Last month – at the Sheer Luxe e-commerce conference – I sat on a table with some pretty inspirational business women. The landscape is changing all the time in this increasingly competitive market and I’m constantly surprised how marketing bods share so well. Ideas and findings which – with my geek hat on -utterly fascinate me… in an almost unhealthy way. Anyway, over the next few weeks, I will be featuring those who impressed me most at the conference – hopefully introducing you to some brand new e-tail therapy!
I’d never heard of Scarlett Willow but it only took a quick Google to be sold on the majority of the site’s extensive range of tablewear – much of which are designed in-house and can be personalised.
Here is my interview with the founder, Clare Gradidge, together with some images of the stunning goodies she sent over for review.
What motivated you to start Scarlett Willow? I wanted to do something creative. I had worked in the production department at Conde Nast for 7 years by then and was excited to build my own brand.
How many is your kitchen table usually set for? My life is quite ‘fluid’ so it varies hugely from dinner for two to big Sunday lunches for 10. And the odd telly supper too, I’m afraid!
What do you love to cook? It has to be roast chicken mainly because I also love to eat it!
Where do you source your products? We try and support British manufacturing as much as possible and since many of our products are personalised, we find that we do actually produce most things in the UK.
I hear your products are a bit of a hit with the odd celeb? Many celebrities have eaten off our placemats as we supplied BAFTA with their placemats for their awards ceremony several times – James McAvoy was famously caught swiping an armful of them to take home with him. I also happen to know that a certain little Prince is in possession of one of our children’s mats.
What makes Scarlett Willow so different from other tableware retailers? Many of our designs are exclusive to the Scarlett Willow brand as much is designed in-house. We also offer a personalised service on many of our products so with our design expertise and our customer’s imagination, they are sure to come away with something completely unique.
Is there anything you’d recommend for Father’s Day? A personalised glass pint tankard would make a perfect present for most Dads I know.
Where do you love to shop online? I have a weakness for net-a-porter – there is something hugely convenient about having everything under one ‘roof’.
And offline? Duke of York’s Square in Chelsea covers most bases for me – fashion, food, cafes, culture. Especially on a Saturday with the truly outstanding farmers’ market.
Where do you love to eat dinner – out? I love Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick, my local The Latchmere which has just reopened under new management or Eight Over Eight in Chelsea.
If you could invite anyone for dinner tonight, who would it be? Can I just say Ryan Gosling? Don’t judge me.
Tell us an entertaining secret. I’m all about being able to actually sit with my guests rather than spend my life in the kitchen so I always have my ear to the ground for ways of getting around this. My best pudding ‘cheat’ is to buy a bag of frozen fruit from any old supermarket and cover it (still frozen) with melted white chocolate (Green & Blacks is the best) in individual bowls. Super quick and easy and super delicious.