MOVERS & SHAKERS

Homes & Gardens|May 2020

MOVERS & SHAKERS
Lulu Lytle, co-founder of Soane Britain
FIONA MCCARTHY

Lulu Lytle would readily admit her interest in history from a very early age was slightly left-field. ‘I always loved looking around old houses, going to house sales, visiting deserted medieval villages, and relished trips to a wonderful Royal Worcester factory shop near to where I lived. I can’t imagine it made me the most fun child,’ she laughs. Yet it was this precise interest in the heritage of design, which inspired her 23 years ago to start Soane Britain, a furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories company now widely celebrated for its classically elegant pieces that are entirely made in the UK. At the time, interest in British craftsmanship wasn’t the hot topic it is today. ‘Everyone said I was mad,’ she says.

After graduating in Egyptology at University College London and working briefly for antiques dealer Christopher Howe, Lulu took an unusual summer out, ‘travelling around Britain to map out the history of British craft,’ she recalls. ‘I suspect my interest was driven by a combination of nostalgia and a wilful refusal to accept these crafts could be allowed to wither.’

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May 2020