We caught up with Hannah and Faith, the founders of Layer. Layer is a one stop shop to buy, sell and source that perfect vintage, antique or mid-century item of furniture or accessory for your home.
How did you get into the industry?
Faith: We've always been interested in design but both had very separate career ambitions and we never expected to pursue this avenue professionally.
Hannah: I worked in the technology industry helping small business to grow during which time I spent two years living and working in Berlin for an ebook startup. During this time, I fell in love with mid century furniture which is widely available at the Berlin flea markets and spent my weekends hunting for beauties.
When I returned to London, I indulged my passion for design by posting photos of inspiring spaces on an Instagram account, producing articles about styling our home and conducting interviews with our favourite furniture traders on the Layer blog.
When meeting professional traders for interviews, I was surprised to hear that many weren't marketing their beautiful pieces online. It gave me the idea to create a single online destination to connect traders who may not be tech-savvy but have a beautiful eye for design, with customers who might not know where to buy these things from. Thus, the Layer marketplace was born.
Faith: At the time, I was working in TV as a Talent Manager and was lucky enough to be working with the likes of Lulu, Bob Geldof and Nile Rodgers.
The more I spoke to Hannah about her vision for Layer, the more excited I was. I loved the idea of providing a platform for individual sellers as well as professional traders - attracting private sellers who want to sell a beautiful secondhand piece and are looking for an alternative to eBay.
Six months ago, I decided to take the leap and join Hannah in her new venture - we launched the marketplace at the start of this year and haven't looked back!
What inspires you?
We're a thriving content hub so we're constantly inspired by the designers, bloggers and traders we interview everyday for our blog - whether it's a valuable piece of advice from a stylist or an inspiring home tour, we're always learning.
It's also important to us to find inspiration from physical locations - it's easy to get stuck in an online rut but getting out in the world always gives us another perspective. We love spending our Sundays at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond for example - their shop is always full of decadent chandeliers and stunning shrubbery.
How would you describe your/ the brands style?
Hannah: As individuals, we have quite different styles. Faith has a really playful sense of design and is drawn to colourful artworks and furniture. I have always had a thing for the pared-back simplicity of mid century designs and am moving more and more towards monochrome living!
Faith: At Layer, we're all about timeless design. We want people to find pieces that they love from across the country and now Europe. Regardless of price or provenance, we believe that people buy with their hearts - find something you love and it will sit happily in your home for years.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have a number of exciting projects going on at the moment which is keeping us on our toes!
As well as working with prominent interior designers, we are also partnering with commercial spaces to source and furnish stylish co-working spaces.
We were really excited to have hosted our very own design event at The Hoxton in Holborn this month. It sold out online within a week of tickets being released and we were totally blown away! We had a fantastic panel discussion with designers 2 Lovely Gays and Emma Morley, founder of Trifle Creative. Plus there was free wine which is always a good thing!
Have you got any new products in the pipeline?
We're adding 300 new products every week so yes! We cover a range of styles - from mid-century to industrial chic, French antiques to Scandanavian inspired design.
How/ where can the public purchase your products?
You can access all our products by visiting layerhome.com - there's over 3,000 pieces to choose from. Whilst we're an online business, we want customers to be able to pick up the phone and speak to a real human so we encourage our customers to get in touch about any of our pieces by calling 0203 290 6539 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.