Interview with Julie from Famille Summerbelle

Hi Julie, please tell us a bit about you and your family!

Well, I am of French origin and my husband is English. We live just outside of Paris and spend most of our time working between Paris and London. I studied Fine Art in Paris, moving to the UK to study Theatre Set Design at St Martins. We started Famille Summerbelle three years ago following the arrival of our first child Ophelia. It is in every sense a family business.

How did you come up with the idea of Famille Summerbelle?

Famille Summerbelle was created by a combination of desire and need. While pregnant with Ophelia I decided that a career in Theatre Set Design might be problematic with a young family (long unsociable hours), so decided that I needed to do something where I could create from home – and in my own time! As I was spending an increasing amount of time at home, I felt more and more inspiration in designing for the space around me – in particular creating an interesting and stylish space for Ophelia. So it started there…

And how do you combine family life and running your own company? What is the biggest challenge?

It’s very difficult – particularly now that we have two. I have become very skilled at extracting the most out of snatched half hours! The greatest challenge is to find time for thinking, inspiration and creating. Most of my spare time over the last year has needed to be focussed on just running the business. Something we’re going to change this year.

What are the future plans for Famille Summerbelle?

More products! I want to spend more time designing, and we have a whole bunch of new products that we’ll be introducing throughout the year. We‘re also going to launch a French site this year.I saw some pictures of your home on your blog/ website? Do you like to decorate and what inspires you?

I’m obsessed with interior design! My mum – who has a fantastic sense of style – has been a huge inspiration, plus I get a lot from our travels, magazines and of course the blogging community. My big ambition is to build my own home – something we’d like to do sooner rather than later…

You write a blog as well, how does it support your business?

Our blog – being part of that community – is absolutely vital to our business. We spend almost nothing on advertising, preferring by far the honest, supportive, collaborative relationships we’ve built through the blog. It also encourages me to find new products, styles and designers, who we then feature.What is your favourite book?
I really don’t have one in particular. I read so many design books – my favourite right now are the Japanese design books published by Edition Paumes.

Thank you Julie!

{by the way… I would not mind a little house swap with the Summerbelle family…hihi}
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