Decor Crush: East London Parasol Company
As soon as I discovered East London Parasol Company on Instagram, I was in love. Bright colours, bold patterns, tassels, pom poms... four things I am a big fan of right there.
East London Parasol Company was launched last year by Lucy Ferguson. After living in Kerala and seeing decorative parasols used in religious celebrations, she bought her own and returning back to East London, no occasion became complete without her celebratory umbrella. What she didn't realise then, was that this was the start of her business venture...
I've watched Lucy's business grow, reading about her in many an interiors magazine, and she excitingly now stocks cushions, napkins and tablecloths alongside her signature parasols. Believe me, you'll want all of the cushions! Here is one of my favourites.
The umbrellas are made across India and Indonesia with the silver fringes and tops made in Kerala and the canopies are made from taffetas, hand block prints and antique Rajasthani textiles. What is really fantastic is the way Lucy's parasols are made and almost every part of every canopy is hand made. They are made by cheerful people who Lucy has spent time with, sharing sweets and stories along the way, and there isn't a dark factory in sight. You really do get what you pay for with Lucy's products and her pricing reflects all of the time and effort that goes into making her unique designs.
One of my favourite facts is that all of the parasols have a name. Step up Cher, Diana Ross, Barbra, Whitney, Shirley, Aretha and Dolly... oh, and Elton!
A new parasol yet to be added to the site... what will it's name be?!
For my second Decor Crush, I couldn't think of anyone better than Lucy to interview. She's currently in Jaipur working on new parasols and we've seen a sneak peak of the new collection and they could just be her best ones yet!
Below she tells me more about her style, inspirations and East London Parasol Company journey...
1. How would you define your style?
Colourful, eclectic and always evolving.
2. What inspires your work?
I’m inspired by nature, it never makes a mistake with colours or pattern. Travelling has opened my eyes and changed my attitude towards colour, after any prolonged time in the UK I find myself drawn to soft neutrals and I love getting brave again in places where they embrace vibrant shades.
3. How did you get to where you are today?
By focusing on the horizon not potential pitfalls, by not being hard nosed about business for short term gain, and building good relationships with suppliers.
4. What new projects do you have coming up?
I’m very excited about next season’s parasols, I love the colours and they look great as a set. I’m particularly proud of the palm print one with hand carved wood, and the pearl pink one with silver fringing and white tassels which to me looks like a gorgeous dream.
5. Who or what is your décor crush?
Degournay wallpaper, I stalk their Instagram all the time. I also really admire Timorous Beasties textiles, they’re original and inventive.
Of course the blog's tagline is 'Dining, Destinations, Decor' so I had to ask Lucy her favourites!
Favourite Dining Spot?
I’ve recently made the decision to be meat avoidant, I can’t bring myself to say vegetarian, so my eating habits have changed and I’m going to have to embark on the arduous quest for new vegetarian favourites.
My key ingredients are lighting and atmosphere. I hate brash lights in restaurants and appreciate spaces which lend themselves to laughter over delicious food that you don’t have to chase around the plate.
I think the Barbary on Neals Yard is charming, intimate and very cool. Also it has excellent lighting.
It’s too hard to choose. I’ve only just discovered New York and I’m smitten, it has energy and enthusiasm. I love the lighting, the live music, the aesthetics, the fonts. I’m surprised to find I’m an urbanite because I’ve always thought of myself as a country person.
Britannia & Co in Mumbai. It’s a traditional Parsi café and its décor isn’t the result of any lookbook, mood board or forethought. The walls are blue/ grey with an inimitable patina of age and it’s beautiful in a slightly dilapidated, lived-in way. It’s authentic, real and not synthetic in any way.
Lucy has some new parasols in stock just in time for Christmas (imagine getting one of these gorgeous parasols in your Christmas stocking! Erm... yes please!) and I have to say, Whitney has to be my favourite. My garden needs this!
It may be Autumn, but it's never too early to plan your 2018 garden decor and for colourful and unique parasols, cushions and tableware, this is most definitely the place to buy them from!
Thanks to Lucy for taking the time to answer my Decor Crush questions. Hop on over to East London Parasol Company and take a look at the wonderful products for yourself.