Hello everyone. Thank you for being here!
I just thought I'd write a little bit about myself.. (eesh) So you feel like you can get to know me a little more, and what i'm about I guess? Lal is short for Lalage, pronounced LA-LA-JEE, it was my grandmothers sister's name, which every single person I meet gets wrong, so hey, Lal works just fine!
I'm a born and raised Cornish bird, growing up on my parent’s Aberdeen-Angus farm at the ends of the earth in Zennor, on the cliffs, with the Atlantic ocean on my doorstep. My dad always likes to say, 'the only thing between us and the USA is a barbed wire fence,' which actually, is very true. My brother, sister and I were never inside as children, we were always outside, racing each other on sheep, playing cowboys and Indians with our ponies, and rolling around in mud... Our mum never allowed us to have any technology until we got mobile phones at 14, which to me is the perfect childhood. I think being brought up out in the sticks has made me appreciate the simpler things in life... Fresh air, natural beauty, gosh, NATURE!
At 16 I started to think about travelling, meeting new people, visiting new places. Skip forward to 17, I dropped out of college, and 5 days later found myself on a flight to Paris to meet my cousin Max to fly with him and his wife to St Barth in the Caribbean to start my little solo adventure. The university of life is such a cliché, but I learnt so much about everything... It was so much more valuable to me and my life to get away and figure out where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with myself.
Working for a family run store, who had their own line, all made in LA with the most amazing organic fabrics... (literally the softest t-shirts I have ever worn in my life) Cottons, silks, linens, amazing Italian swimwear, it was all just so beautifully made. They spent more on sourcing quality materials and having the product made, to guarantee they were creating a product to endure the test of time. They supported local artisans as well... Boot makers, belt makers, jewellers, artists. It was all just so well curated, and each piece had such a beautiful story behind it, making it even more personal and special. I worked in St Barths for 3 months, and started to grasp the ins and outs of having a shop and a brand... The background and nitty gritty as it were, at the same time as doing it all in French. I got laughed at, and with a few times, but after a couple of weeks I was grasping it and found my way somehow!? From there I went to West and East Hampton in New York (more of their locations) to work for a couple more months, and then on again to work in Maui, Hawaii to work for them some more! I did this hopping about for three-ish years I guess, and loved.every.minute. The lifestyle, the job, the people I was surrounded with, it was total heaven for me.
Starting out, homesickness wasn't anywhere to be seen. In-fact I was ready to make a new home in Hawaii. One thing led to another, and each time I came home for a little stint, I would find it much much harder to leave home. In the end, I was drawn back to the green fields and the fresh Cornish air, with an ambition to make something of myself, and actually to make something a bit different to be born in Cornwall. That's when Lals came along.
Anyone who knows me well knows how much I LOVE other peoples birthdays, and buying people presents (and also knows something I'm not very good at is receiving presents... I get really hot and overwhelmed) which is why I think I prefer the flip side of gifting others haha. I found that when I wanted to get my brother nice, simple, basic, well made clothes from the UK it was actually pretty hard... Unless you get something from a large brand of course, where the garment is made who knows where, it turns out to be pretty impossible! So, with that in mind, I started pondering with the idea of creating that ' simple thing' I would want to buy my brother for his birthday I guess.
Going out on a whim I started enquiring and finding manufacturers in England that would be able to help me. First time round, it didn't go to plan in London, in fact, it went to absolute rubbish and threw me right back to the very beginning... But then, learning from mistakes, and being a big believer in fate, it obviously happened for the best. Panicked and unsure about how to start from scratch and where on earth I was going to find somewhere else, poppppp, out of nowhere I found the best place ever up North, trusting, understanding and totally amazing, making my mad idea a reality.
After battles with un-trustworthy people, becoming a much stronger person, toying with fabrics, and running my fingers over on the sewing machine one or two times playing with samples, overall, I think the thing I'm most proud of is doing it all on my own. I now have my finished piece in my hand which is such a good feeling. It's been tough but I wouldn't change a thing.
These days, I'm all about supporting small, local, honest brands and businesses. Honestly, I think it's the way forward. I for one, am now investing in much better quality in my clothing, spending that bit more on the 'thought about' garment as opposed to the one that is cheaper and made by who-knows who, who-knows where.
I have grand plans in the pipeline, but for now, I'm keeping it as simple as I can, and can only hope you love my products as much as I do.
Lots of love to you, and thank you for supporting me thus far.