A CUP OF TEA WITH: A SPLASH OF COLOUR FOUNDER, NATASHA BROADY
There are an abundance of online homewares shops. In my opinion there's a lot of the same sort of stuff, the same products, all marketed in the same way with a forgettable, wishy washy finish. It's rare to find well branded online shops and so when I come across them I like to pick the brains of the founders and see how they've done it! I'm a big believer in standing out and being unique, and Natasha Broady, founder of new online homewares store A Splash Of Colour, is no different. In this post I'm getting down to the nitty gritty of her online company which specialises in bold, vivid colour.
Hey Natasha! You worked in marketing and comms for a number of years before starting ASOC. Was it an idea that has been slowly manifesting or was it a lightbulb moment?
I’ve always loved furniture ever since I was young. I loved nothing more than looking around people’s homes and seeing their different styles shine through. Although I have I worked in marketing and PR for years I always knew that I wanted to do something in interiors so I suppose the idea has been manifesting for a while but the final idea for the business came whilst I was in Bali. I spent a few months travelling and started to think about buying some of their stunning pieces but I had nowhere to sell it… I got home, refined my ideas and A Splash of Colour was born!
How has your working background helped you to launch your own business, and has it ever been a downfall?
My background has definitely helped me in terms of having an understanding of brand, design and marketing and how something should look and feel. The pressure of having a background in marketing can make if difficult sometimes as people assume that because of this it has to fly but I worked in PR and experiential marketing so some of the more digital side of the marketing business is very new to me. This puts pressure on me as I’m so passionate about this business and determined to make it a success.
Who is ASOC for?
ASOC is for the style conscious customer who loves design and quality. I work with a brilliant collective of designers to bring something unique and special to the market place… almost everything I stock has been made by hand, using the finest ingredients and with expert skill and craftsmanship.
What is the ethos of ASOC?
My philosophy for A Splash of Colour was to create a place that offered a simple solution to finding beautiful and quality coloured furniture and accessories. My ambition is to make people fall in love with colour again and to show how by putting the right pieces in your home you can think about colour differently.
What's an average day in your shoes?
There really is no average day when you run a business on your own as you have to do a bit of everything. I can be doing anything from meeting with my accountant, talking to a supplier, drafting copy for a newsletter, or visiting an international trade show to having a meeting with my designers to schedule updates on the site. There is a lot to juggle but I’m absolutely loving every single second!
The online interiors / homewares shop space is heavily saturated. How do you get cut through?
It was really important when thinking about what I could do in this space that I came up with an idea that had a point of difference. I love the power of colour and felt really strongly that if I could curate the right range, and put it on a beautiful, simple and uncluttered platform, then I could create a shop that people would love to visit and which would help them reconsider colour again in their homes.
What have been the biggest challenges you've faced with starting the company?
I think the biggest challenge for me has been starting the business on my own as I’ve had no one to bounce off of. I have funded the business myself too and starting a company for any brand is always a risk but I talked about it for so long and decided the risk was worth taking, I decided I’d rather try and fail than not try at all.
I love the power of colour in a home and how even the smallest pieces can transform a room. Our homes have all started to look the same, with mass-produced product so readily available we’ve lost our personalities and individuality. It may sound like a simple view but colour really does add the life and soul back into the home.
Why do you think people are so scared to try out colour in their homes?
I totally understand why colour can be overwhelming. Creating colour schemes, considering where to put feature walls, knowing how to dress the room, knowing when to add more, and when to stop... I think the beauty of colour is that it can be as simple or bold as you want it to be. Fresh white walls with some beautiful pieces of art can make a huge difference to a room.
Your site is beautifully designed. Did you have a vision for it before it all came into place?
Yes I did. Rightly or wrongly I was adamant that the homepage needed to have a tool to click specifically into one colour to really help people find the colour they were looking for. It took me a while to find the right design partner but I eventually found Socio Design who I worked with on the look and functionality of the site. They have been brilliant partners to work with and they have brought my vision to life in a beautiful, clean and stylish way.
How do you find these bold and beautiful products and designers?
I spend a lot of time reading, researching, visiting design shows and trying to find furniture and accessories that really are beautiful and have been designed and made with love. There are so many talented designers out there, and some products or designs just shout out to me more than others… I follow my gut instinct with every designer and collection. I love the buying side and I’m not only excited by the designers that are yet to come but about bespoke collaborations I’m dreaming up that I’d like to see on the site in the future.
What are your favourite 3 pieces for sale?
I genuinely do love everything I sell but the three pieces I’ve got my eye on for my own home are:
2. The Schneid Eikon Ray pendant light for my bedroom
3. Pie Chart Coffee ¾ Table as I just love the playfulness and versatility of this piece
If money was no issue, what would be your ultimate dream possession for your home?
My dream house will definitely have polished concrete walls. Some people find concrete cold but I think with the right dressing in a room polished concrete is absolutely stunning.
Where do you live, and can you describe the interior of your home?
I currently live in a flat in Archway. As it is rented it is really difficult to do all the things I’d love to do to it. I use framed art to really bring the place to life and give it my point of difference.
Have you ever seen a product piece anywhere, not bought it, and then regretted it? Any 'ones that got away'?!
Not so much ones that got away, more ones that I’m saving hard for! I’m saving for some of Bethan Gray’s leather tables and mirrors as I absolutely love them.
What is your best piece of interior design advice?
You have to love where you live it is where you spend most time so my advice would be to invest in pieces that make you happy. I truly believe in the saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ and although an item doesn’t have to cost a small fortune, if you buy beautiful, well-made furniture it will last forever and make you smile every time you look at it.
When you're not busy running ASOC, what do you do for fun?
It depends what kind of mood I’m in but I still love nothing more than a good night out with my friends having a dance! On the flip side I’m a bit of a culture vulture at heart so I love going to see the latest play or going to a gallery.
What’s is your favourite colour?
Ordinarily I would have thought of blue but over the past few years I seem to have fallen head over heels for neon. It’s more of a shade than a colour, I guess, but I love the vibrancy, life and energy it exudes.
I really love Natasha's ethos and think she has a brilliant, memorable and stand out brand. Check out A Splash Of Colour and let me know what you think!