Our team members Martha and Hepsie are celebrating a very exciting new stockist this week. You can now find them in the new John Lewis flagship store in Leeds! We had a little chat with them to find out more…
Who are Martha and Hepsie?
We’re a sister team based in Sheffield and Devon designing and selling our own collection of homeware, stationery and gifts.
Martha (the northern one!): With a degree in Textile design from Nottingham Trent, Martha moved to London to develop her career in design and production working for designers Lisa Stickley and Gisela Graham. With experience under her belt Martha returned to her Northern roots relocating to the steel city of Sheffield to focus on Martha & Hepsie, where she designs all the whole product range.
Hepsie (the not so soft southerner!): Gaining experience from placements at Mathew Williamson, Copperwheat Blundell and trends agency The Bureaux during her Fashion and Business Studies degree at Brighton, Hepsie returned to Devon and progressed a career with jewellery brand Kit Heath. Now she is ploughing everything she knows into Martha and Hepsie.
What is the Martha and Hepsie ‘story’?
We both craved autonomy whilst working for other people and whilst Hepsie was on maternity leave we decided to set up the business initially as a 5-9 hobby with the dream to make it full time, then a couple of years later the businesses we were both working for were affected by the recession and we were both made redundant within 6 months of each other – this was our sink or swim moment and we decided to put on our armbands and dive in at the deep end with ‘Martha and Hepsie’!
Despite living in two opposite ends of the country we’ve embraced technology and don’t need to physically be in the same room as we share all our business documents online, we both have samples and we phone each other a lot!
Our brand strapline is – designs inspired by life, who we are and a little bit of laughter…! We’re both quite confident, a little cheeky and love to laugh! So our designs are bold in pattern and colour and have characterful narratives to go with them.
All our designs are illustrated by hand in Martha’s snug Sheffield studio and made in Great Britain.
Where else are you stocked?
We sell to a selection of independent retailers across the UK and as far afield as The Falkland Islands, as well as on our own website, Etsy and Not On The High Street.
What does it mean to be stocked in John Lewis Leeds – at a shop on home-turf in Yorkshire? Both personally and for the business?
To be acknowledged by a store such as John Lewis is a real milestone for our business which makes all the hard work we’ve put into growing Martha and Hepsie so worth it. We’re both very proud of our local roots and to launch in a brand new John Lewis in Martha’s home county is the icing on the cake.