly I like to play tunes I loved in the 90s and 2000s. I know all the words; they're familiar and uplifting to me :)
What do you like doing in your downtime away from your business?
I’m easily pleased - I’m as happy with a trip to B&Q and Sainsburys with my husband and boys as I am a day trip into the city or down to the coast! I like to be with family, and I like to cook or bake. But if I were to take some serious downtime away, I’d head to Rye probably, and hideaway for a few days by that wild sea. I have a hard time doing nothing. I’m really bad at it - but I am working on it. And I’d like to get into gardening too, but so far, it hasn’t happened.
What is next for your business?
A lot! We turn 10 in June, and will be launching our Autumn Winter range in all-new packaging, with a branding update too! I’m so pleased with how it all looks, and can’t wait to show it at Top Drawer in September.
We’re on a continuous journey to improve the sustainability of our business - and we’re working on something incredibly exciting for the kids range - an absolute game changer - but I’m SO sorry, I can’t share it yet!
We’re also registering the business in Germany and will move a portion of our stock there, so we can better serve our European customers, grow the business in Europe, and out-manoeuvre Brexit - ha!
And.. we're moving into a new studio, with a shop front - which is a 15 year dream come true.
It’s a lot, but it’s incredibly exciting, and we’re still in a great period of growth, so I’m determined to run with it - and enjoy it!