Creating a brand that stands the test of the time is quite a feat. Particularly in the current climate of entrepreneurship and fast paced consumerism.
Linen House has done just that. 25years in, and going strong. This Australian powerhouse has bloomed across generations as one of our most vibrant and popular homeware brands.
There is so much to love about Linen House…from their unwavering family values through to their design integrity. This is brand that captures the essence of business in Australia. Warm and approachable with a strong emphasis on ethical practice.
Their children’s range, Hiccups, is designed to bring colour and fun into the rooms of our little loves. Many of the designs are lovingly painted by hand and all of their designs are produced to the highest quality.
We were delighted to catch up with the Linen House team. Their honest insight into creating a thriving business is truely inspirational.
Tell me about Linen House … how did it come to be?
‘Linen House was created back in 1993 by Michele and Gordon Duncan. Up until then, Gordon had worked for Myer and other textile companies. He met Michele overseas (a native New Yorker) and years later, decided to branch out on his own with his wife … and three kids* under 4!
Together, Michele (being incredibly creative) and business-savvy Gordon, created a company that flourished within years to be one of the biggest bed linen and textile brands company in the country’
*PS: those three kids now work full-time for the business!
What are the core values that drive the business?
‘We’re completely driven by family values and a love of beautiful textiles. There are employees that have been with Linen House from the very beginning and we’re super-proud of our incredibly low turnover.
As the business grows and changes within the industry landscape, new people have come on board and directions have changed, but the core of “we are family” prevails.’
How do you keep ahead in such a competitive market?
‘The industry has certainly changed over the years. Many retailers now only sell their own products and national brands have been pushed out. There are also many boutique bedding brands popping up, so competition is definitely tough and only becoming tougher.
We like to think that over the years, people have come to know and love not only our design diversity but also our quality. This is something you remember when you buy something as personal as bed sheets and linen.
We’ve also moved with the times by opening a thriving online store as well as outlet shops to move stock through, which has given us a superb platform to speak and communicate with our customers one-on-one like never before.’
What drives the passion behind your children’s range?
‘Hiccups is Michele’s love baby. Born in 2003 after she discovered a hole in the market for fun, quality bed linen and accessories for kids.
Over the years two of our textile artists have held the coveted Hiccups design role. It is a joy to design, and to photograph (using staff children as models).
Every season, amazing designs are brought to life through hand-painted or digitally designed stories. Hiccups stands out for its attention to detail into every aspect of the product range.
Whether it be tulle trimmings on a ballet-inspired story or glow-in-the-dark paint on a Halloween-themed design, Hiccups always brings that extra pizzazz and wow-factor that kids just adore.’
What is the biggest lesson learned as an Australian-owned business?
‘That we always remain proud of being a 100% family owned Australian business that gives us the reins to remain responsible, ethical, trusted, and community minded.
That because of a respected team of very talented people are we able to create so many aspirational and quality products.
As an independent family business we are wholly responsible for designing, sourcing and delivering the best products possible. Being mindful of all the people who are involved in this process – from staff, long term suppliers, and all the other people in support companies, keeps us humble.
Lastly, although we may be across the ocean from Europe, the UK and America, where homewares companies abound, we are still noticed on a global style basis. As long as you remain true to your values and produce products you are passionate about, you will be ok.’
Where do you seek inspiration for your collections?
‘We are incredibly lucky to have some of Australia’s best design talent in our Melbourne office. The team is not only made-up of designers but also artists, trendsetters and just plain boss women!
Every year they take an inspiration trip overseas to see what’s happening on an international front with homewares, fashion, art and design.
They also visit our amazing mills and check-out the latest technologies in weaving and printing. These trends and colour palettes are brought home, made into mood boards and commercial designs are pulled-out with an edge to suit our Australian consumer.’
Linen House works with some major house hold names… what are your top tips for successful collaborations?
‘Linen House initially only made it on the map thanks to our collaboration with little-known artist (at the time) artist Cathy Maney. Her seaside paintings were used on our bedding, bathroom accessories and more and found in almost every holiday-home in Australia.
From there, we’ve worked with countless incredible Australian and international talent. Tricky question … so many people are now coming up with their own homewares lines!
We always align ourselves with super talents with an established look and brand that people recognise and love. One thing we don’t do is design something to just for fame and influence’s sake. We work with designers whose art or aesthetic translates into homewares with an adoring fan base.’
What’s in store for Spring/Summer?
‘Colour, texture and fun! We can’t get enough of chenille – it’s a highly versatile and fluffy textile across our kids and adults range, which is seriously cosy. Making your bed is a dream as chenille always looks so voluminous.
For the kids range, our stand-out designs are Llama Party for girls (SOOO cute) and Surfari for the boys. For the rest of us… we’re still loving our botanicals.
We have a vast range of beautiful florals and botanicas in varied scales and colours. Mixing and matching is essential for us so we always have our basic range of pure linens (now in 10 colours) as well as velvets. It’s just so fun to play!’
Image Credit: Lampoluce
Products Featured: Haze Blue/White & Haze Pink/White
This lulling shade of blue along with the ever adorable pale pink quilt cover set complete with fluffy white spots is a parent’s dream for a child or teenager’s bedroom. Haze, which is made from tufted cotton chenille, is soft and tactile with marvellous vintage appeal. The entire set looks sensational when styled with rustic woven cushions and throws along with our coordinating tufted European pillowcases and cushions in blue. RRP from $189.95
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