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Delia Peel (left) and Juliet Thornback (right) in their London studio

How I Achieve My Balance

Meet Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel, Co-founders of Thornback & Peel, whose eclectic range of homeware, kitchenware, fabric and accessories are handmade in London.

Meet Juliet Thornback and Delia Peel, founders of Thornback & Peel, whose eclectic range of homeware, kitchenware, fabric and accessories are handmade in London.

You met in 2003 and have been working together ever since. What made starting a business together so appealing to you?

We were introduced by a very clever friend who sensed that we shared a fascination for the eccentric and surreal. Delia (Peel) was working as a set designer at the Royal Court and Juliet (Thornback) as a florist, but at the time we met we were both looking to create a business by making something ourselves. We had a really strong, shared aesthetic and complementary skill sets and there's always been a great energy between us - if one of us is a bit tired the other will support them. It's a shared responsibility.

Your prints are a colourful celebration of British humour and design, where do you find inspiration for a new collection?

Sources of inspiration for us include everything from Mrs Beeton's household management, 17th century microscope imagery of the natural world to Alice in Wonderland. We also look back to stories and songs we loved as children and tell our own children today.

What about when inspiration is lacking, how do you overcome that?

That's the great thing about being in a partnership - one of us will always have an idea. We find getting out of the studio really helps too - we're based in central London, a stone's throw from The British Museum and all the major galleries, so it's easy to immerse ourselves in some incredible art and culture. That, and a strong cup of tea helps!

Is there anything you have learned about running a company that you wish you knew when you first started?

Nothing can prepare you for the rollercoaster of running a small creative business. But there is no way we could have got where we are today without the support of our fantastic team who have been with us pretty much from the outset.

After a day of designing, how do you like to unwind?

Delia: I walk home, which really helps to clear my head. It means I arrive home ready to deal with family life.
Juliet: A glass of red wine. 

Do you have any tips on how to instantly update our home?

New cushions and tea towels provide an instant burst of colour in the home, and are a very easy way to freshen up your interior.

What’s the best gift to give a friend who has just moved house?

Our kitchen gift sets make great house warming presents - perfect for christening a new kitchen. Or a set of coasters is always welcome - especially handy when you're cracking open the Champagne! 

Finding balance in life is all about…

Getting enough sleep to keep everything in perspective. And knowing we're still great friends after 10 years in business together.

http://www.thornbackandpeel.co.uk/

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