Set up by sisters Charlotte Thompson and Victoria Sullivan, White Rabbit England was inspired by the children’s lamps the ladies loved as children. The company now stocks gorgeous children’s night lights in the shape of cute bunny rabbits to magical toadstools, children’s bedding and plenty of gift ideas. We caught up with Charlotte to find out how she juggles a successful business whilst being mum to two teenage boys.
We love your gorgeous night lights here at StyleNest, tell us where did the idea come from for White Rabbit?
My sister and I both wanted bedside lamps for our four children but couldn’t find any we liked. As little girls growing up we had had a lovely one shaped like a mushroom, so decided to design something similar that future generations could enjoy – and so White Rabbit England was born. The Rabbit lamp is based on our logo and we used him for our logo for 10 years but only had a light bulb moment to create a lamp shaped like a rabbit three years ago. In that same year he won the Gift of the Year award for the best UK made gift.
You founded the company with your sister, Victoria, tell us were you always creative even as youngsters?
Both of us loved art at school and we would lie on the floor for hours at our grandparents house painting with watercolours and making things. I went on to study art, history of art and then graphic design and Victoria followed her passion for performing arts first and then worked as a fashion/interior stylist.
Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
We love nostalgic children’s things from the past, old story books, toys, pictures or fabrics. It’s fantastic now that we can draw our ideas from both sides of the Atlantic. New York, where Victoria now lives, is full of one-off boutiques, curiosity and junk shops so she is always finding fantastic vintage pieces that influence our product development. We’re also inspired by quintessentially English designs and I pick lots of things when I make trips to Europe. The flea market in Lisbon was especially fruitful.
You live in different countries, you here in the UK and Victoria over in NYC – tell us how does that work with running a business together?
It works well if we plan our time well. We try to FaceTime or Skype at least every other day to keep up with new ideas in development, and of course we send each other images and emails constantly to keep abreast of what’s happening. We also keep in touch via the White Rabbit Facebook and Twitter accounts, where we’ll both post updates and photos that we spot while we’re out and about.
What is your own home interiors styles?
Victoria’s style is very different from mine – but we still love each other’s homes. For example, with furniture I like classic one-off designs and Victoria will find something in the street and renovate it.
Did you find your style changed when you entered motherhood?
Yes, I got a shorter haircut and scaled down my wardrobe to include simple pieces in neutral colours. I have a thing about scarves and jewellery – it’s the best way to introduce colour.
What are your top three designer and top three high street brands?
Are there any mums out there who really inspire you?
My own mum.
What’s your failsafe look when you only have moments to get ready?
Jeans, a simple top with big colourful scarves and a really good handbag.
What beauty products couldn’t you live without?
Touche Eclat, waterproof mascara and Moroccan Oil for my hair.
Did your skin and beauty regime change after being pregnant? Which product did you swear by during pregnancy and then which after?
Bio Oil is brilliant for those stretch marks, I still use it as an all over body moisturiser as it’s brilliant for dry skin.
What could you never travel without?
My makeup bag and a really good book.
What book are you reading at the moment? What’s your all time favourite read?
At the moment I am reading The Unseen by Katherine Webb, a story set 100 years apart and I cant wait to find out what happens in the end. My favourite read of all time has to be The Time Travellers Wife.
Is there one particular family friendly hotel you would go back to time and time again, either here in the UK or abroad?
We love Hotel Villa Balbi, Sestri Levante in Italy.
We are always looking for new recipes on StyleNest, do you have a failsafe family dish you swear by?
Fish Pie, you can chuck in any mix of fish but the mash is crucial – I add double cream and a spoonful of English Mustard.
When you’re not at work what do you enjoy doing with the kids?
We live in the country and have three rescue dogs and two rescue donkeys so long walks with the dogs to the pub are a must and looking after the donkeys is a family pastime.
Mums have a real voice nowadays through social media. Are there any mummy bloggers you follow?
We follow lots and are massively grateful for all the support they’ve given us in reviewing our products and talking about us in their blogs and via Twitter. We particularly love Super Amazing Mum, Multiple Mummy, and Cheshire Mum
You must be very organised to juggle a business with motherhood – do you have any top tips on how you stay on top of it all?
Lists lists and lists. Cross one off and concentrate on the next.
What is your moto in life?
Smile and the world smiles back.
For more information on White Rabbit England or to shop online visit whiterabbitengland.com