We’re always looking for interior inspo, whether it’s the latest piece of art or something really OTT to lift a blank canvas. Twilight Trees has been a brand on our radar for quite some time, especially with some of their clients boasting Millie Mackintosh, This Morning and The Royal Academy, but who created such a sparkly brand? Our writer Jenna caught up with their CEO Susie Thomas to discuss a past career in PR, making clients visions come to life and even hiring her own husband…
JC: So firstly, why Trees? What gave you the inspiration to take a natural concept and turn it into something much more glamorous?
ST: The trees were a lucky find. I came across the trees on a trip abroad and absolutely fell in love with them. The very fact that they are a natural concept but given a glamorous, sparkling element made them even more special to me. After I brought one back for myself I got so many friends and family members asking if I could get them one that I decided to set up a small business. That small business has grown and the trees have got more and more creative.
JC: We too always find interior inspo on our travels, so it’s awesome to see that this is how you came across them! So after reading your story, and getting to know more about Twilight Trees. I’m still fascinated by your background. Can you tell us more about your history before the brand took off?
ST: I come from an inspiring entrepreneurial family so to a point, business is in the blood, as is determination. When I lived in London I ran a successful boutique PR company called Silver Thread Communications. We represented brands that we felt passionate about; everything from Formula One teams and superyachts to the most scrumptious home made granola that you’ve ever tasted. One of the things I’ve always believed in is that in order to sell a product, you must believe in it and that’s been my barometer throughout my career. When we moved to Winchester I started Sanga Designs which involved sourcing, sculpting and hand polishing cow horns which were then exhibited and sold in some of the top galleries. That was life before trees….
JC: WOW, what a colourful career! We see that since you launched, you’ve worked with a whole host of household names including Millie Mackintosh & even ITV’s This Morning. What has been your favourite event to work on so far?
ST: There are quite a few that are up there but the summer party at the Royal Academy would have to be the one that stands out from the crowd and funnily enough, it’s not one that started off terribly well! We arrived in the morning to set up and were greeted by an anxious client who was having a wobble as to whether the trees had been the right choice and if they really did fit with her ultimate vision for the event. We took this in our stride and worked alongside the client to set up and dress the trees so beautifully that you couldn’t help but be bowled over. The client was absolutely delighted and actually said that the only downside was that they were so breath taking that people kept stopping to take pictures! Ultimately that day we worked with some of the best suppliers in the industry at an ionic venue, the client was over the moon and we have continued to work with her to this day.
JC: Who would be your dream client?
ST: We’ve had them. That sounds like we’re blowing our own trumpet but it’s all been a bit of a dream to be honest. When I started this company I couldn’t have imagined the clients we’ve had and every time we pick up the phone it could be another dream client. I love this about my job and I feel proud of the clients we attract.
JC: Do you feel that now we’re in an ‘Instagram society’ more and more people want to take their interior design/gardens to the next level with the edition of LED’s etc?
ST: Pinterest and Instagram have certainly helped to step up the interiors/ exterior game but have also made these looks both more accessible and easier to communicate. We use Instagram as a way of marketing and do find it’s a powerful platform for our marketing and sales. One thing worth noting is that what people are portraying as their perfect homes/gardens/lives are not always reflective of real life. If you are one of those people who likes to keep up appearances but might not have the budget to buy, the beauty of Twilight Trees is that you can hire them!
JC: Can you tell us about a recent ‘Girl Boss’ moment?
ST: The ultimate ‘Girl Boss’ moment is when I was able to poach my husband from a high flying city career and employ him myself.
JC: That really is the ultimate Girl Boss win! Aside from all the dream clients and sparkles, what has been the hardest part of running your own business?
ST: Work/ life balance. Being a mother of two boys is incredibly demanding but I also put an awful lot of pressure on myself to do both motherhood and the business justice. My husband used to work away a lot but last year saw Twilight Trees reach a point where he could join our team and with that we have found equilibrium. Work/ life balance is always going to be a challenge but I do feel that we’re getting there!
JC: What’s in the pipeline for 2019?
ST: Every year we crank it up a notch. We have just taken on two new members of staff so we are about to start knocking on a whole lot more doors. I have total faith in Twilight Trees as a concept and as a business and as a team we aren’t afraid of hard work. We have the recipe and the ingredients, if we put them all together the right way we should be able to watch the cake rise and I assure you, it will be absolutely delicious!
To find out more about Twilight Trees or to book your very own decorative addition, visit www.twilight-trees.com.
Twilight Trees Ltd.
Northfields, Fair Lane, Winchester
Hampshire, SO21 1HF
T. 01962 877 644