A couple of weeks ago, over several pots of herbal tea, we were lucky enough to meet the lovely ladies from Layer. Hannah and Faith, the brains behind the brand, started Layer- a curated online marketplace for vintage and preowned design furniture just over 6 months ago.
Layer has everthing from furniture & mirrors to antique french shutters & pineapple lamp bases from the 50s (yes I said pineapple lamp bases- which are amazing FYI!); making it a destination for anyone who has an eye for homewear.
Here Hannah and Faith tell us about their journey so far, and how their love for homewear became their everyday reality:
Where does your love for home design stem from?
Hannah: My love affair begun when I was living and working in Berlin and had to dress my completely beautiful but bare loft apartment. There was so much natural light streaming in and I wanted to be thoughtful about which pieces were deserving of such a space. I got so attached to a desk I bought for €100 at a Berlin flea market that I’ve carted it around the world with me - the shipping has definitely cost more than the desk itself but it has so much sentimental value.
Faith: Ever since I worked my way through a Mad Men box set, I was fascinated by the Mid Century Modern era - I love that it's so classic and elegant and I've always been interested in how Mid Century influences translate in a modern context. This year, though, is when I've started to feel more confident about developing my own personal design style and identity. We interview so many inspirational designers and industry leaders for our blog and they all offer the same advice - have the courage to go with your gut and style a space in a way that reflects who you are. So rather than following trends, I'm starting to engage more with what I love which probably means that my love affair with home design is only just beginning.
You started your business six months ago, tell us a bit about what your first few months have been like?
Hannah: Everything we hoped it would be and more! If someone had told me a year ago that we'd have a marketplace with over 3000 products on the site and 300 sellers on board, I wouldn't believe them! It's been a fantastic 12 months - sure we've had moments of doubt, sleepless nights and countless of lessons learnt but it's so rewarding when people are so excited to discover us!
Faith: It's one of the scariest things I've ever done - leaving a steady pay check and a role that I knew inside out - and starting completely from scratch in an unknown industry... but I wouldn't change a thing. One of my personal highlights this year has been hosting a design event at The Hoxton hotel in Holborn - tickets sold out within a week and we had a great panel event with some of our favourite interior designers, bloggers and traders. That was my 'pinch me' moment.
What was your childhood home like, in comparison to your home now? Has this influenced your interior preferences?
Hannah: Our mum has always had amazing style - and we have always been surrounded by beautiful pieces with a past and a story to them. More recently, she has started buying art - just anything that she loves whether it’s by a student artist, for sale at a flea market or a print of a famous photograph. This has meant that we’ve always just gone for furniture and artwork that speaks to us - we’ve never been afraid to go with our own instincts and this has really stood us well.
We've learnt about your love for home design, tell us abit about your fashion sense/ style?
Faith: Hannah's always teasing me because I'm always dressing up for work...Even when we were working from our kitchen table, I would get fully dressed in my work outfit (think pencil skirt, colourful top and wedges) and come downstairs ready to go! I love that fashion can help get you into the mindset of productivity and I've always been drawn to bright pieces for work - whether that's dresses, skirts or top, I always need a colourful piece to feel ready for the day ahead.
Hannah: My style has definitely evolved over the years. I used to have so much 'stuff' but these days, I'm much more into a minimal wardrobe and timeless statement pieces. A lot of my wardrobe is black, white or grey! I feel naked without jewellery and love to play around with simply styles by adding a pair of huge hoop earrings or a chunky necklace.
What do you buy most, shoes, bags, accessories or clothes?
Faith: I never quite understood the bag obsession until I was given an Anya Hindmarch bag - and it really was love at first sight. Typically though, I'm a shoe girl all the way. New shoes can turn a bad day right around.
Hannah: Bags, bags and more bags! They are investment pieces, right? Me and my mum can spend hours talking about bags we like and Faith is rolling her eyes like 'come on guys, really?'.
Pick your favourite timpanys pieces?
Hannah: Having said that I dress mainly in monochrome, I’m not adverse to a pop of colour when it comes to accessories and this bag certainly does the trick! It’s an absolute beauty and would add some summer colour to my wardrobe.
Faith: If I was cool enough to pull these off, these would definitely be my favourite. They’re so fun and a summer statement piece.
We love that you care about the environment so much (like us), why is it important to you?
Hannah: There are so many ‘things’ out there in the world already and we believe that people are becoming ever more aware of the social and environmental impact of this. Why go out and buy a ton of new furniture to furnish your home when there are already so many beautiful pieces that have been painstakingly designed and built by master tradesmen and were intended to survive the test of time?
Use code: Timpanys10 for 10% off any item on the Layer Marketplace
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