Our latest Marfa Muse is Lisa Mehydene, Founder of cult online interiors destination edit58. In our interview, Lisa shares her brave move from Advertising Director to the launch of her own successful business after having twins. edit58 is a platform to share the irresistible finds from Lisa’s travels, combined with her own unique design spin. Collaborating with artisans and craftspeople from around the world, Lisa has created an in demand and thoughtful edit of one-of-a-kind treasures.Lisa wears the Reversible Trench Coat in Sand on a countryside walk in the Cotswolds.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND
From about the age of 16, I thought I wanted to work in the advertising world. It seemed glamorous and fun and the perfect way to merge my love of creativity with the business side of my brain. Whilst at university I did a work placement for six months at an ad agency and this cemented my career thinking. After graduation, I was lucky enough to be accepted onto a grad scheme at one of the large BTL ad agencies working on a diverse range of clients (everything from an alcohol brand to charities). I stayed for seven years, only leaving to move overseas. I continued my career in ad agencies in both The Middle East and Asia, working for Harvey Nichols, Land Rover, Boutique 1, Hilton Hotels, DKNY and Tiger Beer, among others.
WHAT LED YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
If I’m really honest, I was looking for an ‘out’ from my career in advertising and falling pregnant with twins was the perfect time to say goodbye to that chapter of my working life. I had spent the previous 10+ years climbing the ladder and had reached board level. I thought it was what I wanted, but the more senior I became, the further away I was from what I most loved about the industry in the first place – being close to the creative product/process. After having the twins I just knew I couldn’t go back to that stressful world and I wanted any time away from my children to be for something my heart was really in. I freelanced for a brief period and then we decided to move back to the UK, and with a move home I could start to think about launching my own business.Interiors was always a passion of mine. I inherited the love of antique shopping and sourcing from my grandmother, and always loved making my home as nice a possible, mixing vintage, high street and flea market finds. Living overseas further fed this passion - I was lucky enough to travel lots, for business and pleasure, and would always find time to visit a local market/bazaar/flea/souk - and friends would often ask where I had found things or if I could get them similar next time I went away on a trip.
It wasn’t until we moved back to London, and I came to decorate our new home, that I realised there was a gap in the market for lovely, unique homewares. This was 2014; Instagram was still in its early infancy and there wasn’t the proliferation of little independents offering interesting items that there is now.I felt really uninspired by what was on offer here, and knew from living and working overseas that there were so many beautiful bits I could bring to the UK or that I could work with artisans to create.Over coffee with a friend in Jan 2015 I fleshed out loose plans for what was to become edit58. I knew my offering would need to be online as I only had a small budget and two toddlers to look after each day! Over the course of the next 6 months I went to Morocco on a buying trip, developed the branding for edit58, created the website and worked to develop the initial product offering; a tight edit of beautiful homewares. We launched Summer 2015.
TALK US THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY SO FAR WITH EDIT 58
I had no expectations of what edit58 would become when I launched it, and so the last (nearly) 6 years has been a really exciting and surprising journey. Because nothing was plotted out (err, no business plan here!), I feel that it’s allowed me to accept opportunities and take different turns without feeling that I’m going “off course”. I also have no investors to answer to. It’s just been one big (learning!) adventure.I’m a naturally sociable person and feed off working with others, so I’ve really enjoyed the collaborative process of working with artists/artisans to bring product to Edit58. And I love that edit58 gives them a platform for their work, that they otherwise might not have had. It’s a mutually beneficial process and I’m really thrilled with the products we have brought to market; be that hand painted florals tiles and jugs with Lisa Hardy, rattan scallop shades with Matilda Goad, ceramics with Kana London, and excitingly a new cushion collaboration launching this Spring with Salvesen Graham.There’s been so many highs; seeing Edit58 product in situ in people’s homes will always be the biggest thrill, as will being featured in press. Being asked by Liberty, Selfridges and The Conran Shop to be stocked in their iconic stores felt amazing, and I love that, through social media, I feel part of a community that is welcoming and encouraging. I have no formal interiors training or experience, I just know what I love and want in my own home, and through running edit58 (and the support of clients and hard work of our artisans), I’m lucky enough to be able to bring those things to market.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
From a career perspective I am most proud that I’ve been able to build a business from an idea to a thriving company. One that remains true to the initial ethos I had of providing unique, one-of-a-kind treasures for your home.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS?
I think if this past year has taught us anything, it is that we don’t know what is around the corner. It’s therefore really important to grab opportunities but also to make things happen for yourself. Don’t let your inner voice hold you back. So often I speak to other female business owners and they mention imposter syndrome / not having the confidence to approach someone or do something. I truly believe that everything is out there for the taking. Make that call, ask that person you admire for a coffee, take that course, go on that trip, write that letter, hire that person, launch that product. Whatever it is, whatever your reason for not doing it - just think.... if I do nothing, nothing will happen.
HOW DO YOU STYLE YOUR MARFA STANCE PIECE?
We have recently bought a home in the countryside, so what I love about Marfa Stance pieces is how adaptable they are to the two aspects of my life. Smart enough for life in the city; but equally suitable for long walks across the fields.Depending on where I am, I style them up in different ways. In the country, I pair my Marfa Stance pieces with casual country stalwarts; denim, boots and a trusty beanie. Warmth and comfort are key; and Marfa Stance delivers on this but allows me to still feel pulled together and chic.In the city, my MS trench comes into its own. Light enough to throw over a maxi dress and boots, it adds the perfect classic finish to my outfit, but with a fresh and imaginative twist.