No interior addict could exist without cushions and the Homebirds are absolutely no exception. We don’t just sit on them; we admire them, rearrange them, plump them and constantly update them. And no we never get bored. They are the ultimate game-changer. Just a simple switching up of cushions can totally transform a space, at minimal cost!
So when cushion creator Leah Parker approached us with her colourful and eclectic collection, she had our full attention. Here we discover how she ended up starting her business Meggy &Me, and showcase some of her most eye-catching designs. You can shop Leah’s range at www.meggyandme.com and bag yourself an exclusive 10% discount using code: HOMEBIRDS10.
Hi Leah, so tell us, what inspired the name of your business?
I had originally called the business leahandherlovelies but I got a few funny smirks from some and some slightly less savoury sites used to pop up when typing it into google (lol) and so I decided on meggyandme. Meghan (meggy) was the reason the business was born and in the early days of the business it was literally me, the sewing machine and Meghan crawling at my feet.
Who’s in the team and who does what?
So for the most part it has been me doing the whole shebang with the occasional helper Meghan as the ‘packaging supervisor’.But as the business and my family has grown (I now have a 9 month old son Samuel) I have a lovely local lady named Freshta who helps with the sewing.
That must be a big help. What’s your business philosophy?
Going back to why I started meggyandme, I wanted to make sure that we provide choice so our range is pretty extensive. I believe we offer both traditional and contemporary styles for every interior. But the main thing for me is offering affordability. Cushions are a great, cost effective way of breathing life into a room or reinventing an old sofa. I believe cushions are one of the few things in your home that you can affordably mix up or change throughout the year as the seasons change. I have customers who will come to me in January and buy a dozen styles and then by summer do the same again for the same room.
That’s a philosophy we can certainly relate to. Where can we find your lovely cushions on sale?
I started selling on eBay but since have sold on Etsy, which I love as it’s a great space for creatives to share their talents, and that is where most of my overseas customers come from. Since entering the scary world of Instagram in the last year I have set up my own website. It’s still a work in progress but is a must for any small business.
Why should our readers visit your page and buy your products?
Apart from the fact that I like to think there is a cushion for every taste on my site, I stock many of the same designs you would find on the high street like John Lewis/Debenhams, but for less than half the price!
I am always flattered when I make a sale as it’s a huge compliment that the person wants one of my cushions in their home but also by supporting a small business you are supporting that person’s dream!
That’s a good enough reason for us! So can you recreate high street and designer cushion designs on demand, thus saving our readers money?
Yes I can, within reason.
That is amazing! What is your best selling product?
It’s a beautiful design called La Paloma by a designer called Alexandra Henry.
It was one of the first cushions I made around 4 years ago and is still just as popular. I think it’s a stand alone piece for an armchair or in the middle of a bed with some supporting cushions behind.
Stunning! What’s your personal favourite?
Currently my favorite designs are from the designers at Prestigious and the collection is called ‘Nature’. The colours are just fab and the sketches of British wildlife is mega cute. A fab gift for an animal lover!
What advice would you give someone who is looking to set up their own small business?
Set small, achievable goals. It’s easy to think of the end goal and then get disheartened or frustrated when you don’t get there quick enough.
What’s coming next for Meggy & Me?
People keep asking me to branch out into other soft furnishings but I am not too sure yet. I quite like being called ‘the cushion lady’. I have started making limited edition pieces. Cushions that I will only make 2/3 of and so people can feel they have a ‘one of a kind’.
As a by product of this business I have had customers coming to me for interior advice and have had offers of work as an interior stylist. This is a huge compliment but a very daunting prospect too. I am considering doing some formal training and maybe pursue that side of things in the future.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud that I have been able to create a business that has allowed balance in my life. I am lucky to be able to be at home to watch my children grow up, but also I have something just for me that allows me to express my creative side.
If you like what you see here, or you’d like to save money on a design you’ve seen in the shops, go follow @meggyandme and shop her collection at www.meggyandme.com. Remember to use the code Homebirds10 for 10% off any purchase.