the weekend starts here...lorna syson

I first met Lorna at 100%design and I fell in love with one of her patterns called 'Bradbury'. A gorgeous bold jumble of fragmented geometrics. I kept following Lorna's work and when I saw her new patterns I knew it was time to have a chat. 


patternbooth:  Tell us about your design journey so far?

lorna:  In 2009 after showing at New Designers and selling one of my wallflowers to a window display designer I felt inspired to sell my own work. That year I also was shortlisted for a text print interview and I was told my flowers were so unique I should run with it myself rather than sell it on. I started to exhibit my final degree show across the country in exhibitions and designer maker fairs.

I got involved with the Princes Trust in 2009 and was lucky to be paired up with my mentor and now friend Peter Dickson. He really helped me fine tune my business brain and take a whole new look at where I wanted to go in the future. After moving the studio to London I started showing regularly at trade fairs in the UK and abroad and getting the products into more and more shops. Following a collaboration with Cameira Eco Fabrics the product collections grew to include 3D cushions, and have since evolved further into the printed cushions and lampshade collections.

lorna syson

patternbooth: Your style is sometimes very abstract and geometric and at others very illustrative. Do you have a preference?

lorna:  I enjoy both styles, its fun to do the quirky birds, and I definitely want to keep building on this. Having said that at the moment all my inspiration and the new designs I am developing are more geometric based.

lorna syson

patternbooth:  What are the 3 most pivotal moments in your business to date?

lorna:  I would have to say...

1.  Moving to a Studio in Cockpit Arts with its designer maker community      

2. Launching of the Juneberry&Bird Design, which really made a big difference

3.  An amazing commission for a gigantic wall installation at a private residence on the Kings Road

lorna syson and john luff

patternbooth:  Lets talk trade shows.  I saw you at 100% and I know you've just been to Maison et Object in Paris. How did you end up doing your first show?

lorna:  The first show I did was the BCTF in Harrogate which was a small show and not really my target market. However I was in the newcomers gallery and they gave us a starters pack on trade shows full of information about how to work with trade, which was invaluable.

lorna syson

patternbooth:  What tips would you give someone who hasn't done a show yet?

lorna:  My advise would be to concentrate on the price to make sure you have enough margins to grow the business. Be prepared, have price lists and press packs all those little things that can get overlooked. Also don’t be put off if you don’t hit your targets on the show days, you have to think of the big picture and what can come your way from these shows further down the line.

lorna syson

patternbooth:  What are you working on now?

lorna:  Lots of things! An exciting collaboration with Era Screens, preperation for Midcentury Modern next month, a brand spanking, new look website - I'm working with Rich from Mortar&Pestle. I cannot wait for this to be up and running - I'm busy creating new look styling shots, which is always fun.  Also Clerkenwell Design Week has an exciting collaboration in store but I can’t give too much away just yet.

Watch this space, its looking like it will be a good year.

lorna syson

patternbooth:  What other advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

lorna:  I’m just coming up to 3.5 years in business and can’t believe how fast time flies. There definitely have been times when I’ve found it tough and I think the amazing support of my family and friends has really helped me at every stage.

My advice would be to believe in yourself, build up great relationships around you for the tough times and when possible take some time out to really enjoy the good times.

lorna syson

If you want to see more of Lorna's work then you can check out her current site here.