Lulu Lytle, Founder, Soane Britain, Walpole Member
Lulu Lytle and Christopher Hodsoll founded Soane Britain on the Pimlico Road in 1997. Since then Soane Britain has become defined by its exquisite craftsmanship, elegant proportions and deliciously English sense of the exuberant.
Soane Britain designs and makes outstanding furniture, upholstery, lighting, fabrics, wallpapers and interior necessities that consistently reward the investment, adding a joyful atmosphere to any space.
Every Soane Britain design is made in Britain in small workshops that excel in traditional crafts, such as iron forging, chair making, precision engineering and saddlery.
Soane Britain’s design and production teams work closely with the craftsmen to ensure exceptionally well-made, classic and enduring products. Orders are made with the client’s choice of materials and finishes from Soane Britain’s in-house collection of woods, stones, metals and leathers. Alternatively, clients’ own materials may be used.
Soane Britain’s patterned and plain fabrics are woven and hand printed in British mills and workshops to Lulu’s own designs. Wallpapers are hand block by expert English printers. A Bespoke service in furniture, lighting, fabrics and wallpapers is also available to clients.
Clients include international interior designers, decorators and architects with Soane Britain’s furniture found in many fine hotels and restaurants, private members’ clubs, boardrooms, retail showrooms, yachts and fascinating houses.
In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what are three pieces of advice you would give?
Believe in your vision and don’t compromise and embrace new technology. Design what you love, not what you think will sell.
What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?
Take opportunities when they are presented, even if they are unexpected and premature. Hire as good a finance team as you can possible afford. Hold on to your sense of humour.
What are the watch outs along the way?
Spend time making sure your team is happy and feels it is making a contribution to the culture and success of the business.
When you were started out who was your biggest inspiration? And what did they tell you that helped make you a success?
Our workshops are our biggest inspiration, they have taught us never to compromise on quality and that manufacturing in Britain can be a viable commercial enterprise.