Homegirl London pays homage to Izzi Rainey (usually written as one word IzziRainey). This business is a joint venture between Izzi and Lara who met as teenagers and have been friends ever since. Izzi, the designer, draws on influences from living on a Norfolk for her textile designs. From the unexpected colours to the oil cans, flaky paint, Land Rover tyre tracks and agricultural machinery, it’s an endless source of inspiration. The extensive portfolio includes everything from homeware; drum lampshades and cushions to kitchen textiles; tea towels, napkins, aprons and tea cosies. They also have some lovely stationery notebooks, pencil cases and blank greeting cards. The zip purses, wash bags, shopper tote bags and weekend bags for women are all adorable. I caught up with the duo at Izzi Rainey to find out more.
Farm Aztec Zip Wash Bag
Meet the Izzi Rainey Owners
This business is a joint venture between Izzi Rainey and Lara Mullis. The pair met at school when they were aged thirteen and have been friends ever since. They parted at eighteen to go their separate ways and pursue their studies. But don’t worry, they kept in constant contact! Izzi headed to Glasgow School of Art where she took the Textile Design degree. She was lucky to have some great work placement opportunities with Cath Kidston, Sunspel and Storm Model Management Agency. Meanwhile, Lara graduated from Hull University with a degree in Drama and Film. She also had some great experience, in the world of drama, which included four weeks in a New York based theatre company. They both graduated from university in June 2014 and then began Izzi Rainey straight away in July 2014.
Izzi and Lara
Izzi explains how the business idea came about – “When I did my placement at Sunspel (A British brand making everyday clothing from beautiful fabrics) I saw that British manufacturing still had an ever-growing presence. From the product being designed upstairs to the manufacturing being done downstairs, it really inspired me to want to start up a company. There was no one better to team up with than Lara; she too shares a strong passion for British design and manufacturing. Both of us wanted to be our own boss and now we can enjoy working together and setting our own agenda.”
Lara explains how their different areas of expertise make the business a success – “We both have very different roles; Izzi is the creative director, designing all the wonderful prints and is the head seamstress. That’s why the company is named after her; she is, after all, the creative genius! I focus on sales and marketing so am responsible for promoting the business to the media and shops. I also organise all the fairs that we attend. The major decisions and finances are a joint effort. At the moment it’s just the two of us but in the future we hope to employ local people to help with the sewing.”
Tea Towel Selection
They are based on Izzi’s family farm in rural Norfolk. Her dad kindly renovated one of the outbuildings as an office and studio. They say – “It’s a wonderful workspace and show room for our products. It seemed right to be based here as we are both Norfolk girls so we wanted to come back to our farm yard roots! Also, the family farm has influenced all of Izzi’s designs. So it’s great to be immersed in the ever-evolving agricultural environment from the changing seasons to the continuous farm activity.”
Izzi Rainey Collection
Izzi explains the brand’s unique appearance – “We have a very individual style with a mix of contemporary prints in an array of colours. Our designs have a distinct edgy feel which work well in a country or urban setting and appeals to a wide age group. I draw my inspiration from the farm where I grew up. The prints are a culmination of the unexpected colours found here and the bold textural shapes are influenced by the agricultural environment.”
The technique Izzi uses gives her work a modern take on Aztec designs. She reveals how she does this – “I start off on paper using a wealth of hand based techniques. For example, the print named ‘Farm Hoopla’ evolved from rubbings and photographs I took of a seed drill found on a neighbouring farm. This print represents the structural, tonal and textural nature of the seed drill, which is a large piece of farm machinery. The designs are then digitally printed in Lancashire which captures the details. It’s important to us that everything is manufactured in the UK.”
Farm Hoopla Shopper Tote Bag
The designs are printed onto a wide range of products which are useful and ascetically pleasing. They use a high quality cotton drill for all the fabric items. The homeware products like the drum lampshades and the cushions are great if you want to mix or match designs.
Farm Hoopla Lampshade, Broken Circles Cushion and Farm Aztec Cushion
The textiles will really brighten up the kitchen, these include; tea towels, napkins, aprons and tea cosies.
Summer Fair Napkins
Anyone who loves stationery gifts will adore the notebooks, pencil cases. The blank greeting cards are a great buy because they will cover any occasion.
Summer Fair Pink, Farm Sunrise and Farm Circus Stationery Notebooks
The bag selection is very practical with every item made to last, like the shopper tote bags to the weekend bags to women.
Broken Circles Weekend Bag
Other items include zip purses, zip wash bags and we even make bunting and pin cushions.
Buy Izzi Rainey Products
To find out more information and buy the products visit the website: Izzi Rainey. To give you an idea about price points – drum lampshades are £50-70, cushions £48-65, tea towels £12, napkins £26 for four, tea cosies £15, aprons £38, zip purses £8, wash bags £20, shopper tote bags £38, weekend bags for women £75, stationery notebooks £10, pencil cases £14, blank greeting cards £1.70, bunting £20 and pin cushions £4.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: IR. Thanks: Izzi and Lara.