Chapter Four: The devil is in the detail; it all matters.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my corporate life, it’s that Pareto's law generally prevails. I was a career late bloomer, as I really didn’t know what to do. I’m a jump-right-in type of person, often ending up with too many things on my plate. It took a while to learn that thinking things through from the start has a greater impact.

Over the years, I’ve been lucky to have the support of business coaching and great mentors. I eventually saw that taking on one or two projects with defined outcomes – starting with the end first then working backwards – was more successful for me. It allows for agility and a possible change of direction when driving towards an end goal.

Applying what I’ve learnt to XV ranges

We’re confident that the details are what make XV stripes so special. Pillowcases are trimmed with hand-forged driftwood toggles, packaging is co-ordinated and eco-friendly, where possible. Each element has been checked, reviewed, questioned, sourced and discussed until we both felt it held a personal touch and was ready for our customers.

One thing we both agreed on right from the start was that the driftwood toggles had to be hand sourced in the UK and local to me, ideally, on island.

It took a while to find our partner at Lilliput Wight, but we got there in the end. It all starts with a trip to the beach where driftwood is collected and is then taken home to be washed and dried. Then the driftwood moves down the road to a 'dad shed', where it is marked, drilled, cut and sanded before the toggles are counted and packed. They are rigorously checked to ensure that they are exactly the right size. If they are too big, they are left behind.

The idea of attaching the toggles to the duvets with cord came from a research visit to Spencer Rigging, a local boat rigging supplier, who showed us around their loft where many different types of rope were made, from small, lightweight, super-strength rope to big shipping ropes with many layers of materials.

Similarly, our Cowes cushion range is edged with rope cording. It took some extensive sourcing for our supplier, Joao, to find the perfect match. He made up samples with other options, but we had our hearts set on rope edging that would match the nautical theme of the artwork.

These details separate luxury from everyday bedding. Vicky’s an exceptional seamstress and we both agreed that the stitching on the inside should be as good as it is on the outside. Helena and Patricia recognised this too. We ended up changing the finishing team to ensure our bedding had this level of quality.

Vicky and I both believe in the personal touch, which to us meant even more attention to the little things. From hang tags to product care cards, we ensure each element has the quality expected of a luxury product, with a little bit of us thrown in there too.

Together the team has created a hi-luxe range of bedding and interiors that is a blend of beautiful colour, outstanding quality fabrics and superb eco-credentials, which is designed for people who are inspired by and long to be by the coast.

 

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