“If the girls have nursery we get them scrubbed up and ready to leave the house. It’s a chaotic process that rarely goes to plan and usually results in Nathan being late for work.” Lulu Watts, founder of Lulu & Nat, on juggling a homewares business with raising two kids…
Lulu Watts, 37, lives with her husband Nathan and their daughters Eva, four, and Zoe, two. She is founder of beautiful homewares company Lulu & Nat.
What’s your home like?
Arts and Crafts period with lots of windows, many original stained glass, therefore light and sunny. White backdrop with colourful accessories, mostly from Lulu & Nat.
What time are you up in the morning?
7-8am, depending on when the girls knock.
What wakes you up?
Our kids. Or if that fails, our radio alarm clock – followed by coffee.
How do you feel?
Sleepy and tired… I’m not really a morning person but mind over matter!
What do you do first thing?
If the girls have nursery we get them scrubbed up and ready to leave the house. It’s a chaotic process that rarely goes to plan and usually results in Nathan being late for work. On other days when I’m home with them, it’s a little more relaxing, usually starting with a breakfast and first thoughts for an Instagram post… I’m addicted, as anyone who follows me will know.
In three words, describe mornings in your home?
Hectic, rushed and coffee!
What’s for breakfast?
Cereal, toast and coffee.
How might the rest of your day pan out?
There’s no set routine, it’s different every day. It can involve, but in no particular order: further Instagram posting, reading and responding to emails, speaking to or visiting suppliers and picking up inspiration, running pop-up shops or appearing at trade fairs. Always in the background I’m looking at orders as they come through our website onto my phone, so wherever we are and whatever we’re doing, we monitoring how we’ve done each day.
What’s your workspace like?
Our front room is my office. Surrounded by books, fabric samples, inspiration pins, finds, with our mantelpiece at the centre – full of cherished family photo moments. Underneath is my cluttered desk… As the saying goes:
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Where are the kids when you’re working?
Nursery three days a week. If I’m working while they are home then it’s light work in the gaps between concentrated kiddy time.
Tell us about your business: when did you launch, and how/why did it come about?
We started Lulu & Nat 10 years ago. My husband and I moved to India when he was posted there to set up a design studio for his London based agency. I was so inspired by the homewares and Indian craftsmanship so I used my time to put a collection together that was Anglo Indian inspired.
Running a business is certainly not a way to avoid complexity in your life, but the rewards outweigh the challenges
What’s the greatest challenge when running your own business?
We are the major retailer for our unique products. Producing goods to sell directly gives us ultimate control but also creates challenges around getting the right balance between supply and demand.
What makes it all worthwhile?
The potential it has and the hope we carry for it to grow. Also, personal freedom to do it how we want to.
Are there aspects of the production that you delegate to others?
There are so many aspects to running a business that it can be bewildering just thinking of all the things that you could do today but ultimately end up delaying. We personally handle all product development and design, web content, social media, event organising, fulfilment and retailer accounts. We have a small selection of specialists that support us with PR, photography, specialist web development and accountancy.
Are you a happy lone worker, or do you enjoy the buzz of a shared workspace?
I work alone at home but often find myself out and about. I appreciate the convenience of working from home but it requires structure and discipline.
What’s the secret to career success?
A good idea, perseverance and determination.
Is the juggle real for you… do you find it difficult balancing motherhood/relationship/me-time/time for friends/career?
Yes the juggle is a real thing. Running a business is certainly not a way to avoid complexity in your life, but the rewards outweigh the challenges. I’ve found a way to make the business flexible enough that I can be a mother and a wife, see my friends and find time for holidays. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Describe an ideal weekend?
No set plans, lunch with the family at L’Antica Pizzeria, Hampstead.
If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
Palolem beach, Goa or RAAS, Jodphur.