Emma and Jade Shone-Sanders
We are pleased to spotlight our latest Marfa Muses, Emma + Jade Shone-Sanders.
Emma, an interior architect and her partner Jade, an interiors and fashion PR Consultant, met back in 2005 and their friendship soon turned into a relationship when they went travelling together. Jade is Fashion PR Account Director at Rainbowwave PR and also works with her own clients. Her wife Emma launched interior design studio Design + That back in 2016 and together they launched the Design + That Studio + Store concept in the heart of Shoreditch. When covid hit and their baby boy Albie arrived during lockdown, the online store became the flagship and Emma now focusses on interior design projects, creating contemporary, relaxed spaces, using well-crafted furniture and materials.
Emma wears size S in the Patchwork Quilt in pale sage, white with reverse stone and Jade wears size S in the reversible Trench Coat in olive.
Tell us about both of your backgrounds
JADE – We both grew up in the North of England, Emma in Lancashire & me in the North-East. We first met through friends at Leeds Festival in 2005 and became best friends almost instantly.
Emma was studying Architecture in Liverpool and I was studying Psychology in Leeds, but we somehow spent almost every weekend with each other during our University years and after graduating, we decided to go travelling together around India and South-East Asia. Looking back, we definitely fell in love on that trip but we didn’t get together for another couple of years after that.
We then moved to London and lived on Brick Lane for the first few years, soaking up all the creativity (and fun!) Shoreditch and East London has to offer. I was working as a supply Teacher at the time teaching in different schools all over London, while Emma was studying for a Masters in Interior Design.
By 2010, our friendship had grown into a relationship, and five years later we bought our first home together, where we now live in Victoria Park. By this point, I had had a complete career change, leaving my job as Teacher to do Fashion PR ~ working for Bianca Fincham, who had just set up Rainbowwave PR and Emma was working as an Interior Designer.
Talk us through your journeys so far and what led to the launch of Design & That
EMMA – From as early as I can remember I have always loved sketching and being creative, and that grew into a passion for design at an early age, so studying Architecture at University felt like the natural path for my career.
After graduating with a BArch and RIBA Part I, I soon realised that I was much more interested in designing the interior spaces and I moved to London to study a Masters in Interior Architecture. I spent the next 10+ years gaining lots of different experience at various design studios and working on a range of projects from retail, hospitality and experiential design.
When we renovated our home in 2015, I really enjoyed the process and knew that I wanted to move over into this field of interior design. I worked with my brother on designing his flat and then from there I was lucky enough to be recommended through friends for a couple of bigger projects. I set up the Design & That Studio in 2016, and we opened the Design & That Store in 2019.
Then Covid hit... and I was over the moon to fall pregnant with Albie whilst we were in lockdown... (That’s another story!!)
Although it was a tough decision, at that point it made sense for us to close the store and focus the interior design projects (and Albie!)
What are you most proud of?
EMMA – It already feels like such an achievement to have come this far. When I first set up Design & That it really was a leap of faith - although I had the technical skill set I didn’t have any business knowledge or a huge amount of experience in this field and had no idea really how it was going to turn out. I just knew that I wanted to have my own interior design business creating beautiful homes for people, and to work for myself. I bought a laptop and built my own website and just threw myself into it, and here we are, now 6 years in and I’m working on some great projects with really lovely clients and I couldn’t be happier about how things are going. It takes time to truly hone your craft as an interior designer and it’s something I am still doing and I am sure I will be working on for my entire career, but it feels as though it is all starting to come together bit by bit, project by project!
But becoming a mother last year is by far the best thing I’ve ever done, and doing it together with Jade makes me so incredibly proud..
JADE - When we first got together over 10 years ago, we didn’t know what the future held for us and if we would be able to have a family of our own. We were (wrongly!) afraid of how our families and friends would respond to us being together, so we kept our relationship a secret for a long time. We only told our friends and families after 3 years which looking back feels so surreal. It was such a relief to finally tell people and feel openly proud of our love and relationship. And here we are today, married with a baby and so grateful and proud of how far we have come!
What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs?
EMMA – Take that leap of faith! The fear of failure can be the biggest thing that holds us back, but there will inevtably be lots of failures and learnings along the way, there will be lots of highs.. and lots of lows! Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan but if you work hard and are passionate enough then it will all fall into place in the end. Just keep going and don’t give up! It’s a long journey and it can be so so tough at times, but so rewarding in the long run. It really is so true what they say - choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life!
How do you style your Marfa Stance pieces and why do you like the brand?
JADE - I love the oversized shapes of Marfa Stance coats, how lightweight they are, and how easily they work with pretty much anything! I wear the trench over smock dresses & jumpsuits, but it also looks great over something more casual simple like vintage Levi’s & a tee.
EMMA - How do I NOT style my Marfa Stance pieces - they seem go with absolutely everything in my wardrobe! I wear with jeans and boots in the winter, and with linen trousers and sandals in the spring / summer. It’s so versatile and I love that it’s reversible so you get two great colour options in one - as soon as I discovered Marfa Stance, I knew I had to have one.. and I’ve not taken it off since.
Photographer: Zac Frackelton