Interview by Annabelle Goodwin of WomenTalking.co.uk
It inspires me to see how innovative and resourceful we can be, particularly if we have an idea in our head and are unable to source it!
Helen, founder and creative designer for Luxe 39 couldn’t find quality velvet cushions in the sizes, shapes and colours she wanted. Not wishing to compromise she dug out her sewing machine and made cushions using the highest quality upholstery grade British cotton velvet. “I love design and sewing,” said Helen, “but didn’t previously have a career in either field. I undertook a house renovation in 2015 which really awoke a passion for interior design, and when I couldn’t find cushions in the quality or colours, I wanted I made them for myself.”
Helen’s friends realised her cushions were different from the high street offering and asked her to make cushions for them …….and the idea grew that she could build a cushion business.
Women Talking talks to Helen about her sustainable luxury velvet cushions:
When did you learn to sew, who taught you?
“My Mum is very good at sewing and I even remember her designing and making new covers for a sofa when I was very young. She taught me how to make clothes which I used to do as a teenager, and she bought me my first sewing machine for my 21st birthday.
What inspired you to start the company?
“I was working in marketing recruitment in the city, but I was finding juggling work and family pretty tricky. This was at the same time that I started making cushions for the house. When friends saw my double colour velvet cushions and asked if I would make cushions for them the idea came to me that I could combine my digital marketing knowledge and sewing skills to set up an online cushion business making cushions to order.”
Why is it called Luxe 39?
“I knew I needed a unique business name with a matching domain name. ‘Luxe’ refers both to the luxury of the high-quality British cotton velvet I use in all the cushions, and also the ‘lux’ or illuminating nature of velvet fabric. I live at number 39 and set the business up here, and it’s unusual to have a number in a domain name so it was available – so ‘Luxe 39’ came together as a name with the web address luxe39.com.”
What is your favourite colour?
“My favourite colour is green, closely followed by blue. I already have a few green options online and am about to add Sage Green cushions to the collection which I think is going to be a big colour trend going forward (I’m really looking forward to having this new colour all around my house).”
What is your most popular colour online?
Our range consists of 12 stunning velvet shades including jewel brights, pastels and neutrals. These can be custom made into either single colour velvet cushions or any 2 velvet colours that can be mixed together to make our very special double colour reversible velvet cushions.
The best-selling velvet shade in our collection is Burnt Orange, which is a really rich, uplifting colour. The best-selling double colour cushion combination is Burnt Orange & Bright Pink which is really vibrant and fun.
Tell me about your free colour consultation service?
If people are struggling to make cushion choices, they can either phone me, email me with pictures or video or we can have a live chat, and I will give them ideas of colour combinations that could work for them. I base my advice on the colours they already have in their homes and always ask what their favourite colours are as I’m a big believer in surrounding yourself with the colours you love. ‘Forget fashion colours, think favourite colours’ is a bit of a motto for me as Luxe 39 cushions last for years, outliving any colour fad.
Luxe 39 offer a custom-made service in colour and size. They offer a choice of 9 cushion sizes and shapes to perfectly fit your space. You can select either square velvet cushions or rectangular velvet pillows.
All cushions come generously stuffed with feather filled cotton cushion pads. Helen is happy to source vegan cushion pads for no extra cost or for a more environmentally friendly approach, if you already have the pads, choose velvet cushion covers.
For the final bespoke touch, Luxe 39 offers a choice of matching or contrasting coloured zips with the full set of options available from Jaycotts.
A percentage of profits from the business are donated to mental health charities. Luxe 39 are strong believers in the positive mental benefits of filling your home with the colours you love but know that for many people it takes more than colour to find happiness, especially in such uncertain times.
The website is already full of choices but for any special requests fill in the form on the Contact Us page or email firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s the beauty of a bespoke service!