Brighton based Nicola Eslick opened the virtual 'doors of Starling Store last year, treating us to her pick of light, fresh homewares and gifts. There are a LOT of products I like in the Starling Store, and so of course I wanted to share this online shopping gem with you.
Before you read on to my interview with the lovely Nicola, I wanted to share another treat with you.
If, like me, you find it hard to resist temptation, then you'll appreciate this brilliant offer code. Just use the code MAY14 at the Starling Store checkout to get a massive 20% discount. The code is valid up until midnight (GMT) on the 16th May.
Delay the shopping for just a couple of moments while we have a look at some of the treats in store and have a chat with Nicola.
Patternbooth: Tell us about your store.
Nicola: I launched the store exactly a year ago after spending some time sourcing the very best products for the home from around Europe. I wanted to offer a collection which was fresh, new and inspiring.
Patternbooth: How about you, how did you end up setting up Starling Store?
Nicola: After graduating from Glasgow School of Art I spend the next 20 years working in the fashion industry in London. Working with clients and suppliers involved a lot of travel and I feel lucky to have spent time in some of the world's most exciting cities, and well, a big part of my job was shopping!
Having spent so long in that industry I wanted a new challenge and turned to my love for interiors. Its really exciting to see how the internet is changing and shaping people's lives and the way they shop, so it's the perfect challenge to combine my background in design with online retailing.
Patternbooth: There is a massive rise in the number of online stores selling homewares. How do you compete in an online marketplace?
Nicola: I try to stay true to my original vision for the store which was to create a unique range, and that has been rewarded by an every growing and faithful customer base. The aim is to continue to offer well designed, good quality products for real living, and I believe that is what sets the store apart.
Patternbooth: How do you source your products?
Nicola: Having travelled in my previous life, I have a well thumbed address book of interesting brands, so I had a bit of a head start. I rely on contacts and information I've collected to seek out good quality products, many of which are only available in the UK at Starling Store, such as our new Marcelise collection. I also have a great source where I pick up genuine vintage pieces which are always popular.
Patternbooth: What trends should we look out for this year?
Nicola: I love that blue has burst back onto the scene after a long absence. It looks very fresh. As well, I love the trend for colour. Starting with a neutral canvas of white walls, mid century furniture and then adding big pops of colour with accessories.
Patternbooth: What is next for Starling Store?
Nicola: To expand the product range to be a comprehensive one stop shop for an inspiring home.
Patternbooth: Do you have a dream for the store?
Nicola: In the future I would like to collaborate with designers to offer exclusive ranges, whilst continuing to develop the concept of the store.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Starling Store. Now it's time to go and see for yourself and perhaps bag yourself something delicious. Just don't forget your discount code!
Head to www.starlingstore.com now to shop.