I’m delighted to welcome Louise Roe to our Spotlight Series, shining a light on inspiring women and the stories behind them.
Louise launched Sharland England in 2021; born out of a love affair with unique, nostalgic homeware pieces from her childhood. The brand, which bears her great-grandmother’s name, very much speaks to my heart with family heritage, legacy and craftsmanship at its core.
Following an inspiring conversation, Louise and I wanted to bring you a snapshot of what it takes to create a beautiful brand from the ground up. Hope you enjoy reading…
Was there one significant moment when you realised it was time to take the leap and launch Sharland England?
Yes - it was during that first ever lockdown when people were still baking banana bread! We had recently moved back from LA and were renovating a beautiful old rectory in the countryside. I think we all had a moment to stop and think, and the idea just landed in my had. I knew I wanted to start something more creative, but until that moment I just couldn't quite work out what. I began calling friends in the industry whose kindness and advice I shall never forget; researching, sketching, planning, and two years later, I launched.
Has the mix of your family roots in Buenos Aires and growing up in the English countryside been a huge influence of the eclectic blend of antique and artisan pieces you source?
Yes absolutely, and actually - working with artisans all over the world and travelling to meet them - has also informed the brand's DNA. One of the nicest compliments we have had, is that the brand feels rooted in English tradition, but with a Mediterranean, family entertaining feel too. The very best homes and parties are those that feel elegant, but also so relaxed you kind of throw the meal together with a mix of different dishes, children helping, lovely wine being opened and plenty of laughter. Nothing formal, nothing staged, but hopefully still a little glamorous! From the stories I have heard of my great-granny, this describes her to a T.
Describe a typical day in the life for you?
My background is magazines and TV, where there was never a typical day, and that has certainly continued. Once a week I host the fashion on This Morning at ITV, which is a lot of fun. Another day I might be unpacking new arrivals at the warehouse, or shooting it in the studio. My favourite days are styling and shooting Sharland England's campaigns at interesting locations. The most recent was a tablescape inside a Victorian shell grotto at Lord Beaverbrook's old country house. The walls and ceilings depict mermaids and fish made entirely out of tiny shells, all over 100 years old. Just incredible!
Tell us your most rewarding moment since launching Sharland?
I feel lucky enough to say there have been a few moments, from being approached by magazines like Vogue and Architectural Digest, to seeing customer's lovely reactions at our pop-up shop. But I think one of the coolest moments was seeing an order come in from a Royal, that was pretty gobsmacking!
Is there anything surprising that you do which makes your heart sing?
I am a bit of a nerd, and discovering a new museum or stately home to tour, is my way of switching off. In Summer, nothing beats the Chelsea Physic Gardens, they are a glorious little tardis.
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