Women Will Create Meets... Holly Maclean
I started Holly Maclean London, an ethical homeware and accessories brand, while on maternity leave with my daughter Lillie, 5 months ago. I had always wanted to run my own textiles business. It has been at the forefront of my mind ever since I finished my Textile Design degree, 10 years ago. Back then I was too scared to start my own business and I thought it would be more sensible to have a ‘proper’ job! So instead, I had a career in fashion buying, working for John Lewis. After 6 years I became frustrated that I wasn’t using more of my creative skills.
A few years ago, just after getting married, I had a career change and re-trained to be a Textiles teacher. I love it so much and my students have inspired me to be more creative and take risks. Holly Maclean London was birthed while I was on maternity leave. Despite this huge and wonderful life change and a baby to look after, I found myself with some spare time and needed to get my teeth into something. I decided this was the time to take a huge risk and start the business I had always dreamed of.
I just started making things and it developed into my first collection. I take each day as it comes, as with a baby you have to be super flexible and sometimes the best made plans just have to go out of the window. I try not to put too much pressure on myself, I have just had a baby after all! Eight months into maternity leave and I have launched my website and I am stocked in the gorgeous D.A.Y Boutique (run by three sisters).
All the products are made by me, by hand, in my London studio at home. Luxury is at the heart of this brand which is why I use 100% cottons, 100% cotton velvets, hand dyed fabrics, hand embroidery and beautiful trimmings.
I am inspired by colour and patterns, I love creating things that add some fun to everyday life. My vision for this brand is, to do good through beautiful things. This is why 10% of all profits are donated to the Cambodian Hope Charity, School On A Mat. This charity provides free education to poor and remote villages within Cambodia. I also source fabrics locally to support British trade and businesses. I want my brand to bring opportunity and skills to others in need, something I am passionate about developing as my business grows.
I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me and to all of my customers - without them I would be nowhere. It is a juggle to manage motherhood and running a business, but I know it will all be worth it in the end.