Tell us about where it all began and what inspired you to start your business.

Talented graphic designer Lisa Kew and award winning fashion illustrator Emma Cowlam have been firm friends since meeting at a swimming pool in 2007. It’s a long story! Back then Lisa was heading up her own successful design agency which continues to thrive and Em was studying textile design at Chelsea Art School in London and gathering a wealth of creative industry experience through freelance work.

They instantly formed a special bond which developed during daily post-swim conversations centred upon art, design, style and life. With Em seeking career advice and some life guidance, Lisa took her under her creative wing and mentored her professionally and personally through the highs (and not-so-highs) of her twenties and her life in London and New York. As Em’s fashion illustration career flourished, their mentor-mentee relationship progressed into a great friendship.

Their lightbulb moment came in December 2018 when they decided to establish a collaborative studio dedicated to designing the sophisticated and stylish womenswear accessories they wanted in their lives. The Just Add Style story began…

Em and Lisa share a long lasting passion for scarves and the vision for their collaborative partnership is to design contemporary pieces of luxury, soft-to-touch silk that can be worn and treasured forever. The inspiration for each of the silk artworks in our growing collection comes from stylish and confident women across the globe. The designs are a perfect visual representation of the marriage between Em’s highly skilled craftsmanship for fashion drawing and Lisa’s innovative design work. They have also created a selection of luxury correspondence card sets featuring illustrations from their silk pieces. 

What makes your brand unique?

The illustrations they feature are all one-of-a-kind hand drawn illustrations by Emma so they are totally unique to our silk and stationery.

Where do you see your brand in the next few years? Any specific goals or aspirations?

We would like to continue to grow our collection and make all of our pieces available to as many stylish people as possible whilst helping our chosen charities with donations from sales.  

As you know Popup United is all about supporting small businesses… So as a small business what advice would you give to other small business owners who are just starting out?

Be authentic – stick to your own brand values and don’t be persuaded to divert from your own course. Take help where you are offered it and seek out like minded mentors to help you along the way – learn from their experience!

What is your favourite piece from the range and why?

Our first design holds a special place in our hearts – our London Fashion large silk sqaure scarf – it is truly a piece or wearable art. 

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What can we look forward to seeing? Do you have any new collaborations or new projects coming up?

We have two new designs waiting in the wings to expand our silk range – all will be revealed soon but safe to say that stripes are our new obsession!

What is one thing you really want the reader to know about Just Add Style? 

That we donate to charity from the sale of each silk piece – £5 from the sale of each large silk sqaure and each skinny goes to Smart Works https://smartworks.org.uk/ and £5 from the sale of each pocket square goes to Suited & Booted Centre https://www.suitedbootedcentre.org.uk/ 

Both of these charities help vulnerable, unemployed, disadvantaged and low income women and men get back into employment by supplying quality interview clothing as well as supporting them with mentoring and interview coaching. 

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