Hanson & Hopewell Partner Spotlight: Meet Fox & Lilly
Every month at Hanson & Hopewell, we highlight one of the independent businesses we feature in our luxury bride-to-be gift boxes and this month we’ve chosen Fox & Lilly. Fox & Lilly’s beautiful range of accessories are lovingly handmade by Laura in her studio space in the Lancashire countryside. With a philosophy to support other small UK businesses, all the materials Laura uses are sourced from British suppliers and manufacturers. Inspired by her Mother’s talent for crafting and a deep love of Jane Austen, Laura is fulfilling a dream of creating pretty things - a girl after our own hearts!
Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?
My name is Laura and I run a small creative business called Fox + Lilly. All products in our range are entirely hand made by myself using British sourced materials.
What makes your business so special to you and your customers?
What makes Fox + Lilly special is that its a small creative business born from pure passion to create handmade products. Our dishes can be personalised with initials, dates and names. I hear lots of lovely stories of how the dish is a wedding anniversary gift, or a gift for a friend on her wedding day. Our cones are popular as bridesmaid gifts and engagement gifts. It's lovely to know our products are gifts during such special moments of peoples lives.
What was it that inspired you to start your business?
My mother has always been crafty and would make my birthday cards using beautiful cross stitches as the design. She inspired me to explore my creative side. After University she has made some bunting from scraps of fabric to decorate my room. I started making some bunting and opened my Etsy shop in 2012 selling bunting made from books. Since then my business naturally evolved in to what it is today.
Can you describe your typical day for us?
During the week I head out to my full time job in Manchester City Centre from 8am to 4pm. I get home at 5pm get myself a large cup of tea and sit down at my desk. I go through my orders on my website and Etsy and write them out. I then get to work on making the orders. I make sure I get some food around 7pm. Then its straight back to finishing up orders and packaging them up. If I have any time left I'll write down some ideas for blog posts for the website and maybe start writing some up.
If you had to choose, what has been your favourite day at work so far?
My favourite day at work was the opening day of the John Lewis Rooftop Etsy Takeover event. I was contacted by Etsy in June last year inviting me to a bank holiday event being held on the rooftop bar at John Lewis on Oxford Street. The event would span 5 days and I'd be joined by 19 other sellers. I just remember the buzz the opening night gave me. Meeting so many people who really appreciated my products.
Has there been a hardest day at work so far?
I can't think of one particular day at work that was the hardest. Some days you have those moments of self-doubt. Where your not happy with the products your producing and that you feel as through your not really pushing yourself. But I remind myself that I'm doing pretty well for some one who still works full time. I remind myself of the events and opportunities my business were given last year that were huge, and to not down play those achievements.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I desperately wanted to be an archaeologist. I loved learning about history and was fascinated about how different cultures lived. I remember when I went on a holiday to Egypt and I visited the museum in Cairo and I saw the tomb and gold mask of Tutankhamun. I still today love watching historical based dramas and visit museums when I can.
What or who is your daily inspiration?
My mother is my daily inspiration. Having experienced her creativity from a young age she is who inspired me to make. My Christmas play costumes were always so amazing. She has always been incredibly supportive of my choices in life and often helped out with the business when things have gotten hectic.
What is the most-loved gift you have ever received?
My most loved gift that I still treasure today is the card my mother made me on my 9th birthday. The card had this lovely cross stitch of a ballerina with the number 9 on it. I just remember thinking how long this would have taken and how much I loved opening it.
Whether it made you laugh, cry or cringe - do you have a favourite wedding moment?
Two years ago the first of our friendship group from University got married. My friend was best woman (who says it has to be a best man) and gave this beautiful speech that really made me cry. It brought back all the amazing memories I had of our three years together at University.
At H&H we have friendship at our core - what does friendship mean to you?
Friendship to me means being there for one another during the highs and lows of life. I have friends in different countries and when we see each other its like we were never apart.
If you had to give the H&H #bridesmaidbible readers one piece of advice what would it be?
Having been recently asked by my best friend to be a bridesmaid, I would say just be there for support. Organising a wedding it a stressful experience. Offer to go wedding dress shopping, plan the hen do or help with DIY projects.
Shotgun wedding? See what we did there!? Well, here's the quickfire round - ready, steady, go!
The more the merrier or small and intimate?
Small and intimate
DIY or Designer?
Yacht or Yurt?
Hen night in or hen night out?
Diamonds or Pearls?
Cake or cheese tower?
Pure happiness is...?
Being happy and content with what you have.
If not yourself, who would you be?