F: Can you tell us about Louisa Grace Interiors?
C. We are a small independent business which we started in 2013 after making a blackboard from a vintage picture frame for our young girls. That led us to build a business out of our passion for antiques. We now have three barns which house a workshop, showrooms, office space and a creative meeting space available to hire.
Most of our stock is rustic and either vintage or antique. The showrooms themselves are unique too – we currently have an eclectic range of products including vintage Dutch leather sofas, French Louis XV armoires, foxed gilt mirrors and rustic workbenches to name a few. We also have a lovely meeting space where we hold creative events - anything from Annie Sloan chalk paint workshops to wreath making to calligraphy. Our space is very flexible which means we have lots of location shoots taking place too.
F. What made you decide to open your own shop?
C. We started our business in our shed and then graduated into my parents garage until my mum had enough so we had to find premises. We found space on a farm in Banstead. Initially it was just storage space but evolved into showrooms and the workshop space we now have. We decided to stock Falcon as we felt it really complemented the rustic, eclectic vibe that we have at Louisa Grace.
F. What’s your favourite Falcon product and what do you use it for?
C. Ohhhh now that is a tough question! I love the whole range for the fact that I can use it both on the hob and in the oven and also for its durability – my daughters can drop it, chip it and it just looks even better with age. I think my favourite product at the moment is the pinch pots which we use for both salt, pepper and condiments. My husband favours the mugs as they evoke memories from his childhood camping days and also loves the pie dishes for serving mezze type food.
F. Is there a specific dish that you would personally make using any of our Falcon products?
C. My daughters both love to bake and recently made a delicious honey cake in the loaf tin. I also regularly make Spanish Chicken in the square baking tin.
F. Are there any local companies you'd like to shoutabout? Where do you usually eat, drink, source ingredients in your local area?
C. Banstead is a busy little village with a growing number of independent businesses. Our favourites are Chai for brunch and lunch - amazing coffee, cakes and snacks with a gorgeous interior to match (all stocked from Louisa Grace!) and Mad Lilies at Home – they provide us with all of our plants and flowers for shoots and we also host wreath making and table styling workshops with them. We try to grow lots of our own fruit, vegetables and herbs at home or if not will go to Garsons Farm in Esher for some brilliant fruit and vegetable picking.
F. How have you been keeping during this time? Do you have any tips for small business owners as we all become accustomed to this 'new normal'?
C. Times have been hard. Unfortunately we fell through the cracks for virtually all of the Government help and we struggled to get any of our stock which was all stuck in France and Belgium. As a result we have begun to diversify a little. We are now stocking more UK products (including the Falcon range!) and also doing more interior design and location shoot work. We are lucky in that our barns are large so we can adhere to social distancing guidelines for shoppers but unfortunately workshops are not possible until rules are relaxed somewhat.