INTERVIEW: LAUREN ROE FROM I LOVE LINEN
I Love Linen, is your one stop shop for beautiful quality bedlinen, towels and everything else linen you can imagine.
After working in her parents Manchester Stores many years ago Lauren (Owner) found a love for Linen. When hearing everyone say “I just love linen” when shopping in her parents stores she decided to go online with her passion. Just recently Lauren also added another range to her collection- screen printed pillow cases to add a pop of colour to any plain quilt cover.
You really have to visit the I Love Linen website to truly understand how diverse and amazing their collections are. (All details at the bottom of the interview).We chat to Lauren on how she got started, her tips and tricks and what we can expect from her in the future.
Tell us a bit about ‘I Love Linen’ and how did it come to life? The idea to create an online linen boutique was born a few years ago but didn’t go anywhere as I was working in another job. It was originally designed as the extension of the ‘bricks and mortar’ shops that my parents own. But once I oversaw the launch of the store I realised that you couldn’t just leave it to do its own thing –it needed to be nurtured and refined and I wanted to be part of that journey. It essentially became my own baby, and from its orginal beginning it has changed so much in terms of the range we stock and sell, to the logo and even the name!
I came up with the name I Love Linen because I had heard so many customers in my parents’ shops confess their ‘love of linen’ and I thought there was something nice in reflecting customers’ passion for linen in the name of my business.
You are based in Melbourne, how large or small is your team? We are a team of 5. I do all of the product design and buying, as well as all marketing. My sister is also involved with customer service and general day-to-day business operations, we have a Dispatch manager and assistant and also I have a PR/creative assistant. We’re pretty modest!
You’ve got a 9 month old, how do you juggle your time between business and family life? It’s pretty hectic to be honest! My first priority will always be looking after my daughter so it means finding snippets of time when she’s napping or happy to play on her own to power through my To Do list. I also have a really awesome partner who looks after Olive one day a week and the help of my sister in law to look after Olive a few hours a week. I remember when Olive was about a week old I had decided to re-launch the store with new logo and totally new design, and between the constant breastfeeds I was running back to the computer to test the new store for any kinks. Looking back on it all now, I must have seriously been crazy!
What is your favourite product from you very large range? My new pillow cases – I designed them all to be mixed and matched and I love them all! The polka dots, the ombre, chevron, and the watermelon print are all on my list of favourites.
What would be your 3 top tips when shopping for linen?
1. Only buy natural fibres such as cotton and pure linen – because it’s breathable and longer-lasting. Never ever buy polyester!!!
2. You don’t always need to be obsessed by thread count – it’s just as important that the material your bedding is made from is high quality cotton or linen. There’s lots of high thread count linen out there made from cheap cotton and feels scratchy and washes badly. If you’re going to buy high thread count then only buy sheets woven from premium cotton (and yes the sheets I designed are woven from really good cotton!)
3. Style wise I tend to advise investing in a quilt cover that is rather neutral/simple, and having fun with things like a throw or pillow cases – as they add the little pops of colour and can also be easily changed up to freshen up the look of your bedroom in an instant.
What is your best selling product? My 1000 thread count hotel sheets that I designed under my brand The Bedroom Society. They’re beautiful to sleep on.
Have you faced any challenges since starting the business? Not having enough time to do everything I want to do has been the biggest challenge.
What has been your proudest moment to date? Launching The Bedroom Society pillow cases and bed sheets – before that my shop carried a lot of interesting items but nothing that I had personally had a role in designing.
What advice would you give someone starting a new business especially when they are going to compete against larger businesses/companies? Create something that is unique, well made, and work hard on telling your story. And keep repeating those steps!
What does a typical work day look like for you? Coffee at the starts of the day, hanging out with baby Olive, sketching up new designs, skyping my suppliers all around the world, giving customers advice online as they shop (I have an online chat service), researching/wasting time on Pinterest!
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning? In bed with my pure linen sheets that I designed – begging my husband to make me breakfast in bed, sometimes I am lucky and he does!
5 quick questions:
Old an Rustic or Modern and clean? Modern with ‘rustic’ heart.
Favourite coffee shop? Common Galaxia in Seddon is one of my favourite local places.
Home cooked meal or Takeaway? Home cooked hands down! I am a massive foodie and cook.
Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest? Instagram for social interaction, Pinterest for inspiration.
Favourite travel destination? Paris – I was there about 3 weeks before falling pregnant with Olive and it was blissful.
All the details YOU need:
Phone: 1300 859 773
Stores: Stocklands Burleigh QLD, Robina Town Centre QLD, Southport Park QLD