Instagram is a social media platform that has really captured the imagination of interior lovers all over the world – arguably overtaking Pinterest as the social media of choice. Lisa Dawson is an interiors blogger who is riding the wave of this growing trend and has built a 25k strong Instagram following (impressive considering she only started posting photos of her house last year). It has helped raise her professional profile organically and now she now runs regular ‘Styling Your Home Workshops’ with her workshop partner Dee Campling (another interiors obsessive with a loyal Instagram following). The business Lisa Dawson Styling is going from strength to strength and now offers an interior room design service.
Quick to realise the potential of social media Lisa finds it’s a great way to discover independent brands. “Instagram has become the social media hub to be on. No longer the domain of the teenage selfie, everyone and their dogs are getting in on the action. With the huge increase in hash tagging and its popularity as a creative platform, more and more independent companies are finding that Instagram is perfect for launching and promoting their businesses.”
Lisa lives in York with her husband Joe and three children (Ella, Max and Leo) and her “badly trained” Lhasa Apso dog, Buddy. She has a background in fashion retail, having previously worked for Top Shop. She’s learnt the hard way about running her own business (she used to sell jute bags on notonthehighstreet.com). “When the plastic bag charge came into effect and supermarkets started selling similar products to mine at a quarter of the price, I was forced to admit defeat”. So, with her new interiors business she’s keen to champion the kind of independent brands she identifies with and is “committed to the promotion and support of these inspirational companies”.
With that in mind I asked Lisa to pick her top five interiors and homeware companies which we should look out for in 2017. So check them out: “but be warned the temptation to purchase will be strong!”.
Lisa’s top five independent retailers for 2017
Jane is the founder and owner of Violet & Thistle and she is absolutely fab. With a background in costume jewellery retail and years spent visiting the Far East in order to source, Jane realised after the birth of her first daughter that she needed a business that kept her closer to home. Based in London, she launched her online store at the end of 2015 and you could not hope to meet a friendlier person. If you follow her on Instagram, you will know that she loves a chat. Her shop is a fabulous collection of individual homewares, lighting and one off vintage pieces. Check out her most recent stock which includes fantastic neon wall lights and a gorgeous range of macramé plant holders. My favourite all time purchase from Jane is my pom-pom basket which is always commented upon and my applause light box is about to be put above my bar so that people can clap me when I pour them a drink.
Lorraine Aaron is a professional artist with a background of making art for public places. She has an obsessive interest in art, architecture and interiors and how the combination of these can contribute to our happiness. Her store is a curated heaven of the most beautiful items sourced for their interest and individuality. Her customer service is second to none and her shop is well worth a visit.
Sara Griffiths is the founder and creator of this newly formed online collection of homewares, interiors and gifts. Expect a little bit of Nordic, cool Copenhagen and the rest of the globe for a unique blend of design must haves for your space. Sara has worked in TV for the last 20 years whilst also having the extremely busy job of being a mum to two girls. Having curated her own small but perfectly formed family home, she finally decided to put the dream into reality and her fabulous store is well worth a visit.
Susan and Donna, with their backgrounds in styling and photography, are the creative wonders behind We Are Amused. They produce innovative photographic and typographical prints from their studio in Fife, Scotland that look stunning in any interior. Their prints will add that essential edge of cool to your space. I’ve got their gorgeous (and I’m sure to be iconic) shoe last print, or I did until my daughter decided it would look better in her room than mine. You can contact Susan and Donna via their Instagram feed. Inspirational mums Donna and Susan started their print design business from a studio in Fife last year. Through sheer hard work, their artwork is flying into stores. They supply Rockett St George and were recently part of a pop up in Liberty London, as well as a huge selection of independent stores.
Founded in 2015, Shelley’s shop is a gorgeous eclectic mix of home accessories and furniture that is an absolute must. How excited was I when I realised that Hilary & Flo was in Sheffield and therefore close enough to visit? Very excited. My (very good at shopping) friend Liz was visiting from America, had been following the Hilary & Flo feed and was desperate for a visit, so together with two other friends, we had a girls outing. The trip got off to a bad start after I drove into another car at the roundabout on the way there due to excessive chatting, but we persevered and were very glad that we did. Shelley is absolutely lovely and so welcoming and friendly, making any visit to her store a pleasure. She stocks a selection of independent retailers including Abigail Ahern.
Lisa is following…
“Stateside Jennifer is an inspirational mother and businesswoman with an online store and design service. Her style is recycled glam and she sources from flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores.”
“When I decided to start blogging, it was Sarah’s webinar that I took to get the lowdown. She created and runs the No Bull Blog School teaching others how to start writing and also has a career as a successful interior stylist. She’s a mum of one and lives in London.”
Interview with Amy White