3 Minutes with... Emma Lynch from Lamb Design
I’m sure it’s happened to you; you find the most perfect rug that fits your space perfectly and won’t break the bank. And then you find out you’ll have to ship it from Australia. Worse still, the customs and shipping charges amount to more than the rug itself. *sigh*
This was a regular occurrence in my life. I’d find the most beautiful rustic, yet simple, Scandi cottage style piece on Pinterest and knew that unless I sold a kidney, they weren’t going to be mine. Then one day, I came across a beautifully-curated Instagram account showing pretty much the entire contents of my wish list—but right here in Ireland! Behold, Lamb Design!
Immediately, I knew I wanted to know more about this brand whose style I loved so much. Not only that, but I was interested to hear about how they managed to source and sell so many beautiful- and until now- unattainable pieces.
As someone whose great obsession in life is homeware, it’s so interesting for me to hear the backstory of how the company was founded, how it’s run and their hopes for the future. Regardless of whether you work in retail, design or any other industry, I always feel you can learn something from every entrepreneur.
I caught up with Lamb’s co-founder and creative director, Emma Lynch, to find out about all things Lamb Design. Scroll on for Emma’s top business advice, design heroes and even a peek inside her family home in Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow.
How did all this start? Was there one definitive “Aha!” moment that kick-started your career as a interiors and lifestyle store owner?
"I lived abroad for a few years in America and London and when I returned home to Ireland I bought a house in Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow. It was an old family summer home and it needed a huge amount of work. I decided to take on the project myself and with a BER rating floor plan, flipped the house around. I worked directly with the builder in working out what walls needed to come down and windows needed to be made bigger etc. It was while sourcing unique pieces, accessories and lighting I had my big “Aha!” moment because I really struggled to find the exact pieces I wanted here in Ireland. I ended up ordering a lot from Australia and the UK. When I was finished and friends and family came to visit they always asked me where I got this and where I got that. I realised there was an opportunity to bring the type of simple, pared back interiors I like to Ireland."
Can you define your style?
"Simple, timeless, pared back with a mix of Danish, Nordic and French style."
Where and how do you get your inspiration?
"I find a lot of inspiration from travel, nature, interior magazines, Pinterest and Instagram. Besides that, I also travel to interior trade shows in Europe to source new suppliers and to keep on top of whats going on in the interiors world."
Can you talk us through your creative process?
"I just follow my heart and gut when choosing pieces for the Lamb collection. I have a keen eye and instinctively know when something is going to stand the test of time. I also have a mantra that if I wouldn't have it in my own home, it doesn't make it into the Lamb collection."
You probably have creative heroes who have inspired you...?
"Yes, there are many people who inspired me and continue to inspire me and make me believe anything is possible! Chrissie Rucker of The White Company being one...she started her business 22 years ago from a bedroom in her apartment in London selling high quality bed linen and has gradually grown it into the ultimate luxury lifestyle destination for your home and little ones. Architecturally, I adore all of Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings. We were lucky enough to visit Taliesin West when we lived in Arizona and it blew me away. It's a National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was Wright's beloved winter home and was built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, making it among the most personal of his creations. It hasn't aged a day and looks as fresh now as it did when he designed it in 1937. Truly inspirational!"
What are the main challenges you face as a creative?
"Keeping it fresh and sourcing unique brands and pieces for our collection that are new to the Irish and/or international market. Securing exclusivity on brands is another challenge as ideally you want to be the only stockist and not have the same products as everyone else because then you aren’t bringing your customers anything new and fresh."
How do you define success? Do you feel you’ve found it yet?
"Success to me is being happy and doing what you love. I feel I am on the road to success and absolutely adore what I do, but I have big aspirations and plans for Lamb and I won’t be truly content until I have achieved those goals and made Lamb the huge success I know it can be."
What has been the best advice you’ve received?
"“There is no substitute for hard work.” was great advice from my dad and he is right. His attitude is nothing is ever given to you on a plate and to get on in life you have to work hard at it. My advice to others is always follow your dreams and do whatever makes you happy because life is too short for doing something you hate!"
Complete this sentence: "____ makes it all worth it.”
"Great feedback from happy customers when they open the box and love the pieces they have chosen."
Without design, life would be...
"Real boring and a little ordinary! Design brings color, contrast and texture to our world. We are surrounded by design in all parts of our lives and without it I think the world would be a dull and uninteresting place…?"
Thanks so much to Emma and her little models for these beautiful pictures! Make sure you head over to Lambdesign.ie to shop Emma's curated range of homeware, gifts and adorable bits for the little ones.