Independent Store Icons: Let's Talk To The Startup Sisters
After building my own business on Instagram this past year and a half, I'm always super happy when I find other people who have done the same thing. Instagram as a platform is going through huge growth - businesses are using it to raise their profile and finding that the engagement they are getting is exceptional. It's potential is huge and there is no benchmark, so it's great to see new start up businesses making the most of it.
Sophie and Rosie Osborne are two such people. They started their business, Startup Sisters, purely on an Instagram feed and it's going from strength to strength. With a love of interior design and styling, they now run a series of pop up shops across London showcasing and selling a curated collection of interior design pieces. They source art, ceramics, furniture and textiles for your home and their inspiration comes from Scandinavian design, Cornish landscapes and French style. They haven't stopped there, however. In 2017, they launched a new venture called Startup Sisters Styling, an art and design consultancy for clients, interior designers and the hospitality industry.
Sophie and Rosie set up their business to realise their childhood dream of working together and combining their creative forces. They are a great example of how social media can work for you and how consistent engagement with your followers can raise your profile and take you on to business success.
So I was really excited to find out a little bit more about them and what they were planning for the future.
We need to know more - tell us about yourselves.
We’re two sisters from west London, Sophie, 30 and Rosie, 27. We set out on a path to realise our childhood dream of working together and to join creative forces. We’ve always been inseparable and as young children we used playtime to plot numerous businesses endeavours! A year ago, we decided to quit our jobs and do it for real. After a rainy afternoon holed up in a café on Portobello Road, we founded Startup Sisters, which we launched with just an Instagram account. Starting by posting our interior design ideas, it wasn’t long before we decided to curate a collection of interior design-led homeware. Our only criteria - that everything must spark joy.
How would you describe your ethos and what you do?
We run regular pop-ups, selling our curated collection which includes hand-poured Cornish candles, luxury mohair blankets and hand-painted ceramics. We design our collection based on our love of discovering new places, and we take huge amounts of inspiration from our travels. Morocco and Cuba were our recent research destinations and undoubedtly directed our Spring/Summer Collection. It runs deeper - Sophie has since painted her bathroom jade green with brass hangings, and her garden pink. Our brand is made up of things we love, and as a result, it's really just an extension of our homes and the places that mean a lot to us.
Your curated products are beautiful. What is your own personal style?
We have both spent time living in France, (Sophie in the south and Rosie in Paris,) where we became enamoured by the effortless style and harmony of the interiors. We combine that inspiration with our love of Cornwall, where we spent much of our childhood, and Cornish landscapes and colour palettes, along with French style, very much set the tone for the pieces that we choose, and the ambience that we create in our design schemes.
What are your ambitions for the Startup Sisters? Where do you want to be in ten years time?
When we set up our business, we wanted to make key changes to our own lives and the way we worked. We’ve both had moments in life that have put everything into perspective. Since, we’ve had an inbuilt optimism that has proven to be our most valuable asset. We became very inspired by The Minimalists, and Danish concepts of slower living. We made a promise to ourselves to maintain this as our business grows, as we feel that it’s in this mindset that creativity flourishes best.
And finally, who inspires you? Who is your design idol?
We’ve always used art as a starting point for our interior schemes, so our design idols are often artists. For us, the line between art and interiors is a fluid one. Staring at a cushion in a beautiful print can be just as captivating as musing at a painting. Our parents loved a British painter called Mary Fedden. We used to walk down to her work studio in west London as children and spend Sundays looking at her stunning still life compositions. The boldness of her joyful colour palette resonated with us and still does. Just as she captured the joy of a pineapple on a breakfast table, we try to use design to create joy in everyday rituals, in everyday moments.