Well hello there.
Yes it has been a while, sorry!
What with trips to Africa, cataloging new stock, curating my own interiors event, The Spring Studio, pop ups, retail fairs (oh and the children), we are suddenly in May.
Some of you are reading this for the first time, so I thought I’d let you know a bit about Interior Spy.
Yes, there is a reason why Interior Spy, as a name, has little apparent relevance to these beautiful woven wares from Sub-Saharan Africa. Long story short: I started this newsletter a couple of years ago to keep my finger on the pulse in the interiors world and to add content to my portfolio, as an ex-interior designer, moving into styling. As ever, things always seem to happen at once and I found myself with a one off-chance to source handwoven homewares and furniture in Africa. An itch I had been wanting to scratch since 1994, when I bummed around Africa, leaving not only my very special fake-Leatherman penknife but also a small part of me.
The name kind of stuck.
Since my first shipment to the UK just over a year ago, I have been lucky enough to return to Africa: Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and in true Interior Spy fashion, I have gone deep undercover, gaining unique access to the most humbling groups of weavers (mainly ladies). I now have a much deeper understanding of how some of the wares I source are sown, grown, harvested, dried, dyed, woven and stitched together. I see how the ladies come together in unity, singing and dancing as they apply their cultural skills and disciplines: weaving trays, laundry baskets, table mats, coasters, placements, beach mats and floor mats ready for export. I have had a fascinating eye-opener into the world of makers-at-source and what can only be described as ORGANIC interiors.
I now find myself with wonderful stock (some items still with mud here and there), a top secret ‘little black book’ and not one but TWO chilled-vibe locations where you can come and browse the stock with a coffee. Or a client. Or both. Or neither.
Most of my images are taken with a phone but I stepped up my game recently and collaborated with the talented (and incredibly patient) photographer Alessandro Tear, styling these lifestyle images. If you are press and are needing cut-out images OR if you are an interior designer or stylist and need more info….(I realise some of my dimensions are missing), just let me know by email (below).
As mentioned above, I recently curated an interiors event at my new showroom in West London. This is called The Spring Studio and I collaborated with brands listed below, examples of whose products are also shown in some the following images.
A quick note on stock: obviously I hold many more wares than shown here, so do let me know by email if you are looking for something specific. We are based in West London and the Somerset/Dorset borders.
Any information on fairs, festivals and events Interior Spy is doing, will be published here and on good ol’ Instagram.
So in no particular order, The Spring Studio collaborators are:
Hill & May
Tate & Darby
Mimi Pickard Textiles
Cloth & Clover
Bird in Hand
Over and out