Also Journal


International Women's Day in collaboration with Harbour & Tide - Sophie Home

Shop 06.03.24

Words Katy Lassen, Founder of Harbour & Tide

We celebrate International Women’s Day in collaboration with lifestyle store Harbour & Tide, as we talk to some of the store’s female led sustainable brands about their inspiration, aspiration and celebrating success.  

Sophie Home is a contemporary home textiles label based in London. Their products are bold and colourfu and all of their cotton knit products are all knitted in 100% Oeko-tex standard 100 Certified cotton using azo-free dyes.

They work closely with their manufacturers in India, paying them a fair wage and donate 5% of their profits to Choose Love, a charity that supports refugees in their greatest time of need.

Our range of Sophie Home includes their very popular dishcloths, luxurious throws and adorable baby toys.

We spoke to founder Sophie Dias about inspiration, innovation and what the future holds for this joyful brand.

What inspired you to start your own brand, and how did your journey begin?

I designed for many years for big retailers like M&S, Primark, Zara, C&A.. – and I got really fed up with the red tape. The reluctance to embrace change, to try anything new, to take risks, to think differently. I hated the politics and felt that as my creativity was being quashed, my confidence was being knocked. I wanted to design product that I liked – and I wanted to be the boss! I was done with bureaucracy and endlessly hearing “no”!


Sophie Home reusable dishcloths in pink check

Sophie Home reusable dishcloths in pink and aqua check

Can you share a pivotal moment that significantly influenced the direction of your business?

To be honest we are constantly pivoting. It’s a luxury of running a smaller-scale business. We can be very reactive. Someone once advised me that the business I started with wouldn’t be the business I ended up with, and that has always stuck with me. We listen to our customers, and we look at their buying patterns and behaviours. Our ears and eyes are open to what is going on in the world around us, and we constantly strive to do better.

Can you describe the process of developing a new product or service from concept to launch?

It’s a lengthy process and it requires patience! Usually, an idea will start to niggle and incubate in my brain. Sometimes I can see the finished product – or even the whole range  – in my head; sometimes it’s fragments of an idea, and can take a couple of years to form properly in my brain. Once the idea is formed, I sketch it up, in Adobe Illustrator, and send a spec (an illustration with annotated design details) to our manufacturer. They will create a first sample, and 9 out of 10 times, it will be just what I envisaged. Sometimes we have to go back and tweak an idea; occasionally we have to ditch it. Once all the samples are approved, we build the range and place our order. Four long months later, the ideas are packaged up realities, and are on the sea, making their way to us! Whilst we are waiting for the stock to land, we are busy photographing the samples, preparing marketing material, loading new products onto the websites and attending trade fairs. There is absolutely no down time in this business! We are always busy – and we’re always thinking about what’s next.


How do you approach innovation and creativity within Sophie Home?

We have been a small team of two for three years now (I have a wonderful right hand woman, Jess) and so I am very involved in the nitty gritty of the business. Too little time for creativity, research and development has been a great source of frustration for me. So, we have just taken on our third hire, Louise, who will be getting stuck into the daily admin freeing me up to have much more time to explore and develop new ideas. I’m looking forward to more time, more headspace and more visits to galleries, shops and other cities to fuel the fire! Inspiration can strike anywhere. One collection was triggered by 2 wheelie bins and a post box in a tiny coastal city outside Rome. The colours were amazing!

How do you measure success, both personally and for your business?

This Spring we will be applying for B Corp certification. I started the application process last year and was so inspired and motivated to have found a process that recognised all the good I knew we were doing as a business, but can’t always share information on easily. There was a lightbulb moment too when I realised that even if we didn’t get the accreditation, by working towards it, we were only bettering our business and ourselves, so it was a win win. But, I think we will get it, and I will be immensely proud to have that globally recognised stamp of approval, that will tell everyone, at a glance, that we are a GOOD company, doing good things.

Personally.. that’s harder to measure – and to achieve! But when I’m able to give my children my undivided attention, and be in the moment with them, and my body feels calm and ease, I know I’m getting things right. It’s a work in progress. I’m constantly on high alert, and I’m determined to break that cycle this year.

Looking to the future, what aspirations do you have for Sophie Home and yourself as a founder?

My aspirations are changing as I get older. I used to want to grow the business to be huge; I wanted a multi-product range – ceramics, furniture included.. – and to be a globally recognised brand. But my family and my own health are now so much more of a priority. Now I want to maintain a successful, sustainable business, that will earn me a little comfort for the future, and the time and space to support my children with their dreams and ambitions.
In the mean time, I want to continue to supply our lovely independent shops with a hit of colour, a good dose of joy, and have some fun along the way!

Words Katy Lassen, Founder of Harbour & Tide
Also Recommends