Jo Howat and Sallyanne Hutchinson share a lifelong love of beautiful things. They became friends as teenagers in the rural north of England, moved to London, enjoyed careers in journalism and PR respectively, married and had children, but continued to seek out stylish interior design and quality home accessories.
Such a passion led Sallyanne to set up Leather & Lavender which began life in 2004 when she took over the running of a small arm of the family business. A government grant enabled her to set up an office from home whilst bringing up three small children. Combining her experience in PR and retailing with her love of beautiful homeware Sallyanne sourced a range of top quality leather goods and started trading at fairs throughout the UK. With an eye for detail and a love of travelling Sallyanne visited factories in Morocco, India and Italy expanding and developing a range of practical and beautiful leather and cowhide for the home.
Jo spent the first ten years of her career in the frenetic newsrooms of the BBC before enrolling on an interior design course and starting a family. Her arrival at Leather & Lavender brought a different set of skills and this, along with an interest in online retailing, took the business in a new direction. Whilst Sallyanne and Jo continued to trade at fairs, 2012 saw the launch of a new website and the birth of brand L&L, aiming to broaden the reach of Leather and Lavender not only across the UK but in Europe, America and beyond. For the first time, the company was able to operate as a fully functioning web retailer, backed up with a bigger stock base, a new warehouse, branded products and packaging.
Together Sallyanne and Jo set out to explore new supply opportunities and to design and produce an exclusive range of leather and cowhide homeware, storage solutions, gifts and desk accessories.
For 2016, Jo and Sallyanne have decided to rename the company Howat & Hutchinson to coincide with the unveiling of a completely new website. With the growth of a loyal and ever-widening customer base and in order to service the needs of the modern on-line shopper their goal is to beautifully showcase the collection, provide inspiration for customers and offer a customer service that’s second-to-none. Whilst moving forward in this way they will continue to stock the L&L brand which is synonymous with quality and attention to detail.