Meet Lindsey Burrow: Founder of Grace & Grey

Happy International Women’s Day!

2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for business owners, so this International Women’s Day, we’d love to champion women in business in particular.

Grace & Grey is a female owned and led business, so today we’re interviewing Lindsey Burrow, the woman behind the perfectly positioned curtain.

Here’s what she had to say…

Where did your interior design journey begin?

From a very young age, I’ve been interested in design from clothes, fabrics to interiors. I was forever moving my bedroom around and wanting to redecorate my room!

When I was older, I craved to do a much more creative job, something I was passionate about and enjoyed. Like so many other people I’m sure, I was working in a decent job but one that I just didn’t like any more.

Then, once I had my children, I wanted something which gave me a lot more flexibility to work my own hours and around the children. I was lucky enough to get the Lancashire and Wigan Franchisee for the Dulux Design Service, which was where my career in interiors started! 

Whilst working with Dulux, I re-trained as an interior designer, doing my coursework in the evenings and the rest they say is history!

How did Grace & Grey progress into what it is now?

It was always my plan to have a shop base for the interiors, again a passion of mine from being young was to have my own shop and to design everything in it. We’re not quite there with designing everything we sell but we are working on it!

What is your favourite part of the interior design process? And what is your least favourite part?  

My favourite part is the fact I get to be so creative, spending most of my days looking at fantastic wallpapers, fabrics and colours is just a dream.

I enjoy pushing customers out of their comfort zones and coming up with something that they wouldn’t have thought of but in the end truly love. Creating that joy in their homes is a great feeling.

The worst part is definitely hanging curtains, I hate it!!

(How) do you achieve a work/life balance?

I’m not sure I do. I find especially at the moment with home schooling I tend to work more in the evenings which is fine as I’ve always been more of a night owl than an earlier riser.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? 

When you own a small business I don’t think you’re ever not at work. I’m always thinking about a project or what needs to be done, I’m not sure you ever turn off. But I do enjoy being at home, there’s nothing better than a PJ day!

How do you choose your products?

All of our products are hand-picked, they are chosen for their quality, value for money but mainly their design and function. It also then comes down to if I would have them in my home!

How did Grace & Grey begin? Can you describe the day/feeling when you opened your Poulton-le-Fylde store for the first time?

Grace & Grey was a natural progression really. The plan to run the interior design business from a shop base was always the plan, but at first it wasn’t the right time. We started the online shop first, and I had boxes of stock piled high in my spare room.

It became great exercise trying to climb over things or ducking under to get to the item needing to be posted out. It wasn’t what you’d describe as ‘health and safety compliant’ – it was more a case of getting everything into one room.

We were lucky enough to be able to buy the shop in Poulton, but it was in a very bad state of repair, there was no support holding the upstairs up. The supporting beams were exposed and rotten and the roof leaked, so it was amazing the building hadn’t fallen down. 

There was a lot of work to be done before we opened so when we actually did it was actually a bit of a relief that we’d made it!

What advice would you give someone just starting out in business?

Definitely take advice and help from anyone who offers. It’s so difficult actually ‘being in business’ there are no rule books or hand books. Find out if there is any advice or support from your local council as they tend to run free business courses.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected Grace & Grey?

Our shop has had to close which has been very sad, and even in between when we were open the footfall was very down, but we have been fortunate to have the online shop, and we are very appreciative of all the online orders that have been placed.

How do you see Grace & Grey developing in the future?

I would really like to open another shop and also develop our own range of products more in the future.

What is the biggest myth about customer service/the interior design industry/retail? 

The biggest myth I feel people have about interior design is that it’s glamorous. You wouldn’t believe how much furniture you have to move, or things you need to cart around, most days it feels very un-glamorous! Although going shopping for clients is very enjoyable.

Here’s a big thank you to Lindsey for taking the time to do this interview for International Women’s Day! To browse the Grace & Grey range of interior design products, click here.