Interview – An insight with the Founders

Lillie and Chris are the co-founders of Lavender & Lillie which was launched in October 2017. 
Lillie was born in the Seychelles, moved to Scotland for university and now lives in East Sussex. She obtained masters degrees in Management & French and Finance & Investment Management at the University of Aberdeen before moving to London and completing a further masters in International Economic Law at City University. She went on to work in the City before starting a family. 
Christopher was born in Northern Ireland and moved to Aberdeen for university. After completing his first degree in Law, he met Lillie when they sat beside each other on the first day of their Masters in Finance & Investment Management. Chris moved to London with Lillie and worked in the City before moving into property development. He retrained as a Garden Designer at the Inchbald School of Design a few years ago and now runs a garden design practice as well as taking an active role in L&L. Lillie and Chris live on the south coast with their two boys, Hugo and Theo, and are expecting their third child.

Which of the L&L products is your favourite?
C: The London candle is one I really like – the fresh crisp fragrance reminds me of a good gin and tonic. I had a few when we lived there! 
L: My favourite would have to be the India diffuser, the perfume redolent of rich jasmine noir and smokiness. The one I have at home permeates our living room at home and fills the air.  I also love having the hand creams in my handbag. They are so bright and fun as well as being nourishing and comforting on the hands.

What is your top travel destination?
L: My favourite city break is Venice. We got married there so it holds a lot of special memories for us. 
C: Thailand is a great destination. I went there as part of my gap year when I travelled round the world, and just had to bring Lillie to see it as well. We have been a few times, both as a couple and as a family, and the culture is very warm and welcoming. The temples are truly awe-inspiring. I am a big fan of Thai food, and when we took the boys there and they loved it too.

What is your favourite book?
L: To be honest, I try and read a lot so its very difficult to put my finger on my favourite book.  In the past month, I have read The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy, which was engaging but very ambitious, Kamila Shamshie’s Home Fire which was a new take on the tragedy of Antigone and Zadie Smith’s Swing Time which I personally think may be her best book. 
C: I like the Scandi noir Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo and have read all of them. I also like reading travel books and journals.

What has been the main inspiration of your brand?
L: The main inspiration of our brand is journeys, memories and fragrance. The scents are based on special journeys we have made or places where I have memories of. For instance, I was born in the Seychelles and lived a charmed childhood there, I visited my grandparents who lived in India and have lovely memories of being with them in their beautiful, elegant home. 
C: We are both creative, and wanted to design and create a brand that allowed us to express that creativity. We are both lucky to have travelled extensively, and believe that fragrance and scent are key in the recall of memories of places and experiences. So really, all these things come together in L&L. 
L: There will be further collections in the future based on places where we have built memories. Scent is closely linked with memory and fragrance can evoke particular memories. Like Proust, who recalled his aunt giving him madeleines at the mere bite of a madeleine, we want our scents to transport others to the new and familiar places. I remember reading a quote by Daphne du Maurier that I like. “If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory like scent. And it never faded and it never got stale. When one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked and it would be like living the moment all over again.” In some ways, this is what we are trying to do - inviting you to indulge in our journeys and memories.

What is your favourite piece of advice?
C: The most important thing to me is family and loved ones. Taking care of those important to me is key. When I was university, I had a serious illness - I think since then, I have learnt to take things in perspective and value the important things in life. Enjoy every moment. 
L: It sounds a bit cheesy but I would say it is being kind to others and thinking of others.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.
C: I am quite a dab hand at cooking Thai food. I have taken a few courses and I really enjoy it. Usually it is tasty, but I have overdone the chillies a couple of times! 
L: Yes, your food is delicious and very hot! On the other hand I’m not an accomplished cook at all! I love entertaining but often cheat with the cooking!

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