Laura Loveridge, what a name! Part of our wonderfully creative Mini Boden team, Laura conjures creatures great and small for the prints featured on our Mini Boden line. Find out what makes her tick…
Tell us a little bit about what a Print Designer does?
So, working in the Mini Boden department, we’re responsible for drawing and creating the prints that you find on our products, which for me tends to be birds, bunnies, ponies, puppies, kittens and floral.
What did you do BB (Before Boden)?
After studying Textile Design at Nottingham Trent, I took a slight detour into buying for John Lewis. Working in the Childrenswear department. I liked it but often had more interest in the garments themselves than the actual buying process and knew that I wanted to go back into design. Luckily, a job popped up as Textile Design Assistant and I’ve been here for ten years ever since.
As an outsider and with the company being much, much smaller ten years ago, I’d heard of Boden but didn’t necessarily wear it myself. When the job came up, I did my research and realised it was exactly the sort of company I’d want to work for. To this day, things like the fact that Johnnie is still so involved and knows everybody’s names are testament to the kind of company it is.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
As part of my job, we’re fortunate enough to get travel to locations including New York, LA, Tokyo and Paris, from where we draw lots of inspiration (whilst still trying to keep our British roots.) Nostalgia is really important to us so we tend to do a lot of vintage shopping too. A lot of my inspiration just comes from everyday life and having your eyes open as you never know what you might see.
Are there fashion trends for Childrenswear?
Although certain things will be popular, there’s a lot more free reign when it comes to childrenswear and a lot of the designs boil down to common sense – fishes and sea creatures on boys swimwear for example, or cute animals on tea dresses. We try and do things which capture the imagination of children (things like the farmyard animals featured on the dress below).
What’s the best bit of your job?
Although travelling is great, nothing beats seeing a customer wearing one of your designs. As there are a lot of families in the area where I live, whenever I see a little girl in one of my dresses or a little boy at the pool in swimwear I’ve designed I always grab my husband and say ‘that’s one of mine!’ which is amazing.
What’s the worst part of your job?
It’s quite hard to say – probably keeping on top of administrative stuff when all you want to do is draw and get creative. Also, the frustration of drawings that don’t quite work out or having a good design that doesn’t make the cut for the catalogue. However, because we have a great team, you can often pass on a design that you’re struggling with to a talented collegue and end up with a wonderful result in the end.
How would you describe Boden to someone who doesn’t know it?
I think that I would call it fun, colourful, flattering and surprising in things like the trim or the buttons- clothes that make you happy! They’re practical and long-lasting too.
How would you describe your style?
I’d say it was quite simple – I’ve got masses of jeans, Breton tees and cardis and the odd dress. I like to have good staples and comfortable shoes. But I do like sassy shoes and Boden sandals are my favourites!
What did you want to be when you were little?
Well, I actually wanted to be in the circus! I wanted to be either the tightrope walker or a trapeze artist! I thought it would be fun but then my mum told me you had to travel with them and so that went out the window! After that, I wanted to be a vet.
How would you sum yourself up in a few words?
I’m actually quite sporty – I run in a running club and have done a few marathons over the past few years. I’d also say sociable, spontaneous, creative and honest.
What’s your proudest moment at work?
After 5 and 10 years with the company, Johnnie actually sends you a reward and a handwritten letter which is amazing!
How would you describe your perfect evening?
Having a little girl (and a baby boy on the way!) I’d have to say (after getting a babysitter!) I’d meet up with friends or go out with my husband for good wine and good food and have a little time to myself.
Do you have any bad habits?
Probably not organising my emails! My inbox is creaking so that’s a bit of an issue!
What’s on your reading list at the moment?
I’m reading children’s books to my little girl which is great. I’ve just bought the Julia Donaldson ‘Gruffalo’ series, which she loves because the illustrations are so lovely. I also like to read blogs – my sister Natasha has a blog called ‘Candy Pop’ which I always love to read.
Do you have any favourite bits of Boden?
I love the cropped cashmere cardigans – they’re great for weddings to pop over a dress. I’ve also bought a few great pieces for my little girl from Autumn – the vintage tee dress, the owl and the pussycat tee (which I designed) and the metallic high-tops are amazing.
Who would be your ultimate dinner party guests?
It would have to be funny people! I’d go for David Walliams, Alan Carr and Russel Brand (or maybe Miranda Hart to balance things out!)
Was there an era that you have most affinity with?
I’m a big fan of ‘70s crockery with bold retro florals. They’re display only but they’re nice to have and to mix in with the modern.