A fellow Yorkshire girl, Adriana designs gorgeous woollen fabrics using 100% British wool. The colours are exquisite and the fabrics wonderfully soft. Adriana Homewares is a brand with honesty and integrity. I particularly love the Tadcaster Range, a collection which marries rich blues with deep oranges, and was inspired by the strength of the local community following the collapse of the Tadcaster bridge in 2015. Here Adriana tells me how she grew her business and how she adopts a hands-on approach to design and manufacturing.
1/ How did you get into textiles and set up your business?
After I left university, where I studied constructed textiles, all I wanted to do was carry on weaving and designing fabrics. Like many other students, I didn’t have a lot of money, but after some advice from The Princes Trust, I was awarded a business loan to buy my first loom. I did small runs of soft furnishings – all hand-dyed and woven – and some commissions for some fantastic hotels in the south of England. But in all honesty, I was struggling to scale my business. I felt I didn’t have all the skills required to create a brand, or the money to pay for people to help in the areas I was lacking.
I then teamed up with my brother-in-law Simon, who was an accountant by trade, had a passion for interiors and design and he also had a lot of the business skills that I was lacking. Adriana Homewares was born! It’s taken passion, determination and a lot of learning on our feet about British manufacturing, but we’ve come so far.
2/ What do you love most about your work?
Definitely the design and manufacturing process. I’ve got such a hands-on approach. I love visiting all the mills and making sure I’m 100% happy with the colour and finish before it moves on. I love seeing the process evolve from a little idea, through each stage of spinning, dyeing, weaving and finishing. When you get the fabric back at the end it’s like: “Wow! I’ve created that and it started as a little idea on a rainy day”. It can take months to get your fabric back as a finished item, so when you see the rolls of fabric waiting to be made into our products it’s evidence of all our hard work.
3/ Where do you ﬁnd your inspiration?
Inspiration usually starts with a colour that I know I want to include in my collection. I also find that Yorkshire destinations have a large impression on my collections. As our fabrics are all made here, why not name and be inspired by the places on your doorstep? At the beginning of a collection I like to pick a few places in Yorkshire and visit them to see which fit my colour inspiration the best. From there I build my palette for the collection around the chosen colour.
4/ Describe your work/style in 3 words?
Contemporary, bold and conscious.
Contemporary and bold because I have a unique and modern style and we want to give wool a new lease of life, showing people it can be contemporary and stylish.
Conscious, because an incredibly long thought process goes into all of our products, and because, as a brand, we are very aware of our carbon footprint. We want to create products that are made from the finest, one hundred per cent, almost entirely recyclable British Wool.
5/ Where’s your favourite place to work?
In our studio. I’m definitely most productive when I’m in there and it has everything I need. Being surrounded by machines, equipment and fabrics is so inspiring. I love what we’ve achieved so far in two and a half years and spending time in my studio reminds me of that.
6/ Do you ever suﬀer from a “creative block” and, if so, how do you deal with it?
Like any designer I suffer from creative block and my technique of dealing with it is always to go back to the drawing board. Look back at your ideas, thoughts and inspiration. I usually find when you revisit your initial ideas, you discover something new that you may have just glazed over last time. I also like to bring in fresh research to inspire me – that usually sets me off down a different tangent.
7/ What do you think are going to be the next trends in your ﬁeld?
I feel like we’ve had a lot of muted, pastel colours and tones recently, which I have loved. I think the next trends are going to be a bit brighter and bolder in terms of colour, which I would enjoy equally!
8/ What are you the most proud of?
Probably meeting HRH The Prince of Wales in September 2016. That summer, we were launching our first collections for Adriana Homewares. We were approached by the Campaign for Wool to showcase some of our products at a wool conference they were holding. I was given the opportunity to introduce myself to HRH The Prince of Wales and show him some of our products. It was such an amazing start for Adriana Homewares and also taught me always to say yes to networking events like this.
9/ What’s next for your studio?
We are focusing more on designing fabrics for commercial use and creating a range that’s perfect for upholstery in settings such as hotels and restaurants.
See more of Adriana’s wonderful designs and products at https://www.adrianahomewares.com and follow her lovely Instagram feed @_adrianahome