Natalie Lake, designer and founder of Really Wild, is on a mission to create country clothes for women that are stylish enough to be worn in the city. And thanks to her, and a certain Kate Middleton who has modelled and worked for the brand, shooting chic is totally having a moment. Come and meet the talented woman responsible for the tweed revival.
Kate Middleton at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace in 2004, wearing tailored tweeds by the Really Wild Clothing Company
What do you love most about your job?
Designing; starting with the creation of the tweeds and their colours which gives me inspiration for the design the garments. From this initial creativity and collaboration, the collection evolves.
Describe your typical working day. Manic from the moment I enter the office. There are numerous questions, from customer service issues to accounting matters, to production lines and ensuring the day is well organized and managed by all.
How did you get to where you are today? I studied design at Mithras School of Architecture at Brighton. From there I worked with architects setting up my own interior design business years later. It was a lot easier to get a job in those days!
What advice would you give someone trying to set up their own company? Remain focused and determined on what you want to achieve. If one door is closed always try a different approach - you’ll get there in the end.
Which career achievement are you most proud of? Creating a brand and look that is worn by all ages and is flexible for all styles.
What have you learnt along the way? Always look after acorns… they could be tomorrow’s trees. Something I learnt when I ran my own interior design business. The customers who had a small budget should always be looked after just as well as those who had more to spend. This is something we try to carry out at Really Wild - we try to care for all our customers in the same way.
Who inspires you? Stella McCartney - she has clean, modern classic lines, which I admire. What's the best advice you've ever been given? What you put into life is what you get out of it and always be kind. My mother told me that from an early age.
What's your five-year goal. To create a bespoke international brand encompassing modern life between city and the country.
We're always obsessing over our work/life balance. How do you manage it? I rarely finish on time as there is always another job to do but I do try to balance family and work together. It's particularly important to me.
How would your colleagues describe you? They would say I have enthusiasm and passion for my brand.
What's your plan B? Being a dog-walker!
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