Creating beautifully crafted and bespoke commercial spaces, workplaces and retail stores that prioritise human needs and allow visionary businesses and brands, and their team members, to thrive and grow.
How did it all begin?
My husband Ian and I felt there was an opportunity to combine his architectural background with my interiors expertise and to launch a full-service studio. We joined forces in 2007 and our big break was being hired by Natalie Massenet to create a new HQ for The Net-A-Porter Group, when she moved her team to Westfield. We went on to design all of the Net-A-Porter Groups global spaces.
What sets your business apart?
We design spaces that serve any business’ two greatest assets: their brains (workforce) and their brand. We are designer-makers, crafting spaces and furniture that connect people with the natural world – with intergrated planting, natural materials, organic shapes and tactile, meticulously crafted design details. Multiple studies have proven the multiple positive impacts of biophilia: nature’s impact on us humans. Organic materials and foliage have been proven to reduce stress levels, increase a sense of wellbeing and improve internal air quality – which in turn can boost both productivity and morale.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
Each of our bespoke design schemes is designed to boost the individual business that will occupy the space. We don’t do ‘cookie cutter’ spaces – our bespoke, and beautifully branded design schemes improve team morale, communication, collaboration, business growth and team wellbeing. We reinforce a company’s unique culture, help them attract talent, increase sales, retain staff and ultimately positively contributes to their bottom line growth.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
We want to enlighten more businesses to the powerful impact that an investment in their workspace or retail space can have on their business. Budgets don’t have to be huge – but the benefits across the business and ROI more than justify the investment on multiple levels. We also want to expand our brand. Our new Common Objects collection of beautiful workplace furniture is already being rolled out by Farfetch globally in their workspaces across Europe, the US and Asia.
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
Getting to grips with the unique company culture of each client/business. We have worked for brands ranging from The Net-A-Porter Group, Farfetch, WME | IMG, The White Company, Mary Katrantzou and NotontheHighStreet.com (amongst many others) and the first step in any of our projects is to get under the skin of the business, and gain a full understanding of its aspirations, where it has come from and where it is going. This is essential groundwork in order to create the perfect space for its culture to thrive and to allow teams (and therefore the business) to flourish.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
I was always painting and drawing at home as a child. When we were encouraged to do work experience at school, I was part of a group who painted a massive mural to decorate Redland train station in Bristol. We continued this project across the course of a full year and it was clear to me that a career in art and design was definitely my calling!
Highlights of your business journey so far?
Working with Natalie Massenet as one of our first clients, and going on to become Net-A-Porter’s Global Design Partner. Being appointed Global Design Partner to Farfetch, launching Common Objects, our collection of exquistiely crafted workplace furniture that is so different to anything else on the marketplace. Working with fascinating brands and visionaries on a daily basis. Designing spaces which make a positive difference every single day to the thousands of people globally that work within them and to the bottom line of the enlightened businesses that occupy them.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
I believe passionately in working hard to become the best at what you do – but it’s SO important to enjoy it, put your heart and soul into it and pass on the positives to the team around you.
Best piece of advice you have received?
Never underestimate the incredible power of positive thinking. Visualise your end goals every step of the way and keep working towards them – don’t let life’s knocks erode your confidence.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Take some calculated risks. I would never have achieved what I have if I hadn’t taken some risks.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Doesn’t really apply to us…
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Bringing up 2 young children at the same time as starting and growing a business, has been the most challenging experience of my life, but also incredibly rewarding. My husband and I started Studiofibre in 2007, just as our first child was born, and we took on the global Net-A-Porter projects just after our second child was born! I’ve learnt to juggle, prioritise and to fully appreciate our fantastic team at Studiofibre. I also cherish the precious free time I have with my children. Learning to compartmentalise is essential!
Why is it important to support women-led business?
Those brave and determined enough to start and build a business deserve our support. We have to preserve the incredible diversity and creativity of entrepreneur-led brands.