Dione Louise Homeware

Dione Louise Homeware specialises in country living style homeware and personalised gifting. Their products range from cushions and doormats, to personalised glassware and hanging decorations. As a sole trader everything is done in-house from making the products, to posting orders. Dione Louise Homeware is based in Kent and attends various shows across the South East.

We caught up with Dione from Dione Louise Homeware to find out more about the business. Take a look below for the interview…

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How did it all start?

I started my business in October 2018 with a few test pieces, selling at small local markets to establish an interest in my products. Once I could see that people liked what I was selling, I decided to set up my social media channels and devote all my spare time to Dione Louise Homeware. With a background in retail, my best experiences came from working in the homeware department and always left me with lots of inspiration. After diving into my new homeware venture, I felt excited, inspired, and fulfilled. I also have a Level 5 Extended Diploma in Interior Design. Making my products and seeing how happy they make other people brings me such incredible joy. My business is entirely customer focused, and I will always work my hardest to achieve a customer’s vision, and to provide the best quality product I can. As I am a big perfectionist, I will never send anything I am not 100% happy with or proud of. Alongside this, I am committed to making my brand as environmentally friendly as possible and always strive for ways to improve packaging, but more importantly improving my carbon footprint. 

The story behind the name…

Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a story when it comes to the initial set up of the brands name. The meaning behind the name came as I invested more into my business. I originally chose the name when I set up as I wanted something unique and unheard of. As I went on creating, and growing, I wanted to put my name to something, not only because I was proud of what I had created, but I wanted to assure clients and customers that everything I did would be made to the highest standard, as I wouldn’t put my name to anything other than that.

Where are you based?

Dione Louise Homeware is an online only retailer at the moment; however, I make and ship items from my workshop space in Kent.

What inspires you?

There are so many things that inspire me and my creativity. I am always looking for new ideas and trying to make my brand as unique as possible. My favourite homeware stores such as Dunelm, Sophie Watson Designs, Pretty Little Home and the White Company are brands that give me inspiration, and that I absolutely love! Instagram for me is a hotspot for inspiration too – for example I love seeing trending patterns/subjects and trying to recreate themes and ideas in my own style and medium.

What is your creation process?

The creation process for my items is unique to each product line. For my handsewn items I source fabrics I like and fit to my theme and create projects from there. Initially I used patterns I found online, and as my brand developed, I developed my own patterns for my items. With my personalised items, they are sourced blank, and then I design names/patterns/text custom to the client’s request. I do this on a design software and then use a vinyl cutter.

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What makes your brand or products unique?

I’d like to think my large product range and handmade, unique designs set me apart from other businesses. Alongside this I try and kept the brand as eco-friendly as I can which I feel also sets me apart. Finally, my passion and drive for what I do makes my brad unique as I feel this comes across in my shows, products and socials.

What is your next project?

I am unsure what my next project is. At the moment my goals are currently centred around perfecting existing products and lines, business development and expansion which is keeping me pretty busy!  Something that I’ve always wanted to expand in my business is my large orders for events such as weddings, so I think this will likely be my next project.

What is your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is the brand itself. Although this sounds strange initially, for me setting up a business from scratch, alone, and running as a sole trader has been tough, but also incredibly worthwhile. Growing, developing, and attending bigger country shows have been the highlights, and initially a huge step out of my comfort zone. Building a brand has led to business achievement such as being featured in magazines, to personal achievements such as building my own confidence and being able to put myself out there!

What is your best-selling product?

My best-selling product lines tend to change seasonally and with holidays such as Christmas and Mother’s Day. At the moment my Koi Carp cushions are my best sellers form my fabric range. My personalised cocktail glasses are currently (and usually) my best sellers.

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What are you looking forward to the most about exhibiting at the Christmas Fair?

I am incredibly excited to attend the Country Living Fair this year as an exhibitor. I have always read Country Living Magazine since I started my business, and it was always a goal of mine to attend the London event. Due to COVID I couldn’t attend sooner, so I am really pleased to be in attendance this year. I am excited to meet likeminded makers and exhibitors and expand my own knowledge and experience. I am also excited to be in a new area and meet new members of the public.

Your three top tips for crafters and makers…

My top tips would be

  1. Create something you’re proud of. Remember you have to sell your product and you can’t sell it if you don’t like it/aren’t proud of it.
  2. Things will go wrong. It is not a reflection of you or your skill – accept these days and sometimes you’ll get nothing done but I promise you’ll make up for it on others!
  3. Experiment! Set aside a day/time every week/month to just have a play and experiment. It keeps your business light and fun and allows for that creative energy.

Any advice for fledgling businesses…

Don’t give up! Running a business is hard and there will be days where you’ll wonder why you did this and if there is an easier option, and truth is there might be. Just don’t give up. If something isn’t working, work out why and if you can fix it. If you can great, if you can’t then can it give? Product line isn’t working? Maybe you can sell existing stock and invest the money into an area that is thriving! Always remember why you did this and where you want to be and you’ll get there.

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