Gemma & Charlotte interview inspirational women Lauren Gilberthorpe as part of MyFamilyClub’s Inspirational & Aspirational content series. Lauren is a leading interior designer and has forged a successful interior design company – Lauren Gilberthorpe Interiors.
From an early age Lauren was inspired and fascinated by the world of interior design. With an inherent gift for mixing colours and patterns and an obsession with shifting furniture around, Lauren soon realised that a career in design was inevitable. Following the completion of a design degree, Lauren went on to design and manage large scale projects for respected interior design companies in London, the South West and the Cotswolds, completing projects ranging from country estates to seaside retreats, central London apartments to spa hotels and showhomes. In 2015, Lauren decided to forge ahead with her own business and created her own interior design company in the Cotswolds.
Describe a typical day for you?
Most importantly – tea first. Lots of tea! Then, a dog walk around the beautiful fields surrounding our house with our crazy Sprocker spaniel, Darcie. After that, pretty much anything can be happening! My days range from long days on building sites, meetings with architects and builders, presentations with clients to days spent in the office specifying furniture and drawing up floorplans. Unfortunately, the job isn’t at all as glamorous as people imagine – the days spent plumping cushions and swanning around choosing paint colours are incredibly rare!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements to date?
Without doubt, starting my own business and making a success of it. It was a huge leap of faith and there are tough times with long hours but not a day goes by that I do not feel so grateful that I am able to do what I love for a living and work for myself.
What are your ambitions in life?
I’d love to make the elusive work/life balance work more so that I can spend as much time with friends and family as I’d like. I’d like to drive our camper van across South America and I’d LOVE to build our own house and be my own interior designer – although I would be so indecisive as I see so many wonderful ideas!
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years’ time?
I am currently working on something really exciting for LGI that will mean that I can work with a much wider audience, but with less hours so that we can hopefully start a family one day.
What’s the most effective strategy for installing confidence in yourself?
Preparation makes such a huge difference – plan ahead and you will feel so much more in control. This is something I am constantly working on as I am naturally a bit of a ‘winging it’ kind of person!
What advice would you give to anyone launching a similar business?
Get experience first, there is so much more to running an interior design business than picking furniture and fabrics and there is nothing more important than getting experience in the industry. I spent 8 years working for other people before starting my company and the lessons learned, and the people I met, were invaluable.
What’s in your handbag that you can’t survive without?
3 things – laser tape measure, lip balm and dog poo bags!!
Finally, happiness is…
A long Sunday filled with dog walks, friends and family, roast dinner and a log fire.