To celebrate the launch of our exciting new collaboration with Sophie Allport (click here for the chance to win a luxury getaway and vouchers!), the Great British designer was kind enough to catch up with our team on her thoughts on our beautiful natural environment, the rise of the staycation and the history behind her now iconic brand...
Thank you for chatting with us Sophie, Together Travel are incredibly excited to be partnering up with you! Why was it our Great British wildlife in particular, that inspired your first illustrations?
I’ve always loved nature, the countryside and everything around me, I grew up in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside so just seeing wildlife and animals always makes me feel at home. My first design was our Busy Bees, and at the time, my boys were obsessed with insects and asked me to draw them a bee. That’s how it all started really.
We know it would be hard to pick, but if you had to, which would be your favourite design pattern produced to date?
This is such a difficult one! It changes all the time, but at the moment I’d say probably our Bees, we have so many lovely products in the design. If you’d asked me a few months ago, I would have probably said Chicken. It was one of our first designs and is still with us today. I’ve recently got my own hens too, and they just make me smile every day!
Have you felt there has been an increasing passion from the Great British public into Homewares & Interior Design over the past 10 years?
Yes, especially over the past year and a half. We live in a world now where we spend so much time at home, and people enjoy spending time in places that make them feel a certain way. Sometimes it's all about those little things in life that make you happy, whether it’s a cosy throw on a sofa that you can curl up to or just walking into a room that immediately makes you feel calm or at peace.
What has been your proudest moment in your career to date?
There have been so many moments, but we’ve worked with some really amazing charities over the years, including the National Trust with our Woodland collection and ZSL with our Elephant, Zebra, Cheetah and most recently Giraffe collection. It’s something we are so proud of and look forward to continuing.
As huge advocates of the National Trust ourselves, were you excited to launch your Woodland collection in support of their incredible work in 2018?
The National Trust do some incredible work that we are incredibly proud to support, we were so excited to launch our Woodland collection in 2018, and you never know something new might be coming soon!
If Sophie Allport were to ‘makeover’ one of our lodges in the Yorkshire Dales, South Cornwall or North Wales, which designs do you think would best complement our locations?
Our Whales collection would look amazing in your South Cornwall lodges – it would certainly give it a coastal retreat feel. Maybe our Foxes design in the Yorkshire Dales, and then, perhaps our Lobster and Crab collection for your Welsh coastal escapes.
If you had to pick a treasured staycation spot to whisk your family away to, where would you choose in the UK?
It would be the North Norfolk coastline. It has always had a special place in my heart, and we have so many fond family memories there.
Together Travel has always tried to stay super inclusive of our four-legged friends, do you have any pets, and if so, do they holiday with you when staying on home turf? Were any of them in particular the inspiration behind your beautiful pet collections?
We have three beautiful dogs, two Labradors (Florrie & Mabel) which inspired our Fab Labs collection, and recently we introduced Margot to the family too, she’s a sweet little Border Terrier. They love to come away on staycations with us, our Labradors love swimming in the sea, whereas Margot certainly doesn’t – I have three boys, so I’m a little bit outnumbered otherwise, but my girls are always close by.
Final question! Cosy, country cottage or cool and contemporary, coastal apartment?
Can I have both? A cosy country cottage for winter and a cool coastal apartment in the summer?!