Hi everyone, I’m really excited to introduce you to Alexis and Sophie from Stamp Interiors. They’re based in Melbourne, and are a couple of very busy ladies with interior design, styling and now a new product range under their belt as well! They spill the brains on their business journey, and what they’ve learned along the way…
Tell us about your business. What led you to start it?
We have known each other since we were young. After school we did our own thing, travelling, studying and working overseas, including Conde Nast Publications, high profile designers in London, and acclaimed architects and designers in Rome and Buenos Aires.
We both wanted to create beautiful yet personal spaces that spoke of the life lived there. We joined forces after returning to Melbourne and set up Stamp Interiors in 2009.
Stamp is an interior design and styling agency. It combines our different styles – Sophie is raw and real while Alexis is all about textures, layering and silhouettes. We embrace each others’ strengths and fuse our styles in a coordinated process while always being about the client and their individuality.
What has been most difficult?
Managing tight client deadlines with multiple projects on the go has lead to many late nights and early mornings. We find it difficult at times to keep up with, and to rein in our excitement at Stamp’s fast growth while juggling our precious young families. We simply need more hours in the day!
Many clients come to us after the purchase of their second or third home when they are wanting to create a space that is more about their life and families but are still often sub-consciously trapped in the fast furniture and homewares mentality. Re-educating clients on the value of real vs replica and investment pieces can sometimes be an uphill battle. At Stamp we strongly value these core pieces that can live in different spaces and be multipurpose over the years or tarted up on cheap -and they are paramount in creating layered interiors that are about the people and lives lived in that space.
What has been most successful?
Having two sets of eyes, outlooks, ideas and experiences forms the core of our success. We love what we do and this shines through in our work and relationships with clients. Repeat work and recommendations to friends and peers is the greatest measure of our success. We have also enjoyed and had the benefit of a significant increase in press interest recently which has been fabulous!
We think honest respect for our suppliers is key to sucess too – they are integral to our business running smoothly. Without the support and good will of suppliers like Tigger Hall we wouldn’t be where we are today.
How do you promote your business?
Print media has helped us out, but Stamp’s growth is predominantly organic through word of mouth. Social media is incredible and has an often instantaneous impact! Social really can’t be underestimated.
Any tips/advice to people starting out?
Our main advice is to back yourself and trust your instincts. Research is vital but do not hide behind it. Sometimes you just need to take the plunge! Be organised; write lists and timelines. We meet regularly to discuss Stamp’s vision – this is paramount to Stamp staying one step ahead.
Don’t be creatively side tracked by what other people are doing. At Stamp we are all about being relevant as opposed to purely on trend. If we spent our days worrying about what others were doing we would be creatively stumped and our instinct would be out the window. Be true to who you are and your vision – it is the most wonderful sense of freedom.
Starting any business is a roller coaster ride – remember to look up and smile.
What are your plans for the future?
Stamp is maturing into a complete interior design, styling and sourcing business. We’ve got our first ever collection in production – lighting, bedheads and storage, which is really exciting. We would love to maybe do some hotels later down the line.
We adore fun collaborations with other like minded folk and have had some great opportunities outside the typical ‘interior design’ sphere and look forward to mixing it up some more. The growth of the business has surpassed our expectations and always key to moving forward is learning and having fun .
How did you prepare before starting out?
We studied business and design at university and as post-graduates. Today we are still always reading business and design books, manuals, magazines, online articles – whatever we can get our hands on! However, we believe in the journey – past, present and future. Books can never substitute experience, and between us we have 30 years of experience in the fields of interiors and design. We have observed, worked with and learnt from some of the world’s most influential and creative designers. So roll up your sleeves, get involved, make mistakes, take risks and enjoy the ride.