Coffee with a Creative is a monthly series all about meeting like-minded creatives in various industries talking about them, their businesses and their favourite hot drink of choice! Today we meet Rachel Ward of Luks Linen.
What is your coffee (tea, infusions, hot chocolate) of choice?
Small Batch – Latte
What inspired you to set up your Company?
After 20 years working in advertising I wanted to try something new – I had a sun bed epiphany whilst travelling in Turkey where I discovered the peshtemal (Turkish towel) and naively thought – I could start a business selling these multi-talented gems here in Europe – 2 years later here we are selling globally and working with family weavers to create a beautifully created range of towels for indoor and outdoor living.
Can you describe a typical workday (from wake up to lights out)?
Hmm – I’m a night owl and not a lark so I probably start my day later than most. Tea and the laptop in bed checking emails and getting set for the day followed by the daily jump into Instagram. The rest of the morning is usually spent managing the website and checking our social media and online advertising whilst a typical afternoon would be a mix of photo-shoots, designing potential new products and liaising with our ateliers in Turkey. As it’s summer we’re also gearing up for the festival season which will see us indulging in our love of music and good food whilst sharing a bit of the Lüks love around the British countryside.
Describe your signature style
Less is more – I like quality over quantity, simple lines and good tailoring. Considering I work with pattern I don’t actually wear it myself!
Describe the best project you could get if budget was a non-contender
Producing a heritage range of peshtemals for Liberty – the perfect excuse to delve into their pattern archives too!What’s next for the Company?
We’re moving more permanently into the US market as we speak and tentatively looking at collaborations with artists to see if we can translate their work on to the loom.
What is the best thing about the creative scene in your city?
I’m Brighton based so there’s lot to choose from – digitally there is a real pulse down here that is well supported with events such as She Says and TEDx. Artistically it’s a real melting pot from the Brighton Fringe to the Great Escape Festival – musically and theatrically we are spoilt for choice – put all of that next to the sea and you can’t fail to be constantly inspired.
Who is the creative to watch?
Mira Mikati – now she could persuade me to wear pattern!
How and why did you become a *said* designer/creative?
For me it’s about physical creation and being able to stand in an interior space and know that it feels right – I always been hands on so it was a natural progression for me to move from advertising into interior design and then soft furnishings
What are your top 3 *creative* tips?
– Don’t start with a screen – start with paper and a pencil – I am forever doodling and sketching…creatively that’s really important – don’t lose sight of it.
– Make your concepts concise – how would you sell your idea in a tweet – it sounds trite but really makes you think about what is important.
– Lighting, lighting, lighting
What *creative* design trends do you wish would go away?
Describe your life in 5 words
Peaceful, exhausting, hectic, slow and lucky – running your own business you can experience all of this in one day!
What are you thankful for?
Having a business that has allowed me to step out of the 9-5 and off the commuter train
What is your perfect weekend in the City?
If we’re talking London then it would be brunch at the Wolesley followed by Tate Modern, dinner and piggy treats at Comptoir Gascon and an evening at the Barbican – just being in that building feels like you’re part of a Kubrick film. Sunday is market day so off to the East End for a spot of Columbia Road, good coffee and then a spot of open mic jazz and swing at the Palm on Regents Canal – all the old boys turn out for a spot of Sinatra – it’s brilliant!
What is your prefect weekend in the Countryside?
A lie in! Followed by a long leisurely dog walk with our black lab Sadie and an even more leisurely lunch somewhere like the Jolly Sportsman in East Chiltington. An evening BBQ with marshmallows round the fire and chatting nonsense with friends. Sunday…perhaps some wild swimming at Balcombe to blow the cobwebs away and then a hearty roast!
Where in the World is your most favourite place to visit and why?
Hoi An – Vietnam – this place is just magical – a world heritage site the low level architecture, cookery courses and tailoring is a must. The night market full of the seas weird and wonderful bounty and streets lit by lanterns.