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Life and Work with Jane Dent Grady

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jane Dent Grady.

Jane, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Growing up in England, I traveled with my family to castles, gardens and ancient cities throughout Europe, garnering multicultural influences and inspiration from an early age. In high school, I pondered creative, cosmopolitan careers – including being a fashion designer or TV producer – but coming from a strict and academic grammar school, I didn’t act on such notions. Instead, I went off to study business.

Only a few years later, I had come full circle when I found myself working at a packaging design firm in London! While I enjoyed my job running the studio, I remember very clearly the day I decided that design was for me. I was standing at the copy machine, looking out into the studio where the designers were busy working on their cool and colorful projects and I thought, “So, this is what I’m supposed to do with my 9-5 from now on? I’d rather be out there doing what they’re doing!” A light bulb had gone off and I knew that I needed to get into design.

I began my design studies in London before coming across the pond to the States. I explored a number of different avenues including interior design, graphics, and photography and was also co-owner of an independent boutique selling European and American modern home accessories. Over the years, I’ve come to love the Scandinavian aesthetic. And, influenced by such designers as Charles and Ray Eames and Charlie Harper, I feel that my design reflects those mid-century sensibilities. Ultimately, my love of pattern and color led me to focus on textile and surface design, I launched my debut collection through my brand, Lupin Studio, in 2016.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road, but then I don’t think many businesses become successful without overcoming challenges. I think the biggest realization has been that just because you have a great product, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be an overnight sensation! It’s hard to get your product in front of your intended audience. You can’t just open your online shop and expect that everyone knows it’s there.

There is a never-ending list of tasks you have to do as a small business owner and marketing is a huge one. Between brainstorming new ways to reach customers, posting on social media, networking and finding time for design work, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

My advice for anyone starting out – be realistic, be persistent, be patient. And realize that it takes time to build a business.

Please tell us about Lupin Studio.
At Lupin Studio we design and make modern home accessories with graphic patterns, rich hues, and beautiful fabrics. Whether drawing inspiration from the Scandinavian sensibility we love, the natural landscapes of England or mid-century art and culture, our textiles add warmth and color to any contemporary setting.

Our debut collection, ‘Lakes & Fells,’ was inspired by the English Lake District, which holds a special place in my heart. I have such fond memories of family hikes on the hills and boat trips on the lakes. The patterns and colorways are evocative of the area’s natural beauty, from the iconic glacial ribbon lakes to the ferns and mosses blanketing the mountains. The collection includes modern throw pillows, table runners, napkins, tea towels and aprons.

Lupin Studio is about simplicity, quality, and authenticity. All of our patterns are hand drawn – I love the little oddities that come with hand drawing: the slightly imperfect shapes and fluid, organic lines. Our fabrics are printed in small batches using eco-friendly, water-based pigment inks and each product is cut and sewn by hand in Boston.

A home should be a retreat, a comfortable place to unwind. I believe that life is better when we are surrounded by beautiful things. We hope our products elevate our customers’ everyday lives and we strive to ensure that they’re very happy with our product and service from start to finish.

Who have you been inspired by?
My influences are many, but if I was to pinpoint a few individuals whose work inspires me every day, and who have made enormously significant contributions to design, I would have to say – firstly, Charles & Ray Eames, whose mid-century furniture and textiles are still as relevant today as they were 60 years ago. And secondly, Orla Kiely whose patterns are amazing. I actually visited her in her London studio when I was first designing patterns and, despite being busy and incredibly successful, she was graceful and encouraging of my work. Both Charles & Ray Eames, and Orla Kiely have an aesthetic and dedication to design that is truly inspiring

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jane Dent Grady, Dave Bradley

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