Hi Anna & Lotte. When and why did you decide to open LAMP LDN?
We opened the shop nearly three years ago, in the midst of the pandemic. We have an events agency of the same name and during Covid we lost all of our work, so when we saw the shop available for rent on a sunny corner in Peckham we decided on a bit of a whim to rent it. We weren’t quite sure when we signed the lease what it would be, but after all of the styling and design we have done in our events, homewares and home design were a natural place to land.
How did you come together?
We met when we were each working in creative event production. We really enjoyed working together and soon decided to join forces and start a company together.
What had you both done before? Did any of these skills help?
We both have creative backgrounds, having both trained at Central Saint Martins many years ago. This, on top of working on a huge range of diverse creative briefs throughout our time in the events industry has definitely helped us develop our style that has allowed us to put together the range of products we now sell. Growing a business means you have to wear many hats from creative director to head of logistics and marketing manager – all of this helps too!
How did you decide on the name?
The name existed before we opened the shop as it is the same as our events company. It came about by joining together the initials of our names – not because of our love of lamps! But it’s been something of a self fulfilling prophecy as we now do indeed, sell lamps!
How would you describe the interior style of the store?
Colourful, joyful, and always changing.
Tell us about the range of products you stock…
Very simply, we sell products that we love and would like to have in our own homes. The provenance of a product is really important to us – the people who make it and the processes used. We work hard to create an edit of beautiful things made by people who are treated properly and paid fairly. We work with lots of amazing UK makers as well as ceramic studios all over Europe and artisans based further afield, such as in Egypt where we stock a range of linen made by an embroidery school set up to educate and empower local women.
You make lamps, candlesticks and picture frames in-house, can you tell us a little more about them?
We work with a small family run business in Wales to make a range of colourful lacquered lamp bases and have makers in Morocco who we work with on bespoke ceramics. It’s a small own brand line at the moment but this will be growing next year with lots more products that we are working on at the moment. We also do collaborations with makers for bespoke additions, such as our range of frames with All The Things. This is also a part of the business that will be growing as we move into our fourth year.
What does a ‘normal’ day look like?
We are both mothers so a normal day involves various school runs, after school activities and a huge amount of juggling! We each work in the shop a couple of days a week so we can stay up to date with our local customers and listen to what they are wanting, which is really important. Then in between, its design meetings, shoots, drinking coffee and brainstorming in cafés all over London. We travel to meet makers and work on our own lines too – in the pipeline we have trips to Italy and Morocco coming up.
Which item is your bestseller?
We have a range of coloured candles that are pretty unique in size – and these sell day in, day out, all year.
What items are your personal can’t-live-withouts?
Mugs for tea and glasses for wine!
What do you enjoy most about running the store?
We feel really lucky to work together every day surrounded by beautiful things. Meeting and talking to customers is such a pleasure and becoming part of the community feels really special.
What is the neighbourhood like around the store?
The neighbourhood is fantastic and we are surrounded by really lovely independent shops and restaurants. Just round the corner is DAY Boutique for fashion and The General Store for delicious groceries, then there’s The Begging Bowl for the best Thai, Ganapati for the best Southern Indian food and Forza Wine for rooftop views, cocktails and soft serve.
You mentioned the creative agency and events company of the same name, how do you balance running two businesses?
It’s not easy, but we just make it work. We have a great team around us who help us when the juggling gets too much. And we laugh, a lot. That helps us get through whatever life is throwing at us.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Opening the shop after the darkness of Covid was without a doubt a career high. For something so positive to come out of such a challenging time feels very special.
What do you wish you’d known before opening the store? Any advice for those thinking about opening their own shop?
We opened the shop with very little expectation apart from to make something that felt positive and that represented us and the things we love. We are really lucky to have each other to do this with and if anything the advice we would give would be to find a great business partner to share the load and keep it fun.
20b Maxted Rd, London SE15 4LF