This week has been National Storytelling week. So as owner of Adriana Homewares, i, Adriana, have been sharing the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE and HOW? of myself and my brand. So here goes...
Who am i?
(Me - Adriana Gentile, Founder of Adriana Homewares)
Im 29, half Italian - but a real Yorkshire lass! Currently living in North Leeds with my better half, and our gorgeous Pomsky puppy! We’re in the process of buying our first home, and other than running my own business, buying a house is my proudest achievement to date! When I’m not running Adriana Homewares I work for soft furnishings company Riva Home in the E-commerce team, specialising in marketing! And if you haven’t gathered by now, working with soft furnishings and textiles 24/7 i’m just a tiny bit passionate about it!!
(My gorgeous Freddie)
What do i do?
Adriana Homewares designs and manufacture sustainable 100% British wool fabrics for soft furnishings and accessories. Our product range is currently: cushions, throws, lampshades, baby blankets and scarves. All of which are handmade to order in our Leeds studio! Because we handmade all our products, it means we are able to offer bespoke elements to all our products. From alternative sizes, choice of cushion backs, to even being able to choose the colour of the blanket stitching on the throws!
Whats my Why?
When I was at uni I found my love for colour, textiles and weaving. And although it was a rocky path, Adriana Homewares is pretty much a child of all my passions rolled into one. I could have made decisions along the way to make my journey easier, used a cheaper non British wool yarn for example! But as Adriana Homewares has developed over the years. It’s made me realise what my values are and why they’re so important to me.
Using British wool for our yarns and manufacturing our fabrics locally is non negotiable for me. Knowing that using British wool for our fabrics means that we are supporting British farmers, fleeces are traceable so we know they have been ethically sourced. Whilst also ensuring that our products are natural and sustainable through using only 100% wool to make our yarns.
I’m from Keighley originally, West Yorkshire. Which is where I returned once I completed University in Birmingham. Not long after I then set up my studio in central Leeds, because who wouldn’t want to spend all their time in a slightly more exciting city? I spent a few years commuting to the studio before I moved to North Leeds and since then haven’t left!
As for Adriana Homewares, almost two years ago I moved my studio to AW Hainsworth Mill, Stanningley. Which is where we're currently based! My entire fabric manufacturing process takes place within a 20 radius from when the fleece comes into The British Wool marketing board in Bradford. Until the fleece is spun, dyed, woven and finished before returning to my studio for me to make it in to products!
(God's own country....Yorkshire!)
Adriana Homewares was born in 2016. I’d been part of The Prince Trust enterprise scheme and had been awarded a business loan to buy my first weaving loom. I spent a few years being a self employed textile artist before i created my own Homeware brand.
I knew I loved colour, weaving and interiors. I also knew that I didn’t want to hand weave all my fabrics for the rest of time. In September Adriana Homewares launched the first mill woven fabric collection at Top Drawer trade show in London. Since then we have gone on to exhibit all over the country and abroad and have launched 15 new fabrics!
(Dumfries House Sept 2016)
How do i do what i do?
Well, I spent three years at University where I studied constructed textiles and specialised in weaving. Little did I know then, what I’d learnt was merely the tip of the iceberg! Yes I had a degree in constructed textiles but did I know anything about manufacturing my fabrics in a mill or running a business? Er, No! Is it safe to say I’ve been on every learning curve possible for about the last 6 years? Er, yes! But I’m now so proud that I’ve got 4 years (and counting) of running a textile brand under my belt!