The latest installment of ‘handmade with love’ introduces Helen Moulinos, one half of the couple behind the brilliantly creative brand Space 1a Design.
Described by Grand Designs magazine as ‘a brand that should definitely be on your radar’, Space 1a Design is an independent design business that celebrates curious contemporary design and promotes sustainable production. The award-winning home collection is inspired by the natural world and includes giftware, wallpaper, cushions, lampshades, ceramics, furniture and kitchen accessories.
Helen and Dan recently sent me one of their Flamingo Party White Lampshades and I am totally bowled over by it. It’s quirky, unique and looks fabulous on our landing, garnering lots of lovely comments from visitors.
Name: Helen Moulinos
Company: Space 1a Design
Tell me a little bit more about yourself: I’m the Creative Director and Designer behind Sustainable Home and Lifestyle brand Space 1a Design. I co- founded the independent label with my husband and business partner. My role in the business is as the creative and the “face of the brand”. I also love product development, sales and marketing, My husband Dan loves the logistics, operational and technology side of the business. Together we complement each other as we tend to gravitate to very different things.
Describe your business in one sentence: Inspired by nature, with respect for nature.
When did you start your business and why? We wanted to offer products which were quirky, sustainable and eco-conscious. Space 1a uses sustainable materials and UK based manufacturers and suppliers wherever possible, doing our bit to protect the environment and keep artisan skills alive in Britain. The products within the collection are made locally in the United Kingdom & Sweden using eco-friendly materials such as Organic Cotton, Phthalate-Free laminated Cotton and FSC-Certied Wood and sustainable manufacturing methods. The conversation-starting designs are vibrant, contemporary and sustainable respecting the environments, animal habitats and economies the products and raw materials are sourced from. We do not mass produce our products and take great care to work with partners who mirror our values and sustainable ethos. Our lampshades are still handmade in our East London studio – hand cut, rolled and made to order.
What did you do before you set up your company? I used to manage business restructuring and technology innovation projects and programmes for Corporate clients.
Did you face any challenges setting up your company? Too many to name! Funding and self-confidence were probably the two biggest challenges.
What is a typical work day for you? Every day starts with porridge and tea and ends with soup and hot yoga when I can squeeze it in. I spend the day split between making products, designing new patterns, new product development, customer meetings, operations and unfortunately more admin than I would ideally like.
Describe your creative space: It’s a riot of pattern and colour. I am surrounded by fabric, wallpaper, drawings and like to think of it as organised chaos.
What and who inspires you? I am inspired by travel and suffer from a bad case of wanderlust. I’m a naturally curious geek who is often happy to wander around a new place for hours taking in as much as I can. My heroes tend to be scientists and explorers.
What has been your biggest achievement so far? Giving up a stable job to pursue a career that I love.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? There is no magic bullet and no such thing as an overnight success story.
What is your favourite product and why? My Fly du Soleil Lampshade. I love to celebrate all living creatures – not just the cute ones. This is my ode to the humble housefly.
Have you always been creatively driven? Yes. I’ve had many previous creative lives as a playwright, a poet and a painter at some point. Sadly I spent too much of my adult life focused on non-creative endeavours to pay the rent.
In terms of your work what couldn’t you live without? A pair of scissors, paint markers and my camera.
What do you love most about what you do? Reading a customer letter and hearing about how one of our products made them smile.
What are your business dreams? To make beautiful things and continue to work with amazing people.
When are you happiest? When I am on a mountain or swimming in the ocean. Also, our sofa at home is quite fabulous and often a cup of tea and a laugh with Dan is what I love most.
In addition to this lovely interview, Hello Baby has teamed up with Space 1a Design to offer one lucky person the chance to win one item of your choice from their website (subject to availability). To help you choose, here are a few of my favourite items from their collection:
For your chance to win, comment on this blog post, telling me what item you would like if you win AND fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. Full T&Cs are below.
Terms and conditions:
- Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Hello Baby Blog or Space 1a Design.
- The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
- The prize draw starts at 12am on 10th April 2016 and closes at 12am on 8th May 2016.
- Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post and filling in the Rafflecopter widget. Entrants can gain bonus entries by visiting Hello Baby on facebook, @hellobabyblog on Twitter, tweeting about the giveaway, following @space1adesign on Twitter, visiting Space 1a Design on facebook, following Hello Baby on instagram, following Hello Baby on pinterest, subscribing to Space 1a’s newsletter and then completing the Rafflecopter widget featured in this post.
- The name of the winner will be published on this website within 14 days of the competition closing.
- Hello Baby Blog’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
- By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.
- Hello Baby Blog reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
- Once the winner has been selected at random using Rafflecopter, I will inform Space 1a Design and they will be in touch to discuss the prize. Space 1a Design will accommodate all requests but if an item is not available as requested, an alternative item will be offered and Space 1a Design’s decision is final. I’m sure this won’t happen but I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post or arriving late.