Johanna Franks, interior designer and founder of lighting and interiors brand Love Frankie, tells us what it’s like to run a physical and online business, keeping the bank manager happy and why handmade products are so special.

 

On turning her passion into a business…

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a passion for interior design. And with a background in the arts and being a dab hand on the sewing machine I knew I wanted to make and create for a living.

After years of selling my creations in Camden and Spitalfields markets, I knew it was time to up my game. I saw a gap in the market for decent, reasonably priced handmade lampshades, all with a bold statement “edge”. Lighting is so personal which is why I knew I wanted to offer a variety of different sizes and colours, plus a made-to-order service allowing customers to supply their own material if needed.

 

On an average working day…

After dropping my two children off at school and walking the dog, I head straight to our store in Totnes, Devon, to catch up on admin before we fling open the doors at 10am. Days in the shop are spent working closely with clients on their bespoke lighting ideas, ordering new accessories and gifts to fill the store with gorgeous goodies. Two days a week I also get the opportunity to work from home to focus on designing new products and photography for the website and press.

 

On being a handcrafted UK business…

When we first started out I used to make all the lampshades in a tiny little studio in Brighton, I have grown steadily from there, constantly checking in with the bank manager and understanding where best to spend the funds and at what time. I now employ a team of people handcrafting each and every shade to the customers exact requirements. It’s our USP to be able to offer this service here in the UK, plus it allows me to keep a handle on the creative process and quality control.

 

On her love of colour and pattern…

My designs are bold, playful and most importantly –  fun! I want people to ‘embrace the crazy’ with their decor choices, but not at a crazy price. Adding a large, colourful Love Frankie lampshade to a room is an easy way to embrace colour and pattern without the need for redecorating or changing larger pieces of furniture.

 

On why leopard print is perfect for interiors…

Leopard print is such a classic design and much easier than you think to incorporate into your home. Our Leopard Walk collection featuring the incredible Cole & Son’s wallpaper is sassy and bold, yet the muted tones of the browns and blacks allow someone who might be a little afraid of colour to inject a sense of fun into their decor scheme. We’ve got plenty more leopard inspired designs coming soon, think fringing, think perforated leather, think tassels… we’re ready to vamp this leopard up!

 

 

View the Love Frankie collection