Lara Coward is the founder of The House Outfit, a brand that cares as much about the planet as it does about their products. You just need to take one glance at their Instagram feed to fall down the rabbit hole and get more interiors inspo’ than you can handle. Having recently launched our new vertical, Coco Home, it was inevitable that we would stumble across this brand, it’s certainly one to watch.
We spent some time with Lara to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching the The House Outfit…
I started The House Outfit as a way of escaping a job that I really hated. I left school at 16 so I had no A levels or Degree to fall back on and felt really stressed that there would be no options for me to find a job that I really enjoyed. So I saved up some money, did tonnes of research and just gave it a go. It’s by no means been easy but so worth it. Our first month we had 5 orders, (one was a friend and one was a family member) we’ve now turned over more than £1m and growing each month. I feel so lucky every day to never have that Monday morning fear again!
What item has been your best seller so far?
Our best sellers change so often as we’re constantly uploading new designs and adapting to new trends but at the moment our Classico prints are really popular and also our Faces and Gigi Cushion covers have done so well for us.
How often do you add new products and what’s the process behind this?
We upload new designs every week to keep things fresh. The design process starts with gathering inspiration which we take mainly from our customers, current interior trends and our own personal style. When designing I’ll often ask the opinion of the team on colours and placing and even naming the prints so it’s a joint effort which is nice.
How would you describe your own interior style?
My interior style is very calm and neutral with bold black accents. I love the wholebouclétrend at the moment with minimal art pieces and I have a lot of feature mirrors dotted around which are great for making a space feel bigger!
Who’s involved in the brand and what roles do they play?
I’m the Creative Director so I basically design, liaise with suppliers overseas and work closely with Tom and Tess who manage all of our marketing externally. Then we have Louise who is our amazing Operations Manager and she basically manages the day to day running of the business with the occasional help from our VA Jane when times get busy. Then we have Carly, Rachel and Helen who are the amazing team who manage the customer orders, deliveries and stock control.
What sets you apart from other independent brands?
I would say that we have our own style; we design what we love, not what we see. We stay in our own lane and don’t worry about what other brands are doing. It’s so important to us that we stay true to our own style and give our customers original designs.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
There have definitely been times we’ve made mistakes along the way but we’ve learnt so much from each one and they’ve really helped us grow as a business so I don’t think we would change anything, however if I had to say something, I just wish I had started it sooner.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Without social media, we wouldn’t have a brand and I’m so thankful for it.. It’s amazing that you can reach out to potential customers from all over the world and it’s also nice to be able see who your customer is, how they style their home, what their interests are and just build a relationship with them.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
Tomorrow is a new day. We all have stressful days at work or times where you just have a creative block and I always find comfort in knowing that you can just go to bed that night and restart everything the next day with a fresh mindset.
What’s next for the business?
-If there’s anything we’ve learnt from the last year as a business it’s that you really don’t know what’s around the corner, we’re so grateful to be doing what we love and never take a day for granted. We’ve grown so fast this past year in particular that it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind. Goiing forward we’ll be taking the time really plan our next chapter with lots of new collections and just continue to wing it!
What does self care mean to you?
With the nature of my job and society today, we are so attached to our phones and wrapped up in the world of social media which can be so draining. Self care for me is sticking my phone on aeroplane mode for a few hours and taking my dog Alfie out for a long walk. It’s nice to just switch off from everything for a bit.
Where can people find out more?
We’re on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest @thehouseoutfit and our website is www.thehouseoutfit.com. If we can help with any styling tips or product queries you can drop as an email any time at [email protected]