Interview with Diana Greenhalgh and Laura Simpson, Co-Founders at My Bespoke Room
We’re shaking up the world of interior design. We deliver a professional, easy-to-use online service at a fraction of the cost of traditional services — and we have big ambitions to make life better for consumers and designers.
Our promise to consumers is to be transparent with pricing and to make communication straightforward and jargon free. We want anyone to have access to professional designers they couldn’t otherwise afford, and to feel like they’re having a cup of tea with a friend.
For designers, it’s all about supporting more meaningful businesses and careers in interior design. We’ve created our own bespoke technology platform to help our team of 40+ interior designers to do great work, and we want to open it up to other independent designers to have a piece of the magic. This will help more ambitious designers to set up, run and grow exciting businesses with support.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
We were just two friends who were frustrated with the process of renovating and furnishing our homes. We were searching for inspiration online and in magazines but couldn’t quite re-create the looks we wanted, and traditional interior services felt too far out of reach.
It wasn’t just that they were too expensive, it was that they were totally inaccessible. They used language that was condescending, and all had complex pricing with plenty of hidden costs. There was a clear gap in the market for a straightforward, professional service that felt fun, not intimidating.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
I think the most important thing is to be able to bounce back when things get tough.
In March, we had a funding round fall through at the eleventh hour because of Covid taking us all by surprise, and then my co-founder and I were both struck down by the virus! It was a tough couple of months — but we stayed focused on our mission and supporting our team of designers.
Our customers were also spending more time in our homes. Not only were their homes becoming more important to them, but they were demanding more from them. We threw all our energy into connecting designers to customers to bring stylish designs to life, and the funding we had been looking for soon followed.
What can we hope to see from My Bespoke Room in the future?
We want to continue to shake up the interior design industry and solve problems for consumers and for designers.
We recently closed £700K in angel investment to scale our operations and to invest in a new software as a service (SaaS) platform that will help independent designers to run their business more efficiently, connect them with an engaged online community, and to extend their client reach.
This funding will allow us to build technology that helps designers get back to doing what they love: working with customers, creating beautiful designs, and growing their business.